| Discovery of Dearne District Tramcar
This article was updated on Saturday 3 January 2004
There must still be a number of trams which were sold off at system closures that have yet to be found. British Trams Online reader John Murray has found one such tramcar. Here he takes up the story and gives some background on the system.|
While out cycling, I came across a former Dearne District Light Railway tram languishing in a field on the edge of the Pennines near Penistone.
It is one of a fleet of 30 low height single deck 36 seater trams built by English Electric, on Peckham trucks delivered in two batches in 1924/5.
The system ran from the Alhambra Theatre, in Barnsley, via Doncaster Road through Stairfoot, Wombwell and West Melton to Wath-upon-Dearne, where a low bridge precluded the use of double-deck tramcars.
At this point a branch line of some 1½ miles went south to the Woodman Inn at Swinton, whilst a second branch line went 5 miles north to Thurnscoe. The main route continued eastward for another mile to meet the Mexborough and Swinton trolleybus service at Manvers Main Colliery. The system opened in 1924 and was acquired by Yorkshire Traction in 1929. It lasted just nine years and was closed on 30th September 1933, being replaced by the motorbuses. Yorkshire Traction's Wombwell "Car Barns" depot is the original tram shed.
The Dearne District Light Railway was the last tramway system built in the UK, until the Manchester Metrolink almost 70 years later.
After withdrawal, a number of the cars passed to other systems, including 5 to Lytham St Annes. The car number is unknown. Any further information would be welcome.
Any one who does have any additional information email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you ever discover anything like this we would also like to hear from you!
Photos of the tram in its current state can be seen in Gallery 14.