STEAM TRAM ACCIDENT AT EDGEWORTH
______________________________________________________________________ The opening of Newcastle's first electric tramway to Mayfield took place on the 15th December, 1923 and attracted thousands of people at the Hunter Street post office, Mayfield terminus and all points along the route. The electric tramway system was serviced by L/P Toastrack type cars, the only type of tram to be used in Newcastle, with the exception of service vehicles.
The undercarriages of these trams date back to the beginning of the century, when they were known as an "F" class type,consisting of a saloon in the centre with seats facing back to back at each end, with passengers facing the road. Later these vehicles were rebuilt into an "L" type car, which retained the centre saloon with Toastrack seating at each end. Further structural alterations were made to the body, which became the enclosed Toastrack L/P car as shown in the accompanying pictures.
Ninty-eight of these cars were used from the start of the service until its end. With the exception of one, all the cars were in operation until the first bus routes commenced to Mayfield in September, 1948.
The most serious electric tram accident occured on October, 11th 1943, when tram No. 236 was completely destroyed by fire after a collision with a truck at a level crossing at Jesmond. The driver died some two days later.
The last Newcastle tram ran on Sunday, June 11th, 1950 on the well worn tracks of the Waratah line, bringing to a halt sixty-three years of regular tram service, which began with steam and finished with electricity.
L/P No. 372 IN HUNTER STREET, NEWCASTLE.
A COUPLED SET LED BY L/P 280 AT THE GULLY LINE STOP, BOUND FOR WALLSEND