Getting off the rails: new track laid through Portsmouth for electric trams

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1902: The laying of the electric track for the Portsmouth trams, outside the Town Hall (later the Guildhall).  Photo: Hulton Archives / Getty Images.
1902: The laying of the electric track for the Portsmouth trams, outside the Town Hall (later the Guildhall). Photo: Hulton Archives / Getty Images.

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1902: Men install a traction pole at the King’s Road junction during the electrification of the Portsmouth tram system. Photo: Hulton Archives / Getty Images.
Car entering Portsmouth Town Hall Square from the north. The train over the bridge is in Portsmouth Town (High Level). The electrification seems to be taking place in the distance, which would date this photo between February and May 1901. The overhead wiring is already in place under the railway bridge. The road has been lowered here for electric traction, in order to give the necessary clearance. Note the sets against the railing on the left, also this road has only been lowered on the left side of the image. This caused a fiasco when the trolleybuses were introduced, as engineers only measured the headroom above the tram tracks, and then found that a trolleybus would not pass under the bridge to the right of the image (where the sailor stands), so the road also had to be lowered on this side. (Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
February 23, 1901: Workers installing overhead cables in Commercial Road for the electric streetcar from a tower car. Photo: FJ Mortimer / Hulton Archive / Getty Images.
Workers lay electric rails on Greetham Street. This would be sometime between February 23, 1901, when work began on this section, and the end of May, when work was completed. Photo: Hulton Archives / Getty Images.


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