Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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North Metropolitan Tramways Co

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of 101 Finsbury Pavement, London

1869 The company was incorporated.

1877 Steam trams were tried out on the North Metropolitan Tramways line between Stratford and Leytonstone[1]

1882 At the company's works at Leytonstone, what was said to be the first application of electricity to driving tramcars was demonstrated by Radcliffe Ward on behalf of the Faure Accumulator Co[2]

1887 News item. 'An experimental trip has been made with the Elieson electric locomotive on the tramway which runs from Stratford Church to Manor Park, a distance of about two miles, and if a bill is passed in the present session of Parliament, it is intended to run electric locomotives alternately with the horse cars. The locomotive carries 80 storage cells, which are charged at the Stratford depot, and is propelled by means of an Elieson electromotor placed under the flooring of the car; the motor itself revolves, instead of being a fixture, as is usual. A prolongation of the spindle of its armature carries a pinion which gears into a circular fixed rack. Motion is transmitted to the road wheels through bevel gearing. The total weight of the locomotive is 6.5 tons, and that of the tramcar empty 2.5 tons, or, with its full complement of 46 passengers, 5 tons. But on the occasion of the actual run there were about 60 passengers on the car and engine, so that the total weight moved was in excess of 12 tons.'[3]

1887 It was decided to extend the electrified section but when the service was resumed the following year the driving gear in the electric engine failed and the tram company stopped further use of it. This led to a legal dispute between Cromptons and Eliesons[4]

1891 The company acquired the undertaking of the North London Tramways Co.

1895 The company had accepted the terms offered by the London County Council to lease its whole operation[5]

1896 As from June, 34 miles of tramway, with depots, were sold to the London County Council.

1897 Acquired the horses and cars of the London Street Tramways Co whose lines had been acquired by the London County Council

1905 The company, at the end of this year, owned 2 miles of tramway, but the undertaking was sold to the London County Council.

1908 The company is still working a short line in the Borough of East Ham. [6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Key Dates in the History of London Transport, by Transport for London
  2. The Times Monday, Mar 06, 1882
  3. The Star - Thursday 03 March 1887
  4. The Engineer 1890/06/13
  5. The Times July 10, 1895
  6. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908