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).