Shipley Glen Cable Tramway

NGR SE139385

The shipley glen tramway runs through the popular visitor attraction of shipley glen, constructed in 1895 with two open carriages. The trams were rebuilt 1905ish in 1919 during the conversion to electric power. The carriages were rebuilt again in 1955, 1990 and 2011. The tramway closed in 1966 after a small accident but was saved from closure in 1969. The tramway again closed in 1982 and it was extensively repaired. Modern H+S technology was installed in 2010. There is a museum at the lower station which is well worth a look.

The tramway was built by a Sam Wilson. Who also built one other attraction at the Fairground, the Toboggan Ride. Riders started at the top of the cliffs, (where from about 1870 until WWI, there was a massive fairground with up to 100,000 visitors a day) thundered down on single seater ‘Santa Claus like’ sledges at about 60mph and were then conveyed back to the top on the larger carriages. The cable on one of these later carriages did come loose on one occasion in 1900 when three people were very slightly bruised and scratched. However Sam did close the attraction down immediately.

Opening times

Check the official website for more details

The Tramway is now run by volunteer Trustees and volunteers from the local public. SGT is owned by Bradford Council and the Tustees have taken a 125 year lease on a full repair and maintenance basis

Videos, books and pamphlets about the history of Shipley Glen Tramway are available from the tramway shop.

Lower Station Lower Station Buffer Up the track A Carriage Up the Track Upper Station A Carriage Track General View General View Upper Station Carriage Lower Station

The Stats
Date Opened 18/5/1895Length 1/4 mile
Gradient 1in7 maxTrack Gauge 20"
Number of Cars 2Open to Public Yes
Funicular Type Modern FunicularTrack layout Twin Track
Power Source 1895-1915 Gas

1915-1928 Oil

1928- Electric

Railway Status In Use

Mr Wood – was responsible for another major attraction at Shipley Glen. Wood realised that the hillside could also be used to create a thrilling ride. The ride he created two years later was called the Toboggan Run, and was a very early white knuckle ride. Riders were hauled up the slide by a cable tram and then careered back down the steep hill in a small toboggan car. The ride, built entirely from wood, was billed as the “longest, widest, steepest ever erected on Earth'. Unfortunately, several people were injured on the ride in 1900 hawser broke from a carriage, so it was quickly removed.