Bournemouth Corporation Tramways

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Bournemouth Corporation Tramways
Bournemouth, The Square.jpg
Tram 47 in The Square, Bournemouth, ca. 1910
Locale Bournemouth
Open 23 July 1902
Close 8 April 1936
Status Closed
Track gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Propulsion system(s) Electric
Route length 16.11 miles (25.93 km)

Bournemouth Corporation Tramways served the town of Bournemouth in Dorset (although at the time it was in Hampshire) from 23 July 1902 until 8 April 1936.[1]


In June 1905 the company took a lease on the Poole and District Electric Tramways and a connection was made to this system for through running.

Until May 1911, part of the system was equipped with conduit supply to avoid unsightly overhead wiring on the central section of the tramway. From May 1911, overhead wiring was introduced.


The system extended to the suburb of Winton to the north and to the adjacent towns of Poole to the west and Christchurch to the east.

Routes were centred on The Square at SZ 0857 9119. The major lines were:

  • heading east along Old Christchurch Road, Christchurch Road, Seabourne Road, Belle Vue Road, Foxholes Road, Belle Vue Road, Stour Road, Bargates then High Street (Christchurch) to a terminus at Christchurch Castle at SZ 1591 9267.
  • heading west along Commercial Road, Poole Road, Ashley Road, North Road, Parkstone Road then Longfleet Road to a terminus at Poole railway station at SZ 0132 9105.
  • heading north along Richmond Hill then Wimborne Road to a terminus at its junction with Redhill Crescent at SZ 0899 9513.

There were four depots:

  • depot with workshops and generating station off Southcote Road at SZ 1041 9198.
  • depot off Christchurch Road near Pokesdown railway station at SZ 1242 9234.
  • depot off Ashley Road (Poole) at SZ 0435 9208.
  • depot off Wimborne Rd (Moordown) at SZ 0898 9507.


The fleet, in a livery of chocolate and cream, consisted of:

  • 151 double deck tramcars.[1]
  • 1 single deck tramcar.[1]


The tramway system began its closure in 1929 when motorbuses of Hants and Dorset Motor Services were introduced as a tram replacement on the Lower Parkstone route. In 1933 Bournemouth Corporation began to open trolleybus routes, and in 1936 the remaining tram routes were converted to operation by the trolleybuses of Bournemouth Corporation.[1]

Preserved tramcar

Bournemouth tram number 85 is now preserved and on static display at the Crich National tramway museum before its transfer it lived at the Museum of Electricity in Christchurch.

The body of car 106 was discovered on a Dorset farm, and eventually presented to Seaton Tramway in 1974. Due to the narrow gauge at Seaton (2ft 9in/838mm), the body was narrowed and rebuilt as an enclosed single deck saloon and was launched into service in 1992, bearing the fleet number 16 and a livery closely resembling that of the Bournemouth system.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Turner, Keith (1996). The Directory of British Tramways. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-549-9.

External links

  • Bournemouth Corporation Tramways at the British Tramway Company Badges and Buttons website.
  • Bournemouth Corporation Tramcar 85 on Vintage Carriage Trust website

Coordinates: 51°43′13″N 1°52′48″W / 51.7203°N 1.8799°W / 51.7203; -1.8799

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