Perhaps no branch line in the world is as both simultaneously famous and obscure as the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway. Known for its iconic steam trams, the little railway carried out a peaceful existence for many decades, and while its fame would come too late to save it, it retains a unique place in British railway history. What if we could revisit the railway as it was back in the day? Are there things we can learn from exploring the Tramway in a simulator? We’ll turn back time, at the railyard!

4 thoughts on “Wisbech & Upwell Tramway

  1. I recently watched your video about the Wisbech to Upwell Tram Line. Well done.
    I tried emailing but email addresses not connecting so am trying this route.
    I am a member of the Welle Film Club and we have been documenting the installation of mementos along the route of the old tram line. I thought you may be interested in the following:

    MEDIA RELEASE

    START

    Remembering the Wisbech to Upwell Tramway – a fourth memento to be installed.

    Local historian, Bill Smith of Outwell, has announced the next stage of his project to ensure the Wisbech to Upwell Tramway, once a vital transport system for the region, is not forgotten. A fourth memento will be unveiled at Bird’s Corner by Norman Paget, a retired local Forage Merchant,  at the former Boyce’s Bridge Depot – on Saturday 4 th November at 11am.  Other attendees at the event will be the head teacher, other school staff, pupils and parents of Emneth Academy, Parish Councillors and members of the Well Creek Trust – the project’s sponsors.

    Bill has rallied his team of willing volunteers to achieve the necessary permissions, raising funds, designing and installing the memento that was built and donated by the well-known local family-run, agricultural engineering business, Cousins of Emneth. 

     “In the last six months I have been in and out of hospitals like a fiddler’s elbow,” said Bill “I could not have got to this point without support from so many local people and businesses and I must say a huge thank you to them all. It is a clear indication that this generation is proud of its heritage and wishes to ensure it is preserved for future generations”.   

    “We have on our doorstep a feature that is internationally famous but very little of it remains,” continued Bill “We are working hard to redress that and encourage interest from visitors.”

    “This is the fourth memorial in the project leaving just two remaining. Phase five is scheduled to be located adjacent to B&Q and the final one is on the old Elm Road where the tram crossed to enter the Wisbech East Station and Goods Yard. There was also a depot called Elm Bridge Depot near the Emneth junction from the A1101, but for safety reasons a memento cannot be located there.”     

    Everyone is welcome to come along and for more information about this event and the Wisbech to Upwell Tramway project go to Well Creek  Trust Tramway or Welle Film Productions.

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    Attached:  

    Photo: Bird’s Corner/Boyce’s Bridge Depot – Courtesy Lilian Ream, WP Smith Collection

    Map: Bird’s Corner/Boyce’s Bridge Depot –  Courtesy Ordnance Survey/Bill Smith

     

    Contact:  Sue Lowe 07957 444191 or for information re the Tram Project, Bill Smith 01945 772712

    Notes for Editors:  The Wisbech to Outwell Tramway opened as an experiment in 1883 and was extended to Upwell in 1884. At its peak, six trams a day in each direction provided passenger and, most importantly, freight services for local produce to Wisbech and then via the main railway link to larger towns and cities. Competition from the Outwell Omnibus Company started by Charles Robb in 1920 eventually ended passenger services in 1927. Freight continued until 1966 when it was cut as part of the “Beeching Axe”. The final tram journey took place May 20, 1966

    Remembering the Tramway is of importance for all living in the area but also for those much further afield – for rail aficionados and enthusiasts, for local history lovers and tourists and also for millions of fans of Thomas the Tank Engine the creation of the Reverend Wilbert Awdry who was vicar of the village of Emneth (1953 -1965). The Railway Series which was written by Rev Awdry with later editions by his son Christopher and was published from 1945. The enormously popular TV series “Thomas & Friends” is a spin-off from the books. Toby the Tram Engine and his coach, Henrietta and later, Mavis, the Drury diesel tram were all based on rolling stock used on the Tramway.  

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for reaching out to me about this. It’s so good to see that the history of the tramway is recognized in the region. I hope to visit these mementos someday.

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