Discover the history of trams in Leeds
Site last updated 01/01/2022
The history of trams, streetcars or trolley systems, began in the early nineteenth century. It can be divided into several distinct periods defined by the principal means of power used.
Leeds Corporation Tramways formerly served the city of Leeds in England.
The original trams were horse-drawn, but the city introduced Britain’s first overhead-powered electric trams in 1891, and by 1901, electrification had been completed. The tramway opened on 29 October 1891.
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Your mind is your tram; it will take you any station you wish!
– Mehmet Murat Ildan
The Leeds Transport Historical Society was formed in 1956 (as the Leeds Tramway Historical Society) and is a registered charity, aiming to preserve and record the history of public transport in Leeds and also to help in preserving historic vehicles that have run in the city.
Initially concentrating on the tramways (which closed in 1959), the Society has rescued several vehicles which are now running at museums around the country.
It has also helped to support the preservation of buses that ran in Leeds.
A major task over the life of the Society has been researching and recording the history of public road transport in the city and the Society has published the results in its five volume work, “Leeds Transport” by Jim Soper. These are all available from the society along with the recently published “Leeds Transport on Postcards” and “Leeds Transport in Colour 1880 to 1952”.
The Society is still actively involved in restoration work and the only surviving Leeds Horse Tram No. 107, was restored to running order in 2013, to become part of the national collection at the Crich tramway village.
LTHS has a monthly social meeting between September and June with speakers on transport related topics.