The Old Tram Road
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The Avenham Incline Slope
The slopes at Avenham, Penwortham and Walton were considered too steep for horses to negotiate and stationary steam winding engines were installed in order to haul the wagons by means of an endless chain. The incline at Avenham was the only one to remain in operation throughout the life of the tramway. It never performed as well as anticipated. The poor quality of the iron available at the time, the steepness of the slope and the heavy loads imposed on the chain resulted in frequent accidents. (The canal company usually compensated the unfortunate victims!) A more powerful steam engine was installed in 1822 and the boiler and renewed in 1858. In 1864 the engine hauled its final train of wagons and in 1869 the engine house was demolished.
The Avenham Engine House The Avenham Engine House. This photograph was taken shortly before the engine house was demolished in 1869 and shows part of the inclined plane and winding gear.
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© Photograph - the collections of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston.