Guernsey Railway Trams

The Guernsey Railway opened as a steam tramway in 1879. The railway converted to electric operation in 1892 [1] using equipment supplied by Siemens and was one of the first street tramways in the British Isles equipped with overhead electric lines. The tramway ran profitably at first carrying an average of three thousand passengers a day [2] though like most such systems could not compete in the end against motor buses and closed in 1934.

Number built: 19
Built: 1890-1905
Builder: Brush, G.F. Milnes, Falcon Engine & Car Works, Guernsey Railway Company
Engine: Siemens traction equipment (500v DC OHLE)

The tramcar fleet came from a number of sources including three ex-Cardiff Tramway cars and one rebuilt from a steam trailer by the railway company itself. The railway was powered by two Marshall engines and two Siemens generators providing one hundred amperes at five hundred volts. The tramcars also had Siemens motors and chain drives and could run up to twelve miles per hour.

After the closure of the railway the track was lifted within days and the tramcars sold. There have been plans to restore a heritage tram to the island though as yet no progress has been made on this.
Guernsey tramcar in operation, public domain image [2]

[1] Chas S Dunbar, Buses, Trams & Trollies (Hamlyn, 1967) p. 47 
[2] "A Guernsey Railway", The Street Railway Review (Vol 3 1893) p. 559