Birmingham City Council

Steam Tram line to Moseley 1906

Steam Tram line to Moseley 1906

The image of this Steam Tram, running on the Birmingham to Moseley route, was taken in 1906.The steam trams in Birmingham had been running since 1884 and were coming to the end of their useful life and were soon to be replaced by electric trams and later, motor buses.

The Moseley route originally ran from Bradford Street, but from 1885, ran from the junction of Hill Street and Station Street on a circuit which prevented the need to uncouple the Falcon steam engine from the tramcar. The route was soon extended to Kings Heath.

The Tramcar in the image is a double-ended, double decker tram made by the Falcon Engine and Car Company around 1885, it seated up to 60 passengers, 30 downstairs in an enclosed cabin, in relative comfort and 30 upstairs under a canopy with open sides, which with smoke from the engine and cold wind can't have been too popular in the winter. The stairs to the top deck were not covered either.

The Steam engine itself could also be driven from either end, as it had identical controls at each end, allowing both pushing and pulling of the tramcar.The Steam trams ended their working lives unceremoniously on 31st December 1906 when the company had to vacate Birmingham Corporation tracks by 4am. It is believed that the engines and cars were driven to the Black Country for dismantling.

Digital Birmingham Photo Archive - 1900s
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