Colin Seymour's Tram Photos & Information

This page focuses on tram and light rail photos that I have taken myself.

Other related pages:

  • Sydney Tramway Museum page Contains many photos taken by me, grouped on its own page.
  • Sydney Light Rail page Includes news about the introduction of the Sydney Light Rail network during 1996-1997, and a reference to Matthew Geier's pages.
  • World Trams Page Information about the world's tram networks, either contributed by third parties or summarised with links to other sites about specific countries or LRT in general.
  • General Interest Page Information about light rail systems, for example compilations of LRT systems anywhere in the world, or technical articles about LRT in general.
  • Czech Trams Page Tramways in the Czech republic, mostly contributed by Richard Bilek.
  • Bendigo Trams Page Tramways in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, contributed by Bill Winn.

Melbourne, Australia Trams, 2001

Melbourne free city circle tram (July 31, 2001)

These are payment-free in the city's Free Tram Zone or on the City Circle Tram, otherwise there is a fee- we found the non-free routes difficult to use as the instructions for how to pay fares were extremely complicated!

More Melbourne trams. (July 31, 2001)

The burgundy and gold heritage W-class trams were returning to service at the date pictured following maintenance, at the date pictured. In 2019, Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board traditional green liveried W Class trams are also used to make up numbers for the service.

Melbourne Route 16 tram to Luna Park in Swanston Street (July 31, 2001)

Route 16 trams will take you to the Shrine of Remembrance, St Kilda Beach, Luna Park and Acland Street restaurants. Stop 138, Luna Park, St Kilda serves Luna Park, a historic amusement park opened in 1912, whose entrance is a giant face ("Mr Moon") and operates all year round at weekends, on Victorian school holidays and on every public holiday except Christmas Day.

View from inside a Melbourne tram (July 31, 2001)

I believe this is one of the roads on the City Circle route.

Note the illuminated street sign, which alternately displays "Tram Stop Ahead" and "Give Way to Passengers"

View of Melbourne - from the Rialto Towers

Melbourne (Rialto view) The tallest of the Rialto Towers at 253m, is the tallest office building in the southern hemisphere (August 1, 2001). This image of the Rialto Towers is an excerpt from a Melbourne postcard.

Construction was completed in 1986. The observation deck is on floor 58. It is still the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere when measured at roof height, but other office buildings with spires, e.g. 101 Collins Street, are taller in total when the spire is included.

Adelaide, Australia Trams, 2001

Glenelg tram No. 363 at Adelaide terminus (August 2, 2001)

"From 1952 to 1956, the 30 H-type Glenelg trams and about 50 dropcentre cars were painted in a 'modern' silver and carnation red external livery. The varnished interiors were repainted asbury green. The silver colour scheme began to disappear with a major refurbishment program which commenced in 1971. The first two cars to be refurbished, cars 363 and 364, were painted externally in grey and carnation red. Cars 373 and 374 were refurbished in 1972 to the original red livery with some variations to the original style. Cars 363 and 364 were subsequently repainted in Tuscan red, and all further refurbished cars appeared in Tuscan red, excepting the gold-painted Golden Jubilee tram 377 in 1979 (subsequently repainted Tuscan) and the blue restaurant tram 378."

By Colin Seymour (no relation) in Trolley Wire, February 2000.

Glenelg tram No. 363 in closer view (August 2, 2001)

In early 2002, 363 derailed at the Brighton Road crossover while shunting (according to "The Phonj" on Glenelg Tram Register, and this reference also suggests it may have ended up in Penrith, New South Wales).

Sydney LRT Trams, 2001

See Sydney Light Rail archive page from 25th Feb 1997 for background on the introduction of the Sydney Light Rail network.

Sydney LRT car at Central Station (side view) (August 15, 2001)

The Sydney light rail network began operation in 1997 and now consists of a 12.8-kilometre line with 23 stations known as the Dulwich Hill Line. A new line, the CBD and South East Light Rail, is being built and is expected to be completed in 2020. Another light rail network called Parramatta Light Rail is also being added to serve Western Sydney, to be completed by 2023.

Sydney LRT car at Central Station (front view) (August 15, 2001)

The Dulwich Hill Line opened between Central railway station in the city and Wentworth Park, Pyrmont in August 1997.

Inside a Sydney LRT car (August 15, 2001)

The first LRT cars were built by ABB at its Dandenong, Melbourne plant using their low floor "Variotram" modular design. These have been replaced by CAF Urbos 3 type trams supplied by Transport for NSW with a maximum speed of 80 km/h.

Sydney LRT at the junction of Hay Street and George Street (August 15, 2001)

George and Hay Street marks the junction point between the Inner West and CBD & South Eastern lines.

When Sydney had TRAMS! Amazing footage shows bustling George Street filmed in 1906

United Kingdom

The National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire

Over 60 trams built between 1873 and 1982 may be seen at this museum. This includes:

  • A steam tram listed as New South Wales Government Steam Tram No. 47, and later Beyer Peacock number 2. A photograph appeared on page 8 of the (1995) guide book, which says: "The Wilkinson vertical-boilered steam tramway locomotive John Bull, built in 1885 by Beyer, Peacock of Manchester. It was shipped to Sydney, Australia, to demonstrate its capabilities on the tramways there, but proved too expensive to operate and was returned to the makers where it was used as a works shunter."
  • Several horse-drawn tramcars, including:
    • Number 9, built in 1873, ran in Oporto, Portugal, with 20 seats.
    • Number 8, built in 1899, ran in Chesterfield, seating 16.
    • Number 15 was built in 1874, ran in Sheffield, and seated 16.
  • Various works cars, including:
    • Cable-layer #1, Glasgow, 1905.
    • Rail-grinder #330, Sheffield, 1919.
    • Electric locomotive (#717), Blackpool, 1927.
  • A 1997 addition is a 1969 tram that ran originally in Berlin, Berlin Tramways (BVB) No. 3006, and has been specially adapted by the Museum to carry people with restricted mobility. It was adapted by removing several seats and installing a wheelchair lift together with a flat floor at one end, and entered service in 1997.

The museum maintains a substantial amount of its own standard gauge (4 feet, 8.5 inches, equivalent to 1.435 metres) tramway track. Visitors can ride the trams over a route about a mile long, with stops at a bandstand and a mining display area. The museum features a substantial depot, exhibition hall, forge shop, research library, Eagle Press display, replica tramway street, Victorian bridge, shops and refreshments.

Museum telephone: 01773 852565 (+44 1773 852565 outside the UK)

Photographs Copyright © October 1995 by Colin Seymour

Tramway sign from Leeds, England, now on display at the museum

Tramway sign

Stand for Hackney Carriages

Cab Fares To or From the Cattle Market

..................... Distance ... Fares

Briggate any part of ... 1 1/2 miles ... 1s-6d
Corn Exchange ... 1 1/4 m. 350 yds ... 1s-6d
Dispensary ... 1 3/4 miles ... 1s-9d
Great Northern ... 1m 150 yds ... 1s-3d
Midland Station ... 1m 320 yds ... 1s-3d
New Station ... 1m 370 yds ... 1s-3d
Post Office ... 1 1/4 miles ... 1s-3d
Town Hall ... 1 1/4 m. 90 yds ... 1s-6d

Wagonette Stand on the Opposite Side of the Road

The photo is fairly self-explanatory; the sign is in the historic tramway reproduction street area at the museum. As suggested by Dewi Williams, the sign is probably from Leeds, England. Searches for "Briggate" on the Net tend to mostly bring up "Briggate" and "New Briggate" in Leeds. The distances suggest that the Cattle Market was to the south-west of the city centre.

I received an e-mail on October 5th 1996 from Gill Nuttall, Telford, Shropshire, England, who grew up in Leeds, confirming that the sign is definitely from Leeds, as "The Corn Exchange and all the station names, as well as Briggate cannot have existed together in any other place!"

Stud Contacts

Electric trams have used a variety of different methods for connecting to an electricity supply, i.e. overhead wires (trolley pole, bow collector, pantograph arm), conduit (see "Tracklaying for London's conduit tramways" at Dewi's Trains, Trams & Trolleys), and studs.

The photo shows current collector studs that are installed at Crich for illustration (they are not in use, which is probably a good thing).

The principle behind the studs method, and here I am indebted to Dewi Williams for some information about this method, is that the tram has a long current pick-up (known as a 'skate') underneath it, and the studs are placed in the road surface at a spacing such that the skate is always in contact with one or more studs.

A good source of information is by E. F. Carter, "Stud Contact Electrification", 1949, a 'model railway' book priced at 3s6d. The following is a brief summary.

Sometimes a tram system had to be installed without overhead wires, thought unsightly. Studs or surface contact systems were a cheaper alternative to the safer conduit systems, and cost only 10% more than wires, whereas conduit cost 70% more per mile.
There were three different types of surface-contact system in use at one time in England: the Lorain, the Dolter and the Griffiths-Bell (the "G.B."). Both the Lorain and Griffiths-Bell systems used raised studs, like the ones at the museum. The G.B. studs did not project above the level of the roadway.

The Lorain system was installed at Wolverhampton, from where the Crich museum obtained its studs, and consisted of surface-contact switched studs every 5 ft along the centre-line of the track. The upper iron part of the mechanism in each stud lifted when a long electromagnet on the tram passed over it, connecting the live cable to the stud. As soon as the tram car skate and magnets had passed, and long before the stud re-appeared from beneath the car, the power was automatically switched off as the iron portion of the stud dropped back to road level. An earthing skate at the end of the tram car acted as a safety device by blowing a fuse in any stud that failed to disconnect.

You can see in the photograph how a pair of studs are laid next to each other in the area where two sets of rails are diverging from a junction, to provide a correctly aligned stud for either route.

According to Alan P Howes (a Public Transport Consultant based in Perthshire, Scotland), writing in newsgroup misc.transport.urban-transit in November 1996, on the subject of Stud (or Surface) Contacts, there were at least six proprietary variations on this system, with installations in Wolverhampton, Torquay, Mexborough, Lincoln, Hastings, (probably) Blackpool, and London in Britain, plus Paris, Tours, Monaco and Munich.

Moving Trolley Pole

The photo shows how the trolley pole is moved round to the opposite orientation when the tram reverses its direction of travel. There is a rope attached to the pole and secured to the car body for the purpose; the driver takes the rope and walks round to the opposite end of the tram, ensures that the trolley wheel is properly located, and fastens the rope to its anchor. The rope is also used to manipulate the trolley wheel back on to the cable when it sometimes comes off.

Coronation Tram

The photo shows the Leeds tramcar 602 which was delivered in 1953 for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. The tram's livery of royal purple and cream, with gold lining, was specifically designed for the coronation.

These trams ran for only a few years before Leeds tramways closed in 1959; fortunately one was saved by Crich. If these had served a full service life, which is about 30 years, they would have provided continuous tram service up to replacement by the proposed Leeds Supertram, that is, if it ever got built.

This tram uses a bow current collector, which automatically reverses direction when the tramcar reverses; the friction on the top surface is sufficient to fold the collector over to the correct trailing angle, against the supporting springs at the base of the collector assembly.

Isle of Man Bogey

The photo shows a wheel bogey and motor assembly from the Isle of Man: Tram motors normally rated 25 h.p. each, with possibly two motors providing 50-60 h.p.; this assembly belonged to the Snaefell mountain railway, where each car had 4 25 h.p. motors totalling 100 h.p. to power the steep link gradient up Snaefell.

In 1895, six tram cars were built by G. F. Milnes & co. of Birkenhead for Snaefell. Their plate frame bogies have a special long wheel base (6 feet, 10 inches) to incorporate the Fell braking equipment and two Mather and Platt 5A 'Manchester' type motors.


Caversham Public Convenience

The Caversham Public Convenience was built for the use of tramway passengers and others at the electric tramway terminus at Caversham Bridge, Reading, Berkshire. In 1906, the convenience was open from 6 am to midnight.

The building is made from decorative panels slotted in to cast iron poles, all made at Walter MacFarlane's foundry in Glasgow. Of 451 panels, only 11 new ones had to be cast; many of the original panels were repaired.

The Caversham Public Convenience was donated by Reading Borough Council to the Chiltern Open Air museum, dismantled by volunteers with help from the Berkshire Industrial Archaeological group in 1985. Repaired and re-erected professionally in 1987-1991. Won "Loo of the year" award in 1992 (a working exhibit!).

Seaton, Devon

Seaton Tramway

Seaton Tramway is located in Devon, between Sidmouth and Lyme Regis on the south Devon coast. It operates narrow gauge heritage trams between Seaton, Colyford and Colyton in East Devon. Work began on a new station in Seaton in September 2017, which was opened on the 28th of June 2018.

The Seaton & District Tramway Company has its own collection of purpose built trams; the fleet includes:

  • No. 2: Built 1964 at Eastbourne, and based on a London Metropolitan Tramways Type A design.
  • No. 6: Built 1954 at Barnet, the first to be built for the 2 foot gauge Eastbourne Tramway.
  • No. 7: Built 1958 at Barnet, based on the open top Llandudno & Colwyn Bay tram. In storage since 2007, awaiting restoration.
  • No. 17: Built 1988 at Seaton, based on the Isle of Man "Toast Rack". Especially suitable for wheelchairs. Converted to a fully enclosed saloon in 2016, and re-numbered 15

-amongst several others. A Fleet List can be seen at

Click here for Seaton Tramway's website.

Munich, Germany Trams

In Germany, there are large tramway systems in München, Stuttgart, Köln and Frankfurt am Main.

No. 19 Tram in München

No. 19 Tram in München
Photograph Copyright © Nov. 1988 Colin Seymour

No. 19 Tram in München

No. 19 Tram in München, Germany (Pasing-Marienplatz)
Photograph Copyright © Nov. 1988 Colin Seymour

There are also trams in Karlsruhe, Berlin, Erfurt, Leipzig, Dresden, Mainz, Ludwigshafen, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Bonn, Brandenburg (Havel), Rostock, Goerlitz, Bad Schandau, Ulm, Nuernberg, Gotha, Nordhausen, Potsdam and Freiburg.

The Karlsruhe trams have dual use streetcars that can also use the DB lines.

Thanks to Ulf Kutzner, Mainz, Germany

Lisbon, Portugal Trams

No. 23 Tram in Lisbon, Portugal

There used to be trams in Lisbon and Porto. The last time I visited Lisbon there were operating trams such as this one:

Photograph Copyright © 1986 Colin Seymour

Amsterdam, Netherlands Trams

Destination Centraal-Station

Photograph Copyright © May 1992 Colin Seymour

Parry's Flywheel Tram

A British company, JPM Parry & Associates of Cradley Heath, has designed a tram based on a flywheel drive. It weighs only 6000 lbs (a conventional tram car weighs around 40 tons) Due to the light weight, the track loading is much lighter and saves on the engineering needed to install the system into an existing roadway. Instead of running down, the flywheel is recharged with kinetic energy at each stop, in around 90 seconds, which is much faster than recharging batteries, by an electric motor powered from a short, low voltage distribution rail at the stop. The flywheel tram can travel between stations several kilometres apart, drawing only on the kinetic energy stored in its flywheel. As power is only needed at fixed points along the line, power distribution by rail or overhead wire is not necessary.

The pictures, and information about the pictures, were supplied by Dave Watkins.

The flywheel trams were demonstrated to the public at an enthusiasts' weekend for the W & L combined with a garden railway exhibition at Llanfair Careinion.

No. 7 "heritage" style

Flywheel tram 1
Click to view full size

Photograph Copyright © September 1994 by Dave Watkins

This photo shows the No. 7 "heritage" style tram waiting at the terminus on the short trial line by the car park at Welshpool Raven Square station. It was operated along a short demonstration track between the station platform and the car park at Welshpool, demonstrating the flywheel tram technique of charging up from a short charging rail alongside the platforms.

"yellow test vehicle"

Flywheel tram 1
Click to view full size

Photograph Copyright © September 1994 by Dave Watkins

This shows the "yellow test vehicle" returning from a trial run up Golfa bank on the Welshpool line. This one stopped at intervals to recharge its flywheel from a set of batteries carried on board, rather than using the proper charging rail (which enabled it to run over a length of line that did not have the charging rails installed).

Questions over Practicality of the Flywheel Tram

Paul E. Bennett, writing in Usenet newsgroup uk.transport had this to say (reproduced with permission):
Subject: Re: Parry People Mover
Date: Sat, 01 Jun 96 21:27:02 GMT
Organization: Transport Control Technology Ltd.
*******@****** "Colin Seymour" writes:
> A British company, JPM Parry & Associates of Cradley Heath, has designed
> a tram based on a flywheel drive.
> It's supposed to be the tram of the future. It spins up only at
> stations, and weighs only 6000 lbs, and can
> go for several miles without needing a continuous electric supply.

Based on the ride I had at the Himley hall track, I doubt that several miles
could be covered between flywheel re-charges. The tram lost a lot of it's
potential energy in the initial accelleration.

Using such a vehicle, as a tram, in small town streets would necessitate it
mixing with other traffic at road intersections. If the waiting period was too
long the tram would be stuck and cause an obstruction.

> Since in normal use the tram would be recharged at each stop, the
> length of routes isn't necessarily a problem.

It may be fine on a totally segregated (mostly flat) rail route and kept away
from other modes of transport but I do not consider this a serious "Tram of the Future".
Paul E. Bennett
Transport Control Technology Ltd.
Going Forth Safely