Edinburgh Transport

Trams at Joppa


Joppa  -  Edinburgh and Musselburgh trams

Trams at Joppa, where the Edinburgh Cable Cars met the Musselburgh Electric Trams

  Reproduced by courtesy Lothian Buses plc


Trams at Joppa

Here is the meeting of the Edinburgh Cable Car system and the Musselburgh Electric Trams.  Passengers travelling from Edinburgh along the Firth of Forth past Portobello and Joppa to Musselburgh had to change trams at Joppa, until the Edinburg trams were converted to electric operation in 1923.

The Edinburgh Cable Car can be seen (left) with its groove for the cable running between the two tracks.

The single-deck Musselburgh tram is in the background with its pole to receive the electric current.

The Firth of Forth runs parallel to the road, immediately over the wall in the background of this picture.



George P Murray

Currie, Edinburgh

Thank you to George P Murray who wrote:

Cable Cars until
23 June 1923

"The date of the very last cable car in service was Saturday 23 June 1923, running between Waterloo Place and Joppa.  The terminus was just at the east end of the seaside promenade where it met the Musselburgh electric cars in Seaview Terrace.

The tracks were not connected as through running between the two systems was impossible. but in the spring of 1923 with the Edinburgh electrification imminent, gangs of workers worked in haste to link the two tracks.  Then, on 24th June 1923, the first through electric cars from Post Office to Port Seton were operated, the first tram being a company car of the Musselburgh and District Electric Light & Traction Co Ltd (their No 15, built by Brush of Loughborough in 1909). 

This service was jointly operated by the Corporation and Company cars until early 1928 when the Company ceased to run trams, whereupon the Corporation agreed to take sole responsibility for the service to Musselburgh but only as far as Levenhall."

Electric Trams until
13 November 1954

"This service lasted until 13 November 1954, with the withdrawal of trams and the closing of the Portobello Tram depot.  The Corporation fully intended to replace the trams with buses to Musselburgh and had appropriate names on bus destination screens.

But the SMT objected and the Traffic Commissioners agreed, as Musselburgh was outside the Edinburgh boundary.  Operating trams did not confer automatic rights to run replacement buses.

The citizens of Musselburgh were not pleased as their transport was then a monopoly and they feared higher fares being the consequence."

George P Murray, Currie, Edinburgh: February 17, 2012




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