Greater Manchester Transport Timeline

Municipals: 1899-1913

1899 First electric tramway in Greater Manchester opens: Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Tramway Company (owned by British Electric Traction Company) serving Hathershaw, Ashton-under-Lyne, Denton and Hyde (12 June).

1899 Bolton and Wigan corporations are the first to take on municipal ownership of tramways by taking over the lines operated by E. Holden & Company (June).

1899 The Manchester Corporation Tramways Act allows Manchester to lease tramways in adjoining districts so they can be operated as one system.

1899 The Trafford Park Estates Company takes over operation of the gas trams in Trafford Park (3rd November).

1899 First electric tramway runs in Bolton (December).

State of the art transport, 1890 style!

1900 Museum horse bus L2 in service, Cheadle

1900 First electric tram service in Bolton, run by Bolton Corporation (1 January).

1900 Last horse tram runs in Bolton (2 January).

1900 Bolton Corporation opens Shiffnall Street electric tram depot (13 April).

1900 The South Lancashire Tramways Company (6 August) and the South Lancashire Electric Traction and Power Company (SLT) formed (November) which serve the smaller towns and communities from its base at Atherton.

1900 Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company reaches its maximum extent: 140 route miles, 515 trams, 5,244 horses, 19 depots.

1900 Bolton Corporation introduces its route letter system where the letters take the destination into account such as D for Dunscar – the first in the north west to attempt route identification.

1900 First electric tram route is operated by Oldham Corporation, to Chadderton (15 December).

1901 Wigan Corporation starts an electric tram service, using narrow gauge tracks (27 January).

1901 Manchester Corporation opens Queens Road Tram Depot and its first electric tram service on 7th June, operating between Albert Square and Cheetham Hill. It uses Bell Punch tickets and machines.

1901 Manchester Corporation appoints a General Manager with an annual salary of £400.

1901 A dispute between Manchester and Salford corporations results in passengers having to change trams in the middle of Blackfriars Bridge.

1901 Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board (SHMD) created.

1901 First electric tram services run by Stockport Corporation commence (26 August).

1901 First Salford Corporation electric tram runs and Frederick Road depot opens (20 November).

1902 Rochdale Corporation starts its first electric tram service, to Bamford (22 May).

1902 Farnworth UDC takes over operation of electric trams within its borough (2 June).

1902 Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation operates its first electric trams (August).

1902 SLT trials electric trams in Leigh (25 September).

1902 SLT starts operating electric trams (20 October).

1902 Wigan Corporation purchases the Wigan and District Tramways Company (30 September) and work starts on the electrification of steam tram routes (October).

1903 Last horse trams are operated by Salford Corporation (March).

1903 Electrification of Manchester's tramway system now completed and the last horse tram operates in Manchester (31 March) but they continue to run between the City boundary and Barton Road, Stretford until 12th April.

1903 Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company goes into liquidation (31 March), assets passing to various corporations at a cost of £335,000 (May).

1903 Bury Corporation operates electric trams for the first time, to Jericho (3 June).

1903 Electric trams start running in Trafford Park (14 July).

1903 Steam tramways in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham are taken over by the respective corporations.

1903 Manchester Corporation’s Hyde Road Car Shed with accommodation for 265 tramcars opens.

1903 Manchester Corporation Social and Athletic Society formed for employees and weekly working hours reduced to 54.

1903 Manchester Corporation introduces closed top double deck tramcars.

1903 Salford Corporation trams begin to run down Deansgate, Manchester.

1903 Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation takes over, rebuilds and operates electric trams on the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company routes in Ashton (October).

1903 Ramsbottom Tramways Order confirmed, but high costs prevent the building of any tramway system.

Manchester Corporation's Queens Road Tram Depot

1904 Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation’s trams start running into Manchester (February).

1904 Bury Corporation takes possession of its portion of the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company operations (29 February).

1904 Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board (SHMD) commences operation of electric trams (May).

1904 The Glossop Urban District Supply Company starts to operate trams.

1904 Sterling steam omnibus introduced by Bolton Corporation (September).

1904 Bolton Corporation experiments with its first motor buses (5 September), but they are soon withdrawn.

1904 Heywood, Oldham and Rochdale corporations take possession of their portions of the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company (13 October).

1904 Stockport Corporation takes over the Stockport and Hazel Grove Carriage and Tramway Company Limited routes.

1905 The last steam tram in Greater Manchester is operated by Rochdale Corporation (8 May).

1905 Wigan Corporation tramway offices open (3 June).

1905 Manchester Corporation starts delivering parcels.

1905 The Trafford Park Estates Company Electric Tramway is taken over by the corporations of Manchester and Salford.

1905 Manchester Corporation is still operating horse buses in south Manchester from Palatine Road to Cheadle and Northenden, and Hulme to Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

1905 Manchester Corporation’s Hyde Road Car Works opens for the construction and repair of tramcar bodies.

1905 Stockport Corporation converts the former routes of the Stockport and Hazel Grove Carriage and Tramways Company to electric traction.

1905 Heywood Corporation Tramways operates its last steam tram (20 September).

1905 Lancashire United Tramways Limited (LUT) is formed in order to acquire the SLT companies (29 December).

1906 Manchester Corporation first uses motor buses to replace the last remaining horse buses (February).

1906 Farnworth UDC’s tram system is leased to SLT (1 April).

1906 SLT starts trials running motor buses in Leigh.

1906 LUT attempts motor bus operation with three buses which only run for three months.

1906 Bolton Corporation opens its tramway offices on Bradshawgate (December).

1907 Manchester commences joint operation with Oldham and Ashton corporations.

1907 SLT opens its tram depot at Swinton (14 June).

1908 The last gas trams are operated by Trafford Park Estates Company (1 May).

1908 Frank Clayton introduces the first motor buses in Stockport. The service carries on until 1912.

Traffic-free Piccadilly, looking towards London Road in Manchester

1909 Bolton Corporation lays the corner stone of the new Bridgeman Street tram depot (7 April).

1909 Bolton Corporation and SLT introduce through running of electric tram services (14 June).

1909 Princess Road tram depot opens for Manchester Corporation (October).

Pendleton Church, Salford

1910 Sickness payment scheme for Manchester Corporation’s employees introduced.

1910 Free travel for blind people introduced by Bolton Corporation.

1911 Experiments with motor bus operation are abandoned by Bolton Corporation.

1911 Bolton Corporation starts the construction of Carlton Street Works (20 December).

LUT’s Atherton Works

1913 The first trolleybus service in Greater Manchester starts, operated by Stockport Corporation, between St Peter’s Square in Stockport and Offerton (10 March).

1913 All-night tram services commence in Manchester.

1913 First trolleybuses operated by Ramsbottom UDC (14 August).

1913 British Electric Traction Company (BET), through its subsidiary British Automobile Traction Company (BAT) starts to develop a network of routes in the north west, based around Macclesfield.

1913 British Automobile Traction starts its Mid Cheshire Bus Company, operating motor buses in Urmston and surrounding areas.

1913 First motor bus service, to Coppice, by Oldham Corporation.

1913 An early Manchester Corporation motor bus

Next: World Wars: 1914-1945

Keep in touch

Museum of Transport,
Boyle Street, Cheetham,
Manchester M8 8UW
 0161-205 2122

 Email newsletter sign-up