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The London 'E/1' Tram (ePub)

Transport London Photographic eBooks Colour eBooks Trams London Transport

By Peter Waller
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Great Tramcars
File Size: 60.4 MB (.epub)
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781526709103
eBook Released: 12th May 2021

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Probably the single most numerous of tramcar constructed for operation on Britain’s first generation electric tramways, the London County Council’s ‘E/1’ class had an operational history that stretched for almost 50 years. The first were produced towards the end of the first decade of the 20th century and the last were withdrawn with the conclusion of ‘Operation Tramaway’ – the final conversion of the once great London tramway system – in July 1952.

Over the years, more than 1,000 were built for operation by the LCC with similar cars being constructed for a number of the council operated systems in the capital prior to the creation of the LPTB in July 1933. The last batch – effectively rebuilds of single-deck cars that had once operated through the Kingsway Subway prior to its modernisation – not completed until the early 1930s. During the 1920s the LCC cars had undergone a Pullmanisation programme and, during the following decade, a number underwent the LPTB’s Rehabilitation scheme. Moreover, with the removal of the restriction on the use of enclosed lower-deck vestibules, many others were converted to fully-enclosed during that decade.

Although withdrawals commenced in the 1930s, as the tram system north of the river was converted to trolleybus operation, and others were lost as a result of enemy action during the war, a sizeable number survived to the system’s final days.

This book examines the history of this important class from development through to preservation.

If ever there was a quintessential 20th century British tramcar it was the E/1. Over 1000 were built for the L C C between 1907 and 1930, plus over 100 for other authorities around London. Many remained in service until final network closure in 1950.

This largely photographic story gives a good account of the type’s history. Vehicles had a fully enclosed upper deck and maximum traction bogies. Most early bodies came from Hurst Nelson. They were later updated and “Pullmanised” though Brighton Belle travellers would scarcely recognise these more utilitarian vehicles. An appendix lists all the cars, dates built, body and bogie suppliers and scrapping dates. This is well researched and even if you’re not a tram enthusiast the photos, mostly of immediately post-war London, are fascinating records of roads and neighbourhoods though not, alas, of Loughborough Junction.

Roger Backhouse, The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Journal, June 2021 Issue

With some nice pictures, the book is good value for money.

Tramway and Light Railway Society - Tramfare Magazine, May-June 2021

This book is a fine tribute to the thousand-strong fleet of E/1 trams which gave such sterling service to Londoners for nearly 50 years, including two world wars.

Tramway Review

The book is well up to the quality standard we have become used to from Pen & Sword. Younger members will marvel at the lack of traffic and the need to load passengers in the middle of what are now very busy roads.

PSV Circle, February 2021

As featured by

Shropshire Star, 31st December 2020

About Peter Waller

Brought up in Bradford, Peter Waller grew up as the city's trolleybus network gradually declined.


In 1986 he commenced a career in publishing, working for a number of years for Ian Allan Ltd publishing books, where he oversaw the commissioning and publication of a wide range of books.


The first book he wrote was British and Irish Tramway systems since 1945, in 1992.


Since then he has written a number of transport books covering numerous subjects, moving to Shropshire where he is a director and secretary of the Online Transport Archive, a director of Shrewsbury Dial a Ride, chairman of the West Shropshire Talking Newspaper, a committee member of the National Railway Heritage Awards and a past president of Rotary Club of Shrewsbury.

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