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Cleator Moor Electric Tramway


In 1901, a bill was passed in the House of Commons to allow the construction of an Electric Tramway from Cleator Moor to Silloth - a distance of 31 miles. The construction and operation of the tramway was to be carried out by the West Cumberland Electric Tramways Company. The tramway would pass through Cleator Moor, Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport en route to Silloth.
  • An Electric Tramway had been introduced in Carlisle, and in operation for around a year when the bill was introduced. It was calculated that if each Carlisle tram car carried 7 passengers, that the revenue would be sufficient to pay expenses and give the shareholders an adequate return. In 1931 the tramway was lifted.
The Tramway road at Cleator Moor was to be laid from Wath Brow to Keekle Bridge. It would have run alongside the ordinary highways and connected the towns of Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport including a number of large villages which were without railway facilities. It was believed that should the project have proven to be a success, similar but less important lines will have been constructed in other parts of the county.
  • Tramway No. 1: One mile 5 furlongs and 9.15 chains in length, of which 1 mile 4 furlongs and 3.15 chains is single line and furlong and 6.00 chains is double line wholly situate in the urban district of Cleator Moor in the parish of Cleator commencing at the intersection of Frizington Road Trumpet Road and Ennerdale Road respectively and passing thence westwardly along Ennerdale Road High Street Leconfield Street and Whitehaven Road and terminating on Keekle (New) Bridge immediately above the centre of Keekle Beck at the boundary of the parishes of Cleator and Hensingham.
The tramways and tramroads were to be constructed on a gauge of four feet, eight and a-half inches. Carriages or trucks adapted to run on railways would not be allowed to run upon the tramway.

The West Cumberland Electric Tramways Bill, 1901 was signed off by the King in June of that year. The bill required that mains electricity was laid for the service, and for other purposes, such as street lighting.

The bill authorised the West Cumberland Electric Tramways Company to compulsory purchase land, to widen bridges, and to construct electric generating stations for supplying parts of Cumberland.

In 1903, and 1905 the Act of Parliament was amended with further authorisations to the company to carry out their works. The company was limited to three years, and six months to complete their work. Those behind the West Cumberland Electric Tramways Company were:

George Edward Heyl-Dia; Charles Benedict Craven; William Windle Pilkington; Joseph Beecham Frederick; Richard Dixon-Nuttall; Thomas Ellis Briggs; Herbert Walmsley; and James Iddon.

The company had £400,000 as Capital to carry out the works.
  • Unfortunately, the Electric Tramway was never built. It is assumed that the reduced cost of enhanced railway connections, and the high cost of implementation killed the project before it got off the ground.

The 1905 Act Of Parliament:

Carlisle Electric Tram, English Street
Carlisle Electric Tram


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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Cleator Moor Electric Tramway
Cleator Moor Electric Tramway
Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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