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Hastings funicular crashes despite repair


INVESTIGATORS PROBING a crash on Hastings' funicular railway last week are examining newly repaired drive control panels brought into service hours before the accident.

The manually operated panels at each end of the line are used to control the electric motor that pulls the train on the Hastings East Hill Funicular railway up a 38° slope linking the town to the top of a nearby cliff.

They were repaired just three weeks ago and only brought into service on the morning of the crash.

The accident occurred on Wednesday when the twinlinked cars on the 105-year-old system failed to stop at the end of their 600m journey from Hastings seafront to a country park on a headland above the town. No one was hurt.

Stations at the top and the bottom of the slope and the two fibreglass cars were damaged, said Nick Sangster, resort services manager for Hastings Borough Council which operates the railway.

'Fortunately no one was hurt although there were four passengers on board at the time, ' added Sangster.

The cars are driven by an electric system installed in the 1970s. An electric motor at the top station powers the connection cable between the two cars. It is operated manually from a control panel at the top of the line.

Investigations into the cause of the accident by consultant Lecs will focus partly on the repaired control panels.

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