Wemyss and District Tramways

1906-1932


The Wemyss Tramway was promoted by Randolph Wemyss, the local laird, under the Wemyss Tramway Order of 1905, and ran mostly across his estates from Gallatown, Kirkaldy through West Wemyss, East Wemyss and Buckhaven, along Wellesley Road through Methil and on to Leven where it terminated in Durie Street. It was opened on 25th August 1906 and was a single-line track throughout, financed by the Wemyss Coal Company (owned by the laird). It ran through the villages it served as a street tramway, but in the rural areas was more like a light railway, running on fenced-off, sleepered stretches.

The initial rolling stock consisted of 9 (Nos. 1-9) Brush single-deck cars, followed later by four identical cars (Nos. 10-13), and, in 1907, four Milnes-Voss bogie cars (Nos. 14-17), which served specifically as miners' transport, in 1925 two more Brush bogie cars (Nos. 18-19) were added. In 1928 two ex-Potteries bogie cars were purchased (Nos. 20-21) and in 1931 eight double-deckers (Nos. 22-29) were purchased from Kirkcaldy, but had the upper decks and stairs removed before entering service.

Due to the expansion of bus competition after the 1914-1918 War, the company was forced to purchase its own buses, although when controlling interest passed to the Balfour Beatty group in 1922, its main rival, the General Motor Carrying Company, was bought out.

The line closed on 30th January 1932.

FLEET SUMMARY

Fleet No.

Type

Trucks

Builder

Seating

1906

1-9

Single-deck
4-wheel

?

Brush

?

10-13

Single-deck
4-wheel

?

Brush

?

1907

14-17

Single-deck
bogie

?

Milnes Voss

?

1925

18-19

Single-deck
bogie

?

Brush

?

1928

20-21

Single-deck
bogie

?

Brush

?

Nos. 20-21 ex-Potteries Electric Tramways (identity unknown).

1931

22-29

Double-deck
open-top

?

Hurst Nelson
or Milnes

?

Nos. 22-29 ex-Kirkcaldy Corporation Tramways (Nos. 23-26 (Hurst Nelson built in 1914), remainder (nos. unknown) Milnes built in 1903). Converted to single-deck by removal of top-deck before entry into service.


In producing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996).


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