‘Riding the T’
The Great Orme Tramway is the only remaining cable-operated tramway in Britain. It is also one of only three in the world, the others being those in San Francisco and Lisbon. The Great Orme Tramway is similar in design to that of Lisbon; both are classed as street funicular tramways, which means the cars are permanently fixed to a cable. It is this cable that determines when the cars stop and start.
After a year under construction, and with the holiday season in full swing, the Great Orme Tramway opened in July 1902 to the strains of ‘God Save the King’, courtesy of the Llandudno Town Band. Over 75,000 people used the tram in the first year alone.
The line itself runs from Victoria Station and rises some 600 feet to the Great Orme Summit Station. Passengers must change trams at the Halfway Station as the upper and lower sections of the line are completely separate. A steam-powered winding mechanism to haul the cars was originally housed at the Halfway Station, but this was replaced by an electric motor in 1958. A recently opened exhibition at the Halfway Station is a must-see for enthusiasts.
There are no drivers as such on the Great Orme Tramway. The cars are controlled from the engine house at Halfway Station, with communication originally taking place by telegraph. These days everything is operated using remote control. Much restoration work has been carried out in recent years, but, remarkably, the four original carriages from 1902 are still in use today.
An Audio Trail and Itinerary have been created for this site. To download them, please see here
Great Orme Tramway
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Info Point
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
March to October
Every 20 minutes
7 days a week
10 am to 6 pm (closes 5pm March & Oct only)
Near where A470 meets B5115 (North Parade) under the Great Orme
Llandudno - ½ mile
Nearest bus stop Palladium on Gloddaeth Avenue
Dogs on leads welcome. Only folding wheelchairs can be accommodated and 3 steps up to tram. No parking at station nearest York Road Car Park.
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 778827
OS Landranger map sheet: 115
- 01492 577877
- Great Orme Tramway, LL30 1AZ