Shropshire

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway sold to Devitt and Sons

Bridgnorth funicular railway
Image caption The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway transports people between High Town and Low Town in Bridgnorth

England's last inland funicular railway has been sold for more than £700,000.

Bridgnorth Cliff Railway in Shropshire has been bought by Suffolk-based property developers Devitt and Sons.

The family firm said it was not intending to make big changes and that it would be "business as usual".

The cliff railway, which was built in 1892, has been owned and operated by Allan and Jean Reynolds for the last 15 years.

One of the new owners Malvern Tipping said: "My family are immensely excited about our involvement in this historical railway.

"We are very much looking forward to continuing this great service and tradition both for Bridgnorth and the many visitors."

'Unprecedented' interest

Mr and Mrs Reynolds put the railway, incorporating Grade II listed buildings at the top and bottom of the cliff, on the market in March.

Jonathan Bengough, of agents Knight Frank, said: "The railway was sold after an unprecedented amount of interested was shown from right across the UK."

The railway transports people up and down the town's 111ft (33.8m) sandstone cliffs.

Two cars on parallel tracks, connected by steel ropes, counterbalance each other - as one rises to the top station, the other runs to the bottom station between High Town and Low Town.

The cars are now powered by an electric winding engine, but were originally driven by a system of water balance.

Mrs Reynolds, who is retiring with her husband, said at the height of the tourist season the railway made 200 journeys a day and carried 2,000 people, who pay £1 for a return ticket.

There are thought to be about 15 working seaside funicular railways left in England.

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