Work will take lift to new level

The cliff lift linking the town centre to the beach. 120804. Picture by Dave Kettlewell

The cliff lift linking the town centre to the beach. 120804. Picture by Dave Kettlewell

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A HISTORIC Scarborough cliff lift is set to reach new heights after a major refurbishment.

The famous Central Tramway, in Marine Parade, is undergoing a huge renovation to improve its two cars.

The Cliff Lift linking the town centre to the beach. 120804. Picture Dave Kettlewell.'20/02/2012

The Cliff Lift linking the town centre to the beach. 120804. Picture Dave Kettlewell.'20/02/2012

The tramway, which dates back to the Victorian era, has been given a new look with freshly-painted maroon carriages.

Bosses behind the funicular tramway, which ferries thousands of holidaymakers to the town’s golden sands in Foreshore Road every summer, have confirmed they expect it to re-open for the year later this month, ready for the influx of tourists to the town.

The lift was closed yesterday as work continued on the lifts to complete the upgrade.

The Central Tramway Company, which operate the funicular, was formed in January 1881 and the work to build the lift took just six months.

Built by Messrs George of Hull, it was originally powered by a steam engine, which was replaced by electric in 1920.

The track was re-laid in 1932 by Hudswell Clarke & Co, with new maroon-style coloured carriages put in place by Scarborough company Plaxton.

Spanning 234 feet, the lift climbs and descends an incline with a gradient of 1 in 2.8.

It has four hauling cables attached to the two carriages and is capable of hauling 120 tonnes.

The move comes after it was confirmed another famous Scarborough cliff lift could be transformed into an open air cafe.

Under plans submitted to Scarborough Council earlier this year, the existing lifts on the 83-year-old St Nicholas Cliff structure would be moved back to the top of the cliff and be made into an indoor dining and seating area.

A canopy-covered seating area and balcony would also be put in place.