Edinburgh Transport

Princes Street

Electric and Cable Cars

Princes Street  -  Electric and Cable Cars

Princes Street  -  1917  -  Electric and Cable Cars

  Reproduced by courtesy Lothian Buses plc

Princes Street

Electric and Cable Cars


This photograph was taken in 1917, in Princes Street, beside the Royal Scots Greys statue, opposite the junction with Frederick Street.

The tram on the left is not what it appears to be.  Its overhead pole was added onto the  photograph to demonstrate how an electric tram running in Princes Street would look.  In some copies of the photograph, electric cables, running above the trams with poles to support them, were also added to the original photo.

The purpose of the photo was to demonstrate how Princes Street would look if the cable cars (which took their power from under the ground) were replaced by electric trams with their overhead lines.

The Photograph

Thank you to Douglas Beath for providing the additional details, based on information given by DLG Hunter:

"The car on left is indeed an electric with actual trolley raised for the photo.  It's on its daily journey being towed by a cable car from Shrubhill Depot to the electric extension between Ardmillan Terrace and Slateford."

Overhead Tramlines

After considerable debate, electric trams were eventually introduced into Princes Street in 1922.  The overhead tramlines were supported on specially designed elaborate poles.

    Princes Street  -  Pole to support the overhead lines for Edinburgh's electric trams





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