Great Orme tramway
A day out to photograph the Great Orme trams on Friday 23rd September 2016. This first shot shows car number 5 running
alongside Ty-Gwyn Road as it descends the lower half of the Great Orme tramway. It has just crossed car 4, which is still
visible in the background as it ascends. The crossing point on the lower section of the tramway is half-way between the cars,
alongside the left-of-centre telegraph pole. Car 5 is running on the single track between the crossing point and Victoria
station at the bottom of the line. This shot was taken at 11:52.
This is car number 6, which has just passed over the level crossing on the upper section of the tramway, as it descends towards
Halfway station. The upper section is a single track with a conventional loop at the midpoint where ascending and descending cars
cross. This shot was taken at 12:04.
Another shot on the upper section, this time car 7 which has just dropped over the lip of the hill as it starts its descent from
the summit station. The cables are exposed on the upper section, whereas on the lower section they're recessed below the roadway.
This photo was taken at 12:26.
About a minute and a half after the previous shot, car 7 continues its descent. It's midway between the crossing point and the level
crossing near the Halfway station. This photo was taken at 12:27.
Car 6 leaves the summit station. The tramcars on the upper section of the tramway have no side-guards over the running gear, so you can
see the bogies. The trolley poles on top of the cars were used for telegraphic communication between the cars and the controllers, but
this is now done by radio telephone and an induction loop system. The tramway's own website provides a description of
how it works. This photo was taken at 12:48.
On the same run as the previous shot, this is the view from just above the crossing point. Car 7 is ascending, while in the background
car 6 descends. You don't have to watch the trams to know when they start moving, if you're anywhere close to the line you can easily
hear the cables start running. This photo was taken at 12:49.
Back to the lower section now, with car 4 starting the descent from Halfway station to Victoria. Passengers must disembark here, and walk
to the other end of the station where a separate tramcar conveys them to the summit. This shot was taken at 13:00.
Looking down Ty-Gwyn Road as car 5 ascends from Victoria to Halfway station. On this stretch, between the crossing point and Halfway, the track
is interlaced - the centre running rails share the same groove in the track base. The cables on the lower section are recessed in a conduit below
the track. In the background is Llandudno Bay, and beyond that the headland of Little Orme. This shot was taken at 13:03.
Swinging the camera round to do the going-away shot of car 5. It's about to make a very sharp 90° right-turn as it follows the road which
runs in front of the houses on the right of the frame. Trams on the lower section, which run on or along public roads, have side-guards protecting
the running gear. This shot was taken at 13:04.
Clouds had been brewing almost as soon as I'd arrived in Llandudno, and by about 13:30 the sun disappeared altogether. Hence a break for
lunch, and then an hour or so waiting to see if the darkish clouds would blow over. They didn't, but there was a brief bright spell just
before I decided to leave. In this spell car 5 starts the ascent from Victoria station. This first stretch of line climbs very sharply
up a narrow residential lane called Old Road for about 250 metres. The photo was taken at 15:46.