View Full Version : Archived: The lost trams of Leeds, 1959 - April 2009

20-04-2009, 01:44 PM
Early November 1959.
The day had been cold and foggy. The street lamps were lit, and in Leeds, the last tram pulled into Swinegate tram depot, marking the end of 80 years of trams in Leeds. By the following year, Sheffield trams disappeared, along with many other British cities. In fact Blackpool was the only tram service to have remain intact throughout the 1970's, '80's and 90's.
After 50 years though, would there be a lot left?

An electric box, clearly marked with the City of leeds ensignia and LCT slowly rusts away in Roundhay.

Crossgates. A raised tram stop remains in the centre carraigeway.

Headingley. This is a switch, made of Sheffield steel and used to switch the points over from one track to the other, by use of a special tool.

The New Inn is now shut. The tram pictured on here is the 19, the route that terminated here.

Every now again, track resurfaces from underneath the tarmac. About 90% of track is buried under grass and tarmac.

The tram shed in Morley has recently been demolished, but a double line of track is still visable in the cobbles off this surburban street.

Leeds City Tramways electrical substation, Kirkstall. Today it is used by a metal work factory. It was used until the new one was built at the Kirkstall tram depot in 1948.

Inside the substation.

The last remaining tram pole in Leeds, Whingate.

Where better to see the Leeds trams than Crich, Derbyshire?
Car 345 was taken out of service in 1948. It avoided the being sent to Low fileds Road scrap yard in 1958, when many trams were scrapped and burnt. It had been built in 1922 and after it had stopped being used for passenger transport, it had spent many years as a tool store at the Swinegate depot. It was bought by the tramway museum at Crich and after spending another 30 years in their workshops was bought back from the dead on April 1st 2006.

Inside car 345. Check out the padded bench seating.

Beeston Air Brake car, Leeds 399 was built at Leeds Kirkstall works, and entered service in 1925. After it was withdrawn from surface, it was used at Kirkstall depot for shunting.

Top deck 399. Uncomfortable chairs. At the end of theline the conductor would push the backs over so they were facing the other way.

Downstairs saloon, Leeds car 399

Along the line. I spy a police box.

This picture was taken during the early hours of the 4th Otober 1957 after all the service cars had returned to the depot. Here we can see two Feltham cars making there last journey from Swinegate depot to the scrap yard at Lowfields road. Car 562 had been out of service for some considerable time was dragging sister car 539 by a length of chain. Both cars are at a virtual standstill, 562's wheels spinning furiously, motors whinning with enough noise to wake the dead. Sand is been pumped onto the rails to try gain adhesion.

This is the next day aftermath of the previous nights activity.
With unseemly haste the torch is put to the two ex London tram cars. All re-useable parts had been stripped from the trams cars by this time. Setting fire to them was the quickest way to reduce them to bare metal.

Don't know whether this counts as urbex. Feel free to toss (the report of course) into the bin.

20-04-2009, 08:08 PM
You forgot the tram poles at Roundhay Park though

Apparently they were never used as the track went past towards the Roundhay Fox and on the loop round Street Lane and to Chapel Allerton. So says a friendly chap at the tram museum.

Here's an additional free gift of one picture of the controls.