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Llechwedd Sale Mine Funicular Railway, Wales. | by Marra Man
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Llechwedd Sale Mine Funicular Railway, Wales.

This inclined car is the sole passenger vehicle on the 420ft long Llechwedd Slate Mine Funicular Railway. The line is 3ft gauge and the gradient is 1 in 1.8, visitors are taken underground to view the vast complex of slate caverns which started to be excavated in the 1840's. The line descends I believe to Level 16 with a further four levels lower down flooded. The 10 cavern complex that forms part of the 'Deep Mine Tour' boasts large underground lakes and cathedral like chambes where slate was mined underground.

The subsurface part of Llechwedd mine is no longer worked for slate but at its peak had 25 miles of underground tunnels and an extensive 2ft gauge rail network. Modern quarrying methods mean the slate still dug in the area is mined in large opencast workings. The last narrow gauge train ran in the mine complex in 1981, however a section of the once extensive 2ft gauge network forms part of a second visitor attraction on site called the 'Miners Tramway Tour'. Visitors are conveyed into the hillside by Battery Mines loco in mine cars to view some of the older slate caverns.

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Taken on August 24, 2011