Rawtenstall Corporation Tramways

Rawtenstall Corporation Tramways
Locale Rawtenstall
Open 1 October 1908
Close 31 March 1932
Status Closed
Track gauge 4 ft (1,219 mm)
Propulsion system(s) Electric
Route length 11.75 miles (18.91 km)

Rawtenstall Corporation Tramways operated a passenger tramway service in Rawtenstall between 1908 and 1932.[1]


In January 1908 the newly formed Rawtenstall Corporation Tramways acquired the part of the Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways Company’s line within its boundary, and on 1 October 1908, they took over the Rossendale Valley Tramways Company.

An electrification and modernisation programme was undertaken, and until this was ready on 22 July 1909, steam trams continued to run. This was the last regular steam tramway on street in Britain.

The first electric services started on 15 May 1909, to Crawshawbooth and to Loveclough. On 23 July 1909, the Bacup to Lockgate section was converted. Lastly, an extension to Water, from the Bacup line at Waterfoot opened on 21 January 1911.



In 1928, a joint enterprise bus service was started by Accrington, Haslingden and Rawtenstall Corporations, following the tram route from Bacup to Accrington. This resulted in a decision in 1929, to abandon the tram service.

In 1931 the tram service to Loveclough was withdrawn, and on 31 March 1932 the same happened to the route to Water. A closing ceremony took place on 7 April 1932.

Tramcar 23 from 1912 survives and is awaiting restoration at the Heaton Park Tramway.


  1. The Golden Age of Tramways. Published by Taylor and Francis.
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