Monday, 28 October 2013

The Wantage Tramway goes Steam

It was not until 1 August 1876 that steam trams began to run along the Wantage Line in the shape of a tramcar with  its boiler and machinery located inside the car itself. The machine could carry 54 passengers. In March the following year a steam tram engine, which hauled tram cars, arrived. This was found to be too weak to haul the goods trucks, so the search for a replacement began. In May 1878 the Wantage Tramway bought a small 0-4-0WT locomotive named Shannon second hand from the London and North Western  Railway. The little engine was renamed as the rather prosaic Wantage No.5 and put to work. It proved to be an outstanding success. Not only could it haul the heavy flour trucks from Clark’s Mill, but it was so efficient that it halved the coal consumption per mile.

from "Lost Railways of Berkshhire" by Rupert Matthews

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