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Report - Leas Lifts - Folkstone - March 22


Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Lea's Lifts


Prob not really worth a report this one as I didnt actually "get in" but its not been covered & was a bit of fun & some may find it interesting.


The Leas Lift is a grade II* listed funicular railway that carries passengers between the seafront and the promenade in Folkestone, Originally installed in 1885, it is one of the oldest water lifts in the UK.

The lift operates using water and gravity and is controlled from a small cabin at the top of the cliff. It has carried more than 36.4 million people since it opened, in a process that is especially energy efficient. The lift has a very small carbon footprint, as it emits no pollution and recycles all of the water used to drive the cars.


On June 1991, the lift was seen in an episode of The Darling Buds of May. David Jason, Pam Ferris, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Philip Franks, Anna Massey and Moray Watson all appeared.

In June 2009, Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s lease ran out and it was decided that the lift was too expensive to run. Campaigners subsequently protested against the closure of the lift and in April 2010, it was announced that the lift was to be restored.


Crofton Consulting was appointed as lead consultant to provide structural engineering design for the restoration. Crofton won the Building Structures award at the ACE Engineering Excellence Awards in May 2011 and won the Restoration award at the ICE Engineering Excellence Awards in June 2011 for its work on the lift.
The renovation involved replacing the mechanical and electrical wiring and ensuring that all necessary safety standards in the two cars, the control systems and stations, were met. There was also a focus on restoring the associated power pumps that control the lift at the top and bottom stations.

The wheel bearings on the lift cars were all found to be damaged by corrosion so the wheels were re-machined to provide the correct running profile. Additionally, the corroded steelwork support structures within the buried water storage tanks, which were leaking, were inspected and replaced.
The operation of the Folkestone lift was then taken over by The Folkestone Leas Lift Community Interest Company on behalf of the community as a non-profit-making organisation. It opened the attraction as a living museum.

In January 2017, the lift again closed temporarily following an HSE inspection which determined that a secondary fail-safe braking system must be installed before the lift could be re-opened. £80,000 was raised to conduct the preliminary works required to reinstate the lift, including a full engineering survey. A new company, the Folkestone Leas Lift Company (FLLC) was set up and with funding from the Radnor Estate and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust. The FLLC's aim is to raise funds to help repair the lift, and to create and implement a sustainable long-term plan for its operation.

To date the lift remains closed


The Explore

So I was down Folkstone for a few days with my lad & had checked this out from bottom & from the extremely busy top promenade the day before. Leaving my lad sound asleep I jumped the fence in the silence at 5.30 am.
I dropped down to the position in the above pic in under a min & almost immediately heard something. I looked up to see a drone directly above me!
Freezing for a min I assumed this was just a drone photographer as it slowly moved away but wonder what they will think when they examined their pics later lol.
Once this bit of adrenalin had passed a second thing occurred to me "shit this is steeper than it looks". realising though that the track is essentially a giant ladder I carried on with haste taking pics & my main aim of getting to the cars, to find out they are locked... of course!



















Lower building is still used as a cafe in case you were wondering



And heavily guarded by gulls so thats where Ill leave this one.



Thanks For Looking​
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Built by Waygood & Co. who were lift engineers renown for building hydraulic (water) lifts so a funicular railway was outside their comfort zone, although using a water-balance system as the motive power was not.

The lift was built out of standard railway components. The brake operating wheels in the upper station that controlled the descent of the lift, for example, were actually the wheels normally used in signal boxes to open/close railway level crossing gates and the carriages were modified goods wagons. This suggests that Waygood subcontracted this side of the work and the laying of the track to a railway engineer, although there are no records of this.
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Built by Waygood & Co. who were lift engineers renown for building hydraulic (water) lifts so a funicular railway was outside their comfort zone, although using a water-balance system as the motive power was not.

The lift was built out of standard railway components. The brake operating wheels in the upper station that controlled the descent of the lift, for example, were actually the wheels normally used in signal boxes to open/close railway level crossing gates and the carriages were modified goods wagons. This suggests that Waygood subcontracted this side of the work and the laying of the track to a railway engineer, although there are no records of this.
thats pretty interesting, I can imagine building it was no easy task.
 

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