This original cable car system followed the same route as the Skyride but only traveled from the Towers Street area to the area where Forbidden Valley is today.

Fact File

  • Location: The Gardens
  • Manufacturer: British Ropeway Engineering Company Ltd
  • Length: 430 yards
  • Capacity: 1000pph
  • Opening Year: 1963
  • Closing Year: 1986

The Cable Cars opened in 1963 and ran for 430 yards with 16 cabins. The ride lasted 3 minutes each way and travelled at a constant speed of 500 feet per minute, with cabins spaced 240 feet apart and automatically dispatched at 29 second intervals. The cableway carried 56 passengers at a time and was capable of transporting 1000 people every hour. It was built by British Ropeway Engineering Company (BRECO) Ltd and was powered by a 30 h.p electric prime mover. The old system was quite limited, with a maximum capacity of 4 people per car.

The Alton Towers system was later sold to Flamingo Land, who rebuilt it on a slightly smaller scale. BRECO also built systems for: Butlin’s Ayr [1959], Butlin’s Pwllheli [1960], Butlin’s (Filey) [1961], Butlin’s Skegness [1962], Drayton Manor [1964], Trentham Gardens [1965], Butlin’s Minehead [1965], Great Orme (Llandudno) [1969], plus possibly Fort Regent (Jersey) [1970] and an example in Canada. There are only 2 surviving systems, which are those at Great Orme and Flamingo Land (i.e. ex-Alton Towers).