Dublin Trams 1872-1959

By Michael Corcoran

The Dublin Tramways Company inaugurated the city's first horse tram service from College Green to Rathgar on 1st February 1872, the termini later becoming Nelson Pillar and Terenure. A line from Kingsbridge to Earlsfort Terrace via Westland Row was opened in June, followed by Nelson Pillar to Sandymount in October. March 1873 saw trams running between Nelson Pillar and Donnybrook, and the Nelson Pillar-Clontarf line opened at the end of May. The last D.T.C. route, along the North Quays from Carlisle (O'Connell) Bridge, began working in April 1874.

The North Dublin Street Tramways Company opened lines from Nelson Pillar to Phoenix Park and Glasnevin in 1876, followed by a service between College Green and Drumcondra via Capel Street. The N.D.S.T.'s last route, College Green to Inchicore, opened in 1878. In 1879, the Dublin Central Tramways opened a line between College Green and Palmerston Park via Camden Street and Ranelagh, from where a branch ran to Clonskeagh. Also in 1879, D.C.T. opened a service to Rathfarnham via Camden Street, South Circular Road and Harold's Cross.

The three companies, all of which operated on 5' 3" (1.6m) gauge tracks, amalgamated in 1880 to form the Dublin United Tramways Company, with 137 trams running over 32 route miles. The D.U.T.C. integrated and improved the horse system but opened only one extension, from Leonard's Corner to Dolphin's Barn in February 1896. A tramcar works established at Spa Road, Inchicore in 1882 built some 180 horse trams, the last of which, No. 188, emerged in June 1897.

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