Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (05/Jul/1883) – The Fearful Tramcar Accident in Huddersfield: Latest Particulars

The tramcar accident of 3 July 1883, which killed seven people, is discussed in these blog posts:

…and a large selection of newspaper articles are archived here.

1883.07.05 Fearful Tramcar Accident in Huddersfield - Huddersfield Chronicle

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (04/Jul/1883) – Fearful Tramcar Accident in Huddersfield: The Lindley Tramcar Overturned

The tramcar accident of 3 July 1883, which killed seven people, is discussed in these blog posts:

…and a large selection of newspaper articles are archived here.

1883.07.04 Fearful Tramcar Accident - Huddersfield Daily Chronicle

Leeds Mercury (12/Jan/1883) – The Huddersfield Tramway System


Yesterday the engine and tram-car belonging to the Huddersfield Corporation were brought into use for the conveyance of passengers between Fartown and Lockwood. The tram commenced running at Fartown at nine o’clock in the morning, and left there every hour during the day, starting from Lockwood at the half-hour. Young horses were somewhat alarmed at the engine and car, and one horse suddenly backed the vehicle to which it was attached against a lamp-post, knocking it over. Great numbers of passengers travelled between the two termini.

Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (14/Nov/1882) – Huddersfield Tramways and Chapel Hill


The tramway engine and ear were submitted to another trial on Monday morning, the chief object the Corporation had in view being to test the engine’s capability to ascend the extraordinarily steep gradient of Chapel Hill with the ear and a full complement of passengers. It will be remembered that on Monday week a similar trial took place, bat that the engine failed in the task. The trial of Monday, however, was a successful one. A few minutes after 11 o’clock the engine and car arrived at Chapel Hill, where it was met by the Major (Alderman J.F. Brigg), and the following members of the Corporation :— Alderman Henry Hirst, Reuben Hirst, James Jordan, Joseph Byram, James Crosland, and Councillors Thomas Chrispin, Benjamin Dickinson, Joseph Hirst, William Hirst, William Murphy, Richard Porritt, Benjamin Schofield (W.), George Walker, Edward Booth Woodhead, John Broughton, Hiram Barley, Joseph Clark, John Haigh, George Henry Hanson, Henry Horsfall, Daniel F.E. Sykes, Anthony Huddlestone, Godfrey Sykes, George Brook, Benjamin Hanson, Enoch Heppenstall, John Wilson, Benjamin Wade, John Cowgill, and Edmund H. Walker. Later on in the trials Alderman Wright Mellor took a seat in the car, and there were also present a number of the borough officials. Altogether there were 40 passengers in the inside and on the outside of the car, which is two over the number which the ear is authorised to carry, and with this load behind it the engine made a start at the bottom of Chapel Hill, and travelled over the gradient — which is one of 1 in 11½, about 300 yards in length, and the steepest tramway gradient in England — at a good speed, the rate at which it travelled never getting Blower than quick walking pace. With such a number of passengers in the ear the trial was considered eminently satisfactory. It was then determined to take a trip to Fartown, and leaving the bottom of Northumberland-street at 85 minutes to 12 the journey was completed in nine minutes. Bet in making the return trips the engine and car would not take the points at one of the loop lines, and this caused a delay of 20 minutes. Matters were, however adjusted and another start was made, the rest of the run being devoid of any hitch of moment. On reaching the photographic studio of Mr. T. Illingworth, Bradford Road, a photograph was taken of the engine and car, and occupants. The points at the end of Northumberland Street were taken very well, it was then decided that a run should be made to Lindley. This was again a capital test as to whether or not Mr. Wilkinson’s engine is capable of ascending gradients with a loaded car attached. The result proved that it was, as the long and steep gradient from the bottom of Westgate to the top of Snodley Hill was traversed in five minutes ; the entire run to Lindley being accomplished in 16½ minutes. But, at Lindley the points became again a difficulty, they having an unfortunate knack of springing back upon the wheels of the engine passing over them, thus posing them against the wheels of the car. This hitch was got over, and the return journey to Huddersfield was of a very satisfactory character, the Crown Hotel, Westgate, being reached in 15 minutes. In making the descents the driver has great command over the engine, being able to come down the hills at a uniform rate, and to stop the ear almost instantaneously. Now that the engine has acquitted itself so well, a few particulars concerning it may be interesting It has a 7¼ in. cylinder and 11-inch stroke ; wheels, 27½ in. diameter ; wheel-base 5ft. 8in. ; total weight of engine in working trim, 8 tons 6 cwt. ; and is the most powerful engine of its kind for working steep gradients. The engine is a departure from the ordinary tramway engine. The universal type used for the purpose is of a small locomotive kind pure and simple, with the steam pistons connected directly to the axles in the usual manner. The engine which is now being tried by the Huddersfield Corporation, and of which Mr. William Wilkinson, Wigan, is the patentee, has the cylinder placed vertically, driving an independent crank shaft, which transmits its motion by means of gear to the driving axle. The boiler is also of a vertical type, with very large heating surface, and has consequent consuming powers in proportion to its size. The boiler is extremely sensitive, being capable of generating large quantities of steam when suddenly called upon owing to the exigencies of the road (steep inclines, &c.). The cost of the engine is a little over £800.

Leeds Times (11/Nov/1882) – Huddersfield


On several days during the past week a tramway engine, obtained from Messrs. Wilkinson, of Wigan, with a car, has rim over the tram lines laid down in Huddersfield. The test on the whole was successful. The engine was unable to draw the car fully laden up Chapel Hill — where the gradient is one in thirteen — but in the other streets it went smoothly. In a few places it was found that the gauge was not quite exact, but these defects were remedied, and the lines are ready for the inspector from the Board of Trade, who is expected to examine them before the end of the month.

Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Apr/1876) – Steam Tram-Cars


The propulsion of tram-cars by some motive power other than that supplied by horses has long constituted a tempting subject for inventors. Many attempts have been made to get rid of horses, and it must be confessed, with very limited success. To the amateur it appears to be absurd to employ horses when a little engine not much bigger than a coffee pot ought to be able to do the required work; and, besides, it would be so much nicer to propel a car by steam or compressed air than by horses, who suffer much in very hot and very cold weather — things of which an engine would take no cognisance. Engineers see nothing particularly tempting in the propulsion of tram-cars by machinery. The question presents itself solely in the light of a speculation to them, and the very first point which demands their consideration is one which the amateur ignores altogether. Will it pay to use steam, or ammonia, or compressed air ? On this point there happens to be no small diversity of opinion, and it must be admitted that the available stock of experience as to the working of tram-cars by steam is so small that it is difficult to say whether a saving may or not be reasonably expected. A line of tramway worked with cars, each drawn by one horse, requires a stud of about five horses per car to work, say, 13 hours a day. Each two-horse tram-car requires about nine and a half horses, experience going to show that the proportion of horse-power per car is rather less than doubled by using two horses instead of one. Assuming that the horses cost on an average £40 each, it follows that a double tram-car can be horsed for, say, £380. Of course it must be thoroughly understood that this is no more than a rough estimate, the, conditions of working and of buying horses are so different in different localities. It is extremely impropable that any machine can be constructed to take the place of horses for less than £500, but for the sake of argument we may admit that the cost of an engine and the cost of horses will be identical. The depreciation in the value of tram-car horses cannot be taken at less than 20 per cent per annum — will the loss of value in the case ol an engine be less ? This remains to be seen. If a satisfactory motor, say a steam engine, can be produced which will be as durable as a railway locomotive, and if a sufficient number of these motors be employed to work a line properly, then a decided saving may be effected by their use as compared with the expense of horse labour. Whether such an engine can or cannot be produced will not be known until engineers have tried to produce one ; and we are pleased that a fair prospect at last exists that the experiment will be made fully and fairly. In Copenhagen tram-cars have been worked for some time past with considerable success, and steam tram-cars are now running in Paris in a very satisfactory way. In this country the thing is being tested on an adequate scale with compressed air and also with steam.