Chesterfield tramway

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Chesterfield Tramway
Locale England
Dates of operation 1882–1927
Successor Abandoned
Length 3 58 miles (5.8 km)
Headquarters Chesterfield

The Chesterfield and District Tramways Company was a tramway system in the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield.

The company was formed in 1879 and began operations in 1882. Due to not achieving a measure of solvency, the company took on debts of £500 and went into liquidation.

The Chesterfield Tramways Company took over in December 1886. The company brought several more tramcars and reduced the fare prices from 2d to 1d. Chesterfield Tramways decided to relay the track and extend the line to the borough boundaries and electrify it. The Electric Tramways Committee put forward a parliamentary bill to that effect.

Chatsworth Road depot in 2006.

Work began in summer 1904 on the track relaying and hanging of the wire. The longer line was mostly single track with turnouts and double track in the town centre and opened in November 1904. Weekends proved to be rather busy so the line was operated in two sections with facing crossovers on Low Pavement and Cavendish Street to allow two tramcars to park side-by-side.

The company operated rather efficiently in its early years which allowed it to buy several more tramcars.

Chesterfield Corporation Tramways network plan.

Due to the condition of the tracks, the company kept it in condition by patching it. The Tramways Committee decided to transfer operations to trolley and motor buses in 1924. Brampton to Market Place closed in 1927, and Whittington Moor to Cavendish on 23 May 1927.

The trolleybuses ran from Whittington Moor to Old Brampton for 11 years and were replaced by motor buses.

The network[edit]

The tramway company operated a 3 58 miles (5.8 km) long line, extended in 1904 from the original 1 14 miles (2.0 km) long line. The extended line ran from Whittington Moor to Old Brampton, via Chesterfield town centre. In the town centre, a small spur on Market Place existed, and closed in 1923.

The electric line opened in stages from 20 December 1904 to the end of January 1905.

Rolling stock[edit]

The tramway ran a plethora of tramcars.

Horse cars[edit]

  • 2 —1882 open top tramcars, numbered 1-2.
  • 1 —1882 single deck tramcar, numbered 3.
  • 2 —1890 single deck tramcars, numbered 4-5.
  • 1 —1898 single deck tramcar, numbered 6.
  • 2 —1899 single deck tramcars, numbered 7-8.
  • 1 —1903 open top tramcar, ex-Sheffield, numbered 9.

Tramcar No. 8 was preserved in 1934 and changed ownership a number of times before it was placed on loan to the National Tramway Museum by the Science Museum. In 2016, ownership passed from the Science Museum to the National Tramway Museum. The car is now a static exhibit at Crich.

Electric cars[edit]

Electric tramcar No. 7 at Crich, 2006.
  • 12 —1904 'Aston' type Brush built open-top tramcars, numbered 1-12. Seating 22 passengers in the lower saloon and 34 on the top deck. The cars were 26 ft (7.9 m) long and possessed an 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) wheelbase and were powered by 25 hp Westinghouse motors.
  • 2 —1907 double-deck tramcars with flexible axle trucks also possessing an 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) wheelbase. They were numbered 13 and 14.
  • 1 —1909 water car. The car was numbered 15.
  • 3 —1914 tramcars. These were Brush cars, numbered 16, 17 and 18. They had top covers and ran on 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) wheelbase P22 Pendulum trucks.

Tramcars 6, 7, 8, 11 and 12 were top-covered in 1919.

Tramcar No. 7 was transferred to the National Tramway Museum in 1973 after spending some time at Two Dales. The car was restored between 1993 and 1996 at a cost of £120,000. The car now regularly runs on the mile long line at Crich.