Chesterfield Corporation Tramways

The Chesterfield & District Tramways Company was formed in 1879 and began operation in 1882 with horse drawn trams. The company went insolvent not long after though the successor Chesterfield Tramways Company was able to expand the network and was bought by the Chesterfield Corporation in 1897 [1].

In 1904, as the original line needed replacement, the decision was taken to expand and electrify the line which at it's greatest extent stretched nearly six kilometres. The tramway eventually had a fleet of fifteen tramcars (one being a water car for works purposes) though some were badly damaged in a tramshed fire in 1916. Like most tramways the Chesterfield service struggled to maintain the condition of the line and pay creditors a dividend. The corporation switched to trollybuses and motorbuses in the mid-1920s, the tramway closing for good in 1927 [2].

Information for 1904 Aston type cars
Number built: 12
Built: 1904
Builder: Brush
Motor: 2 Westinghouse 90M electric motors,
later 2 British Thomson-Houston RGE20 electric motors
(550v DC OHLE)
Power: 50 hp (37 kW) later 80 hp (60 kW)

The majority of the fleet consisted of twelve Aston type open double deck cars which were introduced in 1904 when the tramway was electrified. The fleet was strengthened in 1907 with two more double deck cars, the water car arriving in 1909. Finally in 1914 three new cars with covered top decks arrived. After the war the earlier cars had their top decks given covers.

One of Chesterfield Corporation's electric tram cars has been preserved, as well as one of the earlier horse drawn tram cars, at Crich Tramway Village. Number Seven was one of the original twelve Aston type cars. It was withdrawn in 1927 when the tramway was closed and became a holiday cottage [3] before being preserved in 1973. After a long restoration process it was returned to working order in 1997. Number 7 originally had an open top deck but had the deck covered in 1919 when it was repaired following the 1917 tramshed fire (see above).
Chesterfield Tram #7
Preparing to depart

#7 has been restored to running order at Crich Tramway Village

Top floor of #7

Although the top floor is covered, platforms are still open to the elements

Chesterfield horse tram #8, also preserved at Crich

[1] Barry Marsden, Chesterfield Tramways (Middleton Press, 2004) p. 2
[2] Marsden Fig. 118 
[3] Marsden Fig. 120