Dearne District Light Railway 1924-1933

This South Yorkshire tramway was situated between Barnsley to the northwest and Mexborough and Swinton to the south and was constructed under the Dearne District Light Railway Order of 1915.

Due to the onset of World War 1 the construction of the tramway was delayed, and, in the event, it was not finished until 14th July 1924, and was the last tramway system to be opened in the British Isles until the tramway was resurrected in modern times.

The track was unusual in that it consisted of sleepered track throughout, ostensibly so that in the event of subsidence (mining was prevalent in the area) it could more easily be repaired.

The main route was from the Alhambra Theatre, in Barnsley, via Barnsley Road through Stairfoot, Wombwell and West Melton to Wath-upon-Dearne, where a low bridge precluded the use of double-deck tramcars.

At this point a branch line of some 1½ miles went south to the Woodman Inn at Swinton, whilst a second branch line went 5 miles north to Thurnscoe.

The main route continued eastward for another mile to meet the Mexborough and Swinton trolleybus service at Manvers Main Colliery. The system lasted just nine years and was closed on 30th September 1933, being replaced by the motorbuses of the Yorkshire Traction Company.


Fleet No.TypeTrucksBuilderSeating


PeckhamEnglish Electric36

In producing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996); Trams in the North West (Peter Hesketh, Ian Allan 1995).