East Hill Lift in Hastings

First opened in 1903, the cliff railway initially worked by using the water balance principle, so the two towers within the top station contain water for the system to work. In 1973 and 1976 the line was updated to use an electric operation and new cars were installed. The lift has a gradient of 78%, making it the steepest funicular railway in the UK.

The Problem

For a number of years when the lifts went over a slight bump the doors would open and the lift would stop because of safety switches breaking contact. The fire brigade than had to be called to retrieve the stranded passengers. Several attempts had been made to cure the problem – several different locks were fitted and even locks were fitted across the doors.

How We Helped

No past attempts to fix the locks had worked so Hastings Locksmiths were contacted. Upon careful inspection we ascertained that one switch was malfunctioning at the top of the door, losing contact. Bespoke stainless steel plates were made and fitted. Rigorous testing was carried out and since fitting the lifts have worked perfectly.

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