The original Upper Barrakka Lift was one of two proposed as a vertical transport with the introduction of the tramway in Malta, was completed in September 1905 and launched in the following December. The cost was £5,000.
The lift was 200feet high and its total weight was some 75 tons. Each cabin carried twelve passengers.
Service continued with a short stop during the First World War, but eventually operated at a loss due to the decrease of merchant shipping, ships of the Royal Navy and sea transit until the service ceased operations on 1 February 1973 and finally dismantled in 1983.
In 2004 a plan was made to construct a new lift particularly with the increase of the cruise liner industry and the proposed re-introduction of harbour ferries. The project was entrusted to the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC) and estimated to cost around €2 million, partially financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
The new vertical transport was inaugurated on 15 December 2012, stands at 58 m 190 ft and it consists of a towering concrete structure surrounded by an aluminium mesh. Its two cabins which can carry up to 21 passengers each and each journey takes approximately 23 seconds. There is also a flight of stairs from the Barrakka to the floor of the ditch below.
Il-Lift tal-Barrakka ta` Fuq, il-Belt Valletta
Il-lift tal-Barrakka ta’ Fuq kien wieħed minn tnejn proposti bħala trasport vertikali waqt bl-introduzzjoni tat-tramm f’Malta, tlesta f’Settembru tal-1905 u tnieda f’Diċembru ta’ wara. L-ispiża kienet ta` £5,000.
Il-lift kien għoli 200 pied u l-piż totali tiegħu kien xi 75 tunnellata. Kull kabina ġarret tnax-il passiġġier.
Is-servizz kompla b’waqfa qasira matul l-Ewwel Gwerra Dinjija, imma opera b’telf minħabba t-tnaqqis tal-bastimenti merkantili, dawk tar-Royal Navy u transitu bil-baħar, sakemm is-servizz waqaf mill-operat fl-1 ta’ Frar 1973 u finalment żarmat fl-1983.
Fl-2004 sar pjan biex jinbena lift ġdid, b’mod partikolari biż-żieda fl-industrija tal-cruise liners u l-proposta mill-ġdid tal-introduzzjoni tal-laneċ tal-port. Il-proġett ġie fdat f’idejn il-Korporazzjoni għar-Riġenerazzjoni tal-Port il-Kbir (GHRC) u stmat li jiswa madwar €2 miljun, gie iffinanzjat parzjalment mill-Fond Ewropew għall-Iżvilupp Reġjonali u tlesta fl-2011.