Exeter Corporation Tramways

3ft. 6in. 4 Apr 1905 to 19 Aug 1931

Exeter Track Layout




HORSE 3ft 6in gauge

Horse tramways ran in Devon’s county town under the Exeter Tramways Company from 1882 to 1905. The horse trams continued to operate under Exeter Corporation ownership whilst the track was relayed for electric traction with the final horse trams running on the 4th April 1905

ELECTRIC 3ft 6in gauge

Opened on 4th April 1905 and closed with the running of Car 14 the last Exeter tram 1931.

Open Top 4 Wheel Tram CarThe five routes were to Alphington Road, Dunsford Road, Heavitree, Pinhoe Road and St. Davids Station.

Exeter’s fleet consisted of traditional four wheel open top cars with a livery originally of dark green and cream with gold lettering shaded pink. The truck sides were painted green, but the rest of the under car gear in dark maroon. From March 1925 a lighter green became the standard and the gold lettering on the rocker panels was left off.

CARS 1-25 Built at Preston between 1905 and 1914 on Brill 21E trucks seating 20 in the lower saloon and 22 or 24 on the top deck

CARS 26-34 Built by Brush in 1921 on Peckham long wheelbase P22 trucks or Brill 21E trucks seating 30 on the top deck later receiving platform vestibules with angular dashes.

CARS 1-4 (second series) were built by Brush in 1929 and ran on Peckham P35 trucks and they were delivered with platform vestibules. They were the last new cars to be built for any West Country system and had a very short life.

After abandonment cars 26-34 were sold to Plymouth and the very new second series cars 1-4 to Halifax.

An Exeter Corporation Tramways 1906 tram was rebuilt at Seaton and modified to run on the 2ft.9in.gauge line between Seaton and Colyton.

For further information:-
Exeter – A Century of Public Transport, RC Sambourne, Glasney 1976
Exeter and Taunton Tramways, J.B.Perkin, Middleton Press 1994
The Directory of British Tramways, Keith Turner, PSL 1996

Also see our other pages on Electric Transport in the South West