Pwllheli Horse Tram

Pwllheli & Llanbedrog Tramway, Horse Car 4

The small town of Pwllheli is situated in North Wales on the Lleyn Peninsular to the south of Anglesey. The 3ft gauge Pwllheli and Llanbedrog tramway was one of a number of Welsh tramways built by the developer Soloman Andrews and opened to passengers in 1894. It ran, or trotted, between the West Beach and Pwllheli but the track along the beach was washed away in 1896 and later reconstructed on safer ground.

In 1897, the line was extended to Llanbedrog, some four miles west of Pwllheli, to serve Widows Glen Mansion that Soloman Andrews had bought and converted into what we would today call an 'entertainment complex'. A shorter but separate line was built from West Beach to the town end of Cardiff Road (to serve the proposed new railway station) as shown on this postcard published in about 1907 by J.Valentine of Dundee (No.51887) and posted in 1913. It shows two of the open 'toast-rack' one-horse trams, with No.4 on the left.

Car 4 was one of fourteen similar open cars that operated the line. The livery was red and cream. They were probably built by the parent company S.Andrews & Son themselves, who in addition to being developers were also coachbuilders, creating many horse buses since the 1870s, including one type patented in 1882 which would run on tram rails as well as the roads. The line also had four enclosed single deck cars, one of which survives. Built in 1897 by Brush in the Falcon Works at Loughborough, it had been used as a chicken coop for many years after the tramway closed. It was presented to Pwllheli council in 1969, was partly restored and then used as an information office outside Pwllheli station. In 1992 it was fully restored (as number 1) at Southport by the British Horse Tram Enthusiasts organisation and is now on loan to the Welsh Highland Railway for future display in their museum at Porthmadog.

From 1899 to 1919 Pwllheli Corporation also operated a half mile long horse tramway. This was built to the gauge of 2ft 6in. Despite proposals in 1908, this line was never connected to the Pwllheli & Llanbedrog.

Most of the Pwllheli & Llanbedrog tramway came to an untimely end in October 1927 when the track was washed away in another violent storm. The West End tramway closed in 1928.

BackGo to Postcard Of The Month Index

Reload Home if you linked directly to this page

Postcard of the Month is created by John R. Prentice © Copyright 2000