Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Company

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Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Company
Tram Triangle Blue Plaque - - 34179.jpg
Plaque marking the turning triangle in Darwen.
Locale Blackburn, Darwen
Open 14 April 1881
Close 31 December 1898
Status Closed
Track gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Propulsion system(s) Steam
Route length 4.9 miles (7.9 km)

The Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Company operated a steam tramway service between Blackburn and Darwen between 1881 and 1898.[1]


Steam tram turning triangle in Darwen

The tramway was authorised by the Blackburn and Over Darwen Tramways Act of 1879.

The route started in the centre of Blackburn, and followed Darwen Street, Bolton Road, then through Ewood, Earcroft, Hawkshaw, and terminating in Darwen at Whitehall.

Six steam trams were acquired from Kitson and Company for the inauguration of the service. This fleet was later augmented to 15, with 7 of the additional trams being obtained from Thomas Green & Son.

The initial passenger cars were built by Ashbury on Eades patent reversible trucks. The seating capacity was 20 in the lower saloon and 26 on top. Later passenger cars were obtained from G.F. Milnes & Co. of Birkenhead.

The service came into operation after inspection from General Hutchinson of the Board of Trade.[2]


The company was acquired by Blackburn Corporation for £22,337 (equivalent to £2,444,048 in 2018) [3] and Darwen Corporation for £26,163 (equivalent to £2,862,678 in 2018) [3] on 31 December 1898. Steam tram services continued until 1901.


  1. ^ The Golden Age of Tramways. Published by Taylor and Francis.
  2. ^ Blackburn Weekly Standard 16 April 1881
  3. ^ a b UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
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