Swindon Corporation Tramways

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Swindon Corporation Tramways
Fred C Palmer Swindon tram002.jpg
Decorated tram on Fleet Street in Swindon
Locale Swindon, England
Open 22 September 1904
Close 11 July 1929
Status Closed
Track gauge 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)
Propulsion system(s) Electric
Route length 3.7 miles (6.0 km)

Swindon Corporation Tramways operated an electric passenger tramway service in Swindon between 1904 and 1929.[1]


Portrait photo of a group of tram drivers and personnel at Swindon, Wiltshire, England in 1924-25. The photographer was Fred C. Palmer of Tower Studio, Herne Bay, Kent ca.1905-1916, and of 6 Cromwell Street, Swindon ca.1920-1936.

Swindon Corporation was the local council formed by the 1901 Municipal Borough charter,[2] with the amalgamation of the Old and New Swindon councils; a power station was built in Corporation Street. On the same site at SU 1522 8503 was the tram depot.

The corporation started to operate electric trams in 1904. A total of 3.75 miles (6.04 km) of 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m) gauge track was laid down from the Great Western Railway Station to Rodboume, Gorse Hill and the Market Square in Old Town. A small fleet of nine 48 seater trams were bought at the time of inception with four further cars purchased at a later date.

In 1906, the Swindon Tram disaster occurred. A number 11 tram taking passengers from the Bath and West Show being held in Old Town suffered brake failure driving down Victoria Hill and crashed in Regents Circus killing 5.[2]


After only 25 years of operation, Swindon's Trams were phased out by buses in 1929.[3]

Tramcar 13 survived and is under restoration.


  1. ^ The Golden Age of Tramways. Published by Taylor and Francis.
  2. ^ a b The Swindon Society (2000). A Century of Swindon. United Kingdom: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-2889-1.
  3. ^ Mark Child (2002). Swindon : An Illustrated History. United Kingdom: Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 1-85983-322-5.

External links

  • Swindon Corporation Tramways at the British Tramway Company Badges and Buttons website.
  • Swindon Corporation Tramways Car 13 at the Vintage Carriages Trust website
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