South Lancashire Tramways

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South Lancashire Tramways
Locale St Helens, Swinton, Westhoughton and Hulton Lane
Open 20 October 1902
Close 16 December 1933
Status Closed
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Propulsion system(s) Electric
Depot(s) Howe Bridge
Route length 39.1 miles (62.9 km)

South Lancashire Tramways was a system of electric tramways in south Lancashire authorised by the South Lancashire Tramways Act of 1900. The South Lancashire Tramways Company was authorised by the act to build over 62 miles (100 km) of track to serve the towns between St Helens (now in Merseyside), Swinton, Westhoughton and Hulton Lane where the Bolton Corporation system ended. The system was the largest standard-gauge electric tramway outside London.[1]

The company had difficulty raising capital and at the end of November 1900 its shares were acquired by the South Lancashire Electric Traction and Power Company. It also acquired the shares of the Lancashire Light Railways Company and the South Lancashire Electric Supply Company. Construction began in late 1901 and in October 1902 the first section from Lowton through Leigh and Atherton to Four Lane Ends at Over Hulton opened.[2]

Atherton became the centre of the system and the tram sheds, power station and offices were built on the north side of Leigh Road at Howe Bridge (grid reference SD 6624 0203). [3]

Unrestored tram body, No 65 built by Brush Electrical Engineering Company in 1906, is in the collection of the Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester.[4]



  1. ^ Gray 2006, p. 10
  2. ^ Lancashire United Transport 1905 - 1981, Lancashire United Transport Society, retrieved 2011-08-06
  3. ^ Gray 2006, p. 19
  4. ^ South Lancashire Tramways Limited, Museum of Transport Greater Manchester, retrieved 2011-08-06


  • Stretch, E.K. (2006), Gray (revised), Ted, ed., The Lancashire Tramways Company Ltd, Triangle Publishing, ISBN 0-9550030-2-4

External links

  • Photograph of unrestored tram 65
  • Old photographs
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