Leeds City Tramways Radial Class

Leeds City Tramways Radial Class was a large class of street trams built in three batches between 1925 and 1931 by Brush Traction, English Electric and by the tramway company itself at it's Kirkstall Road works.

Number built: 200
Built: 1925-31
Builder: Brush Traction, English Electric, Leeds City Tramways
Engine: 2 Dick Kerr 30B1 traction motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 100 hp (75 kW)

The trams were the first completely enclosed trams in the Leeds fleet and also had a four wheel radial E.M.B. trucks with a centre pivot between each pair of wheels [1], the Leeds examples being the only authority to use such a truck. Two trams (one of which was 399 pictured below) were fitted with Peckham P22 trucks for comparison purposes. The pivot trucks were not deemed a success (there were problems with brakes due to the geometry of the radial motion) and most trams were retrofitted with Peckham P35s after the Second World War, those not modified had the centre pivot locked.

The trams were withdrawn in the first half of the 1950s. Number 399 was withdrawn in 1951 but was used for some time afterwards as a depot shunter. It was preserved in 1959 and is now at Crich Tramway Museum.
Leeds 399 in the depot shed at Crich

Front of 399

[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design 1885-1950 (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 105