Newcastle Corporation Tramways

Newcastle Corporation Tramways began operations in 1901 with an eventual network that was eighty two kilometres in total length. However the setting up of an electric tram network was not without opposition [1]. The council was unable to come up to any agreement with the existing horse tram company and the city was without any tram system at all after the horse tram licence expired and the new electric network began operating a few months later. Interestingly the council originally wanted to use cable hauled trams before deciding instead to go for overhead electric.

The network grew throughout the early decades of the twentieth century reaching it's final extent in 1925, three hundred trams were in service by 1928. Like with many street tram networks however the decline began in the 1930s as buses and trollybuses began to take over the routes. The street trams survived until 1950.

Information for Class F trams
Number built: 30
Built: 1901-02
Builder: Hurst, Nelson & Company, Brush Traction
Motor: 2 General Electric 203N electric motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 80 hp (50 kW)

The tram fleet came from a number of different manufacturers with bodies made by Hurst, Nelson and Company and Brush Traction with electrical equipment from a number of sources. Trams were a mixture of single and double deckers with some longer double bogied cars of higher capacity. Later on some coupled cars were also used on some routes [3].

A couple of trams have been preserved including 102 shown below which is at Crich. 102 was built in 1902 and is an interesting example of how trams could be heavily modified throughout their lives. As originally built 102 had a single deck Hurst, Nelson body with open sides for use in good weather, and roller blinds which could be used when it was not! However it was quickly decided to convert them in-house with enclosed lower sides and an open top deck. The tram was also retrofitted with updated electrical equipment during it's life.
Preserved 102 at Crich

Double decker tram [2]

View of collector and top deck on 102

High capacity double bogie car [2]

Another view of 102

Single decker car [2]

[1] "New transportation system for Newcastle-upon-Tyne", Street Railway Journal Vol (May 1901) p. 547
[2] Ibid. p. 551
[3] Charles Klapper, The Golden Age of Tramways (David & Charles, 1974) p. 129