Ripley to Nottingham Tram 1913-1933

Ripley to Nottingham Tram 1913-1933

Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie BLOG 25th January 2018




There was a tramway started in 1913 that ran from Ripley to Nottingham which closed in 1932.

The line ran from Co-operative Square in Ripley to Codnor, Loscoe, Heanor, Langley Mill (the depot), Eastwood, Kimberley, Cinderhill, then to Basford and on to the terminus on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham.


The Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Tramways Company was formed in 1903 by Act of Parliament. It was not until 1913 that the tramway from Ripley to Nottingham, via Langley Mill, Eastwood and Kimberley, was finally opened, the capital being funded by Balfour, Beatty & Co., of Ilkeston.


The laying of the tramlines was a major project – many of the bridges which can be seen along the route date from this time (for example, the bridge over the canal at Langley Mill, which had previously been a wooden construction), and many old buildings were demolished for road-widening (e.g. the Crown and White Hart pubs at Heanor). Initially, the trams only ran as far as Cinderhill / Basford, where people had to switch to trams of the Nottingham Corporation, but later the city allowed Notts & Derby trams to pass over its rails. The long route from Ripley was a single track, with 316 passing places along the route to allow trams to pass in the opposite direction.


A fleet of 24 new cars, half open top, half closed top, was used but during the life of this route, no others were added.

notts derby tram going through Kimberley
Notts – Ripley tram going through Kimberley

The first tramcar services started on 4 July 1913, only 5 months after linelaying had begun. This was between Loscoe and Kimberley, and the section to Cinderhill was opened a month later. The completed line from Cinderhill to Ripley opened on 1 January 1914 which made it possible to travel from Nottingham to Ripley, a distance of 15 miles (24 km), in 1 hr 40 mins. The trams ran 18 hours a day, except for Sunday when the service was reduced. Fares were a penny a mile. Workmen boarding before 8 am were able to obtain return tickets at single prices, while colliers journeying to and from the pits were charged a penny regardless of the length of their journey. The first trams left the depot at 4.30 am, while the last tram, ‘The Flyer’, left Nottingham at 11pm with limited stops only.


It was, by reputation, the most dangerous tramcar service in the British Isles, due to the length of its route, and the gradients it negotiated. The line was the subject of a short story by D. H. Lawrence: There is in the North a single-line system of tramcars which boldly leaves the county town and plunges off into the black, industrial countryside . . . . . This, the most dangerous tram-service in England, as the authorities themselves declare, with pride, is entirely conducted by girls, and driven by rash young men, or else by invalids who creep forward in terror.


As other forms of transport developed, this limitation to the trams caused their demise and by the end of 1932, with only maintenance vehicles in evidence, the system had all but been abandoned and the trolleybuses took over. The final tram ran on the 5th October 1932 to test the overhead wiring for the new trolleybuses.


Open                                      4 July 1913 – Closed           5 October 1933



Track gauge                          1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)

Propulsion system(s)           Electric

Depot(s)                                 Langley Mill

Statistics Route length        15 miles (24 km)



By perseverance the snail reached the ark – Charles Spurgeon



Happiness is…a road trip along the A610 Nottingham to Ripley



I never wanted to believe that my Dad was stealing from his job as a road worker. But when I got home, all the signs were there.



Love is…being blessed with lots of happy memories



Gloria – Laura Branigan

Highest Chart Position: No.6 5th February 1983