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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

Dover Corporation Tramways - Building the Line

By the end of the 19th century Dover was a thriving port and  garrison town, rapidly expanding out from its old centre. Much  of the new housing was some distance from the town centre,  an important fact when the only form of public transport was  privately owned horse buses. In 1895 the Borough Council  decided that the best way to ease Dover's transport problems  would be the construction of an electric tramway. Authorisation for a new tramway had to be obtained from  Parliament.  In 1896 authorisation was given for three routes:   Route 1: Admiralty Pier to Buckland Bridge via Strond Street,  Snargate Street, Northampton Street, Bench Street, Market  Square, Biggin Street and London Road.   Route 2: Worthington Street to Maxton (Manor Road) via  Folkestone Road. Route 3: New Bridge to East Cliff via Liverpool Street, Douro  Place and Marine Parade (this route was never built) The main line (Route 1) ran from the Admiralty Pier to  Buckland with a branch line (Route 2) running from  Worthington Street, along the Folkestone Road to Maxton. Two depots were built to service the system, one at Buckland (now Hollis Motors showroom) and one at Maxton. The Buckland  depot could hold 20 tram cars on four tracks, while the Maxton depot was smaller holding only six cars on two tracks but  carried out all maintenance work for the system. Ten tram cars were built for the line initially, each capable of a top speed of 8 mile per hour, picking up electric power from  overhead wires. The cars were open top double deckers with  accommodation for 44 passengers. They were painted in a  livery of emerald green and ivory, with gilt and green lining  and the Corporation’s arms on the side below the windows.
Back to Tramways Index Next A Dover horse bus.  The only form of public transport before the opening of the tramway. Trams Nos 15 and 16 (built 1899) outside Maxton Tramshed c.1899.