Scottish Flashback: Edinburgh Trams, 1952

Two trams at the Tollcross Tramway Junction in September 1952. Picture: TSPL

Two trams at the Tollcross Tramway Junction in September 1952. Picture: TSPL

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It’s true; Edinburgh trams have crept into previous Scottish Flashbacks.

But today - the day Edinburgh City Council confirmed it wants a detailed report into the cost of extending the Edinburgh tram network to Leith and Newhaven - we’ve given the original trams their own article.

The first trams in Edinburgh were pulled by horses, and operated by the Edinburgh Street Tramways Company, with the first service from Haymarket to Bernard Street running on November 6, 1871.

In January 1888 the first cable-hauled trams were introduced, with the Edinburgh and District Tramways Company taking over the Edinburgh Street Tramway lines in Edinburgh (but not Leith or Portobello) in 1894.

The Leith Corporation took over the horse-drawn trams in Leith in 1904 and introduced electric traction the following year - the first such system in Scotland.

Edinburgh Corporation took over the Leith system in 1920, and electrification began in 1922.

The last cable tram operated in June 1923 and by 1926, Edinburgh Corporation’s system was entirely electrified.

Our picture, from September 1952, shows two trams at the Tramway Junction in Tollcross just a few years before the system was halted completely.

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