The history of Scarborough’s Central Tramway is being celebrated after the completion of a £90,000 project to restore it to its Victorian glory.
At 131 years old, the cliff railway has shuttled passengers from the town to the South Bay beach across three centuries.
A Heritage Trail Plaque has been unveiled at the site commemorating the “oldest surviving tramway company in Britain” following the six-month refurbishment.
Adrian Perry, chairman of Scarborough and District Civic Society, which awarded the plaque, said: “The Civic Society takes a great pleasure in recognising Scarborough’s historical treasures such as the tramway.
“This is one of the reasons we exist.”
The plaque, which is the 50th in the town’s heritage trail series, was unveiled at a ceremony by the mayor of Scarborough, Cllr Helen Mallory.
Opened on 1 August 1881, the funicular is still run by its original operator, Central Tramway Company,making it the oldest surviving tramway company in Britain.
The cliff railway itself is also among the oldest of its kind, second only to Scarborough’s South Spa Cliff Railway, which opened in 1875.
The third of the town’s surviving tramways is the St Nicholas Cliff Railway, which opened in 1929.
The Queens Parade Tramway, which opened in 1878, closed owing to a landslip in 1887,
The North Cliff Railway, which opened in 1930, was dismantled in 1998.
The Central Tramway’s refurbishment has returned it to its Victorian heritage, including restoring its original livery of burgundy and cream.
Many of the original features of the tramway are still in use.
The line extends to 254ft and was originally built on a concrete, cast iron and wrought iron viaduct, costing £10,358.