Leicester Corporation Tramways

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Leicester Corporation Tramways
Gallowtree Gate, Leicester.jpg
Tram on Gallowtree Gate, Leicester ca. 1917
Locale Leicester
Open 1 July 1901
Close 9 November 1949
Status Closed
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Propulsion system(s) Electric
Depot(s) Abbey Park Road
Route length 22.74 miles (36.60 km)

Leicester Corporation Tramways was a tramway system in Leicester, England from 1901 to 1949.


Map of Leicester Corporation Tramways
Tram number 76, held at the National Tramway Museum in Crich.

The first tramways in Leicester started horse-pulled operation in 1874, by the Leicester Tramways Company. The first route was from the Clock Tower to Belgrave. This was soon followed by lines to West Humberstone and to Victoria Park, which opened in 1875. 1878 saw further extensions, of the Victoria Park line along London Road to Knighton Road, and new arterial routes along Aylestone Road in the south, and to Woodgate in the north.[1][2]

Leicester Corporation took over the tramways in 1901, under the Leicester Corporation Act, and a conversion to electric trams took place in 1904. This was accompanied by a large expansion, with links to Highfields, Clarendon Park, Western Park, and Narborough Road.[2] Further expansions took place from 1915 to 1927.

From the 1920s the Corporation Transport department had run a motor bus service, and these started to replace trams in 1933. The last tram ran in 1949, on the Humberstone Road line. The main depot, at Abbey Park Road, continued in use as a bus depot by First Leicester, the successor to Leicester Corporation buses, until 2007 when a new depot opened on Abbey Lane. The site is to be redeveloped as flats.[3][2][4][5] Another depot stood next to the Bell Hotel on Humberstone Gate.[6]

Network and routes[edit]

Section Opened Electrified Closed
Clock Tower – Folly Inn, Belgrave 1874 1904
Clock Tower – Humberstone Gate – Humberstone Road (Ash Street) 1875 1904 1949
Clock Tower – London Road – Victoria Park Road 1875 1904 1949
Victoria Park Road – Knighton Drive 1878 1904
Aylestone Road 1878 1904 1947
Clock Tower – Churchgate – Woodgate 1878 1904
London Road – Melbourne Road – Humberstone Road 1904 1933
Clock Tower – High Street – Braunston Circle 1904
Braunston Circle – Hinckley Road – Western Park 1904
Braunston Circle – Narborough Road 1904
Hinckley Road – Fosse Road – Woodgate – Great Central Street – High Street 1904
High Street – Groby Road 1904
Belgrave Road – Melton Road 1905
Fosse Road – Braunstone Gate 1915
Clarendon Park – Welford Road – Aylestone Road 1922
Groby Road – Blackbird Road – Abbey Park Road – Belgrave Road 1924
Humberstone Road – Coleman Road 1927 1938
Humberstone Road – Uppingham Road – St Barnabas Road – East Park Road – Evington Road – London Road[6]

Route numbers were introduced in 1932.[6]


From 1904 the tramway used a fleet of 99 double deck trams, supplemented by an additional 40 in 1905. Twenty new trams arrived in 1913/1914 for an experiment with "pay as you enter" boarding.[6] The last new, numbers 161–178, came into service in 1920.[7]

The National Tramway Museum holds tram No. 76, which was introduced in 1904 with electrification and stayed in use until 1947.[8]


  1. ^ "Belgrave Trams & Toll Gates". Leicester City Council. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Peter Gould. "Leicester Corporation Transport". Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "Leicester Trams". Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  4. ^ "Lost Places: First Leicester Bus Depot". 
  5. ^ "Anger at plans for new bus depot". BBC News. 27 October 2004. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d Creese, Geoff (2006). Leicester and its Trams: Tramscape and Townscape, 1903–1949. Irwell Press Ltd. ISBN 1-903266-68-8. 
  7. ^ Peter Gould. "Leicester Corporation Transport: Tram Fleet List". Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Tram Fleet". National Tramway Museum. Archived from the original on 1 April 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 

External links[edit]