Matlock Tramway - Crown Square tram stop 06-08-06

Preserved tram stop in Hall Leys Park.

Matlock Cable Tramway was cable tramway that served the town of Matlock between 1893 and 1927. The tramway stretched from Matlock railway station and Hydros of Smedley's and Rockside. One of the tramway's directors, Job Smith got the idea for a steep-gradient tram for Matlock while in San Francisco in 1862.

The necessity of a tramway came due to Hydros being up the hill while the railway station was down near the River Derwent. The tramway was financed by locally-born newspaper owner Sir George Newnes.

Matlock Tramway - Depot 02-12-06

Tramway barn in 2006.

The tram was the steepest tramway in the world on public roads, featuring a 1 in 5½ grade slope (18%). The tramcars were not overhead powered but were pulled by a cable situated below and between the tracks. The barn was situated at the top of the incline and a tram would go up whilst another would go down the hill. Trams went from Crown Square, were a grand tram shelter once stood, to Rutland Street. The route was originally planned to begin at the railway station but due to its location, risks of flooding forced the terminus to be set up on Crown Square.

The depot was situated on Rutland Street and contained a boiler and a stationary steam engine, which pulled the cable and lifted the trams 300 feet up Bank Road. Fares used to be Tuppence up, Penny Down. Bank Road was not wide enough for two tracks, so a single track was used, with a passing place where the trams met. The up and down cables had to run in the same tube between the rails. The trams averaged 5½ mph, and had the advantage of the down-tram balancing the up-tram, and saving power in the Depot steam engine. A spare tram was kept in the Depot in case of need.

The original tram shelter, which once stood in Crown Square, has been preserved and is now standing at the head of Hall Leys Park.

External linksEdit

Tramways in Derbyshire
(Closed systems)

Ashby & BurtonChesterfieldDerbyGlossopIlkestonMatlockNottinghamshire & Derbyshire

Transport in Derbyshire edit

Historic town tramway systems in the United Kingdom (v/t)


Alford and Sutton - Barnsley and District - Birmingham Corporation - Blackpool - Brill - Bristol - Chesterfield - City of Birmingham - Dearne District - Derby - Doncaster - Grimsby & Immingham - Grimsby District - Heaton Park - Hull - Ilkeston - Liverpool - London County Council - London United - Maidstone Corporation - Mansfield & District - Matlock - Mexborough & Swinton - Nottingham Corporation - Nottingham & District - Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire - Rotherham - Scarborough funiculars - Sheffield - Southampton - Volks Electric - Warrington - Wisbech and Upwell - Wolverton and Stony Stratford


Great Orme - Swansea and Mumbles Railway - Pwllheli and Llanbedrog


Glasgow - Scottish Tramway and Transport Society

Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway Tramway

Isle of Man

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway - Douglas Southern Electric Tramway - Manx Electric Railway - Snaefell Mountain Railway - Upper Douglas Cable Tramway


Maley & Taunton