Trams Around Manchester

Manchester and surrounding districts possessed an extensive system of tramway systems many of which worked joint services and operated into Manchester City Centre.

Trams from the fleets of Salford, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, SHMD Joint Board,  Bury and South Lancashire Tramways were all to be seen in Manchester at various times. Indeed such was the degree of interlinking of the different systems that at one period it was possible to travel by tram from the foothills of the Pennines right through to the Pier Head in Liverpool, albeit with quite a number of changes.

On a number of occasions both Stockport and Ashton-under-Lyne hired an illuminated tram from Liverpool which was collected and driven straight through by one of their own drivers.

In a similar fashion Manchester trams could be seen operating in many of the surrounding towns on jointly operated services. Places such as Ashton-under-Lyne, Stockport, Oldham, Hyde, Salford, Rochdale and others all played host to Manchester trams.

The remnants of this interworking could still be seen in the pattern of bus operations right up to the formation of the SELNEC PTE operation in 1969 which absorbed most of the former local authority fleets. Even then buses of the Lancashire United fleet which was the successor of the South Lancashire Tramways Company continued to operate to the Victoria area until the formation of the enlarged Greater Manchester PTE.

In the pictures that follow a number of trams from these other operators may be seen along with Manchester cars in 'foreign' territory. (All photos MTMS Archive)

An early company operating across the north and east of the area was the Manchester,
Bury and Oldham steam tramway. One of their engines and its trailer are seen at Whitefield.
 They ran to a point just outside the city on Bury New Road.
 The system was hampered by being of two gauges.

 Ashton Market Square with an Ashton car and a Manchester 'Pilcher'.


An SHMD Joint Board car climbs Rassbottom Brow passing Stalybridge Station.
 These cars could be seen at Exchange on the route from Hyde.


 An Oldham 4 wheel balcony car enters Stevenson Square followed by two Manchester cars. 


Oldham and Manchester cars at Hollinwood on the 20 route between Manchester and Waterhead. 


Market Street / Mosley Street corner with a Stockport 4 wheel car.
 The bus is standing where the present Market Street Metrolink stop stands.


An early photograph of  Mersey Square in Stockport with both Manchester and
Stockport 4 wheel open top cars in evidence. The Manchester cars which had to climb
 the steep gradient in the background were required to have track brakes.


A Rochdale 4 wheel open topper in Rochdale centre
 accompanied by a Manchester enclosed bogie car on the 17 route.


Another Manchester car on the long 17 route, this is 1040 at the terminus in Rochdale town centre. 


Deansgate was the main thoroughfare where Manchester and Salford cars ran alongside each other.
 In this view there are at least 4 Salford cars and 2 Manchester cars visible.


A South Lancashire Tramways 4 wheel balcony car.
 These operated to the Manchester - Salford boundary near Victoria.

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