Aberdeen’s very first horse-drawn tram appeared in August 1874, two years after the Aberdeen District Tramway Company was set up by local businessmen. The first routes ran from King Street to Queen’s Cross depot and St. Nicholas Street to Kittybrewster Central Park, later the site of the Astoria cinema. When ‘horse fuel’ got more expensive, the need for electric trams, first proposed in 1896, prompted the council to make a public takeover of the tram company and fund the installation of the necessary equipment for the princely sum of £103,785. The private enterprise had already carried over 60 million passengers in the 24 years of its existence.
The Corporation Tramways increased the routes, added more cars, and started operating on Sundays – a popular decision with the citizens! Sadly the glory days of the trams were already over by the 1920s when motor buses were seen as the economic alternative which could more easily serve the city’s transport needs.
The tram lines are all that remain. Stand there sometime; maybe you will hear those wheels rumbling on their ghostly way down the track as they did 54 years ago.