Running London’s tramway – 1886

Worcester Journal - Saturday 31 July 1886The expense of operating a horse driven tramway system in London was exposed in the Worcester Journal on Saturday 31 July 1886:

“The cost of horsing the tramway cars in London forms, as maybe imagined, a heavy item in the accounts of several companies.

The largest of these is the North Metropolitan, which possesses a stud of 2,681 horses, and during the last six months 57 have died and 111 have been discarded the service. The loss of the 57 is, deducting £102 received for carcasses, £2,054 and ten shillings. The horses sold cost £4,199 ten shillings, whilst they fetched but £667 eleven shillings and sixpence.  The total amount of horse depression for the half year is £5,586 eight shillings and sixpence. The cost of food for the horses was upwards of £30,000. The expense of shoeing the horses was £2,325.

The average cost of a horse per week is nine shillings.”

Ian Waugh