Leamington & Warwick Tramways and Omnibus Company No. 1

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Leamington 1

Photo: Jim Dignan

Leamington & Warwick 1 is an open-topped double-decked horse-tram that once ran on a single track tram line from Leamington Spa to Warwick.  The Leamington terminus was located at the then LNWR station yard while the Warwick terminus was located at the Warwick Arms Hotel, which still exists and is close to the Lord Leycester Hospital (actually an ancient alms-house)..  The tramway opened for passengers on 21 November 1881 and the three-mile length of line was covered in 50 minutes at a cost of 3d.  Two well-known Leamington men were actively involved in setting up the company, as a result of which the first trams were known as “Wackrill and Bright’s Rattlesnakes”.

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Early horse tram (postcard) on Leamington Spa tramway. Photo courtesy of Leamington History Group, date unknown.

Specification

Type of tram
Double deck horse tram
Livery
Appears to have been maroon and white
Seating capacity
Appears to have been maroon and white 40 or 42
Date built
1881
Date entered service
21/11/1881
Manufacturer of body
Midland Railway Carriage & Wagon Co. or Brown, Marshall & Co (the style suggests Brown,Marshall)
Manufacturer of truck
Trunnion
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Withdrawn from service

05/03/1905

Subsequent history

Converted into bungalow at Claverdon.

Restoration history

Rescued in 1984 by Birmingham Railway Museum. Owned for a time by the Science Museum but ownership transferred to TMS in 1993.

Current status
Awaiting restoration; conserved in unrestored state and on display
Current location
Exhibition Hall
Future plans

No concrete restoration plans at present.

Timeline
  • 1881 – 1905Fully operational
  • 1905 – 1984Converted into dwelling
  • 1984 – 1993In storage
  • 1993 –dateOn display at Crich