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Treasure 15: Tramways routes
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Treasure 15: Tramways routes

Historic Documents
Léa Moreau
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Treasure 15: Tramways routes
Historic Documents
Treasure 15: Tramways routes
This plan of the tramway routes in Aberdeen was produced about 1914 and shows the route colours which were displayed as coloured bands on the top-deck of the Corporation tramcars. There were nine routes which covered most of the city as it existed at this time.

Trams were first introduced to Aberdeen in the 1870s when a group of local businessmen successfully obtained Parliamentary sanction under the Aberdeen District Tramways Act 1872 to set up the Aberdeen District Tramways Company. By 1874, they had constructed their first two lines - one running from Queen's Cross, via Albyn Place and Union Street, to the North Church (now Aberdeen Arts Centre), King Street and the second from St Nicholas Street and George Street to Kittybrewster.

Their horse-drawn trams were opened to the public in September 1874 with two cars which could each carry 20 inside passengers and 4 cars for 20 inside and 20 outside passengers. A fare of 3d was charged for the full route. In their first year they carried 1.1 million passengers.
Over the years additional routes were constructed to Woodside, Mannofield, Bridge of Dee, and Bridge of Don.

By the late 1890s, consideration was being given to the introduction of electric traction in place of horse haulage. After lengthy discussions, the decision was made to sell the company to Aberdeen Corporation and the transfer was completed in August 1898. By 1902 all the tracks had been converted to electric traction and new routes to Torry and Ferryhill were opened in 1903.
Motor buses had first appeared in 1920 and a service from Castle Street to Footdee opened in January 1921.

By the 1930s the expansion of the city was creating problems for the tramway system. It was far too expensive to build new track while maintaining the existing routes. The non-profitable Torry and Ferryhill services closed in 1931. The ongoing housing developments in the 1950s forced the Town Council to take the decision in January 1955 that the tramway system would close by 1959. Over the next few years individual routes ceased until the last trams ran in May 1958. Most of the remaining cars were burnt at the Links and the metal was sold for scrap.
Aberdeen Local Studies
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The No2. Woodside Tram, 1900
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Treasure 1: Aberdeen Public Library staff photograph of 1892