Peak Forest Canal Tramway wagon

Railway wagon, Peak Forest Canal Tramway Truck , No 174, wooden base with metal sides, painted black and numbered in white, metal flangeless wheels, open-topped. 32" high, 50" wide and 74" deep.

This is believed to be the oldest vehicle preserved in Britain that runs on a track.

The canal was authorised by an Act of Parliament in 1794 and its purpose was to provide an outlet for the vast limestone deposits around Dove Holes in Derbyshire. The Company was authorised to construct a tramroad from its Peak Forest limestone quarries to the end of the canal at Buxworth. It was built by Benjamin Outram to a gauge of 4ft 2 inches, a standard at that time, and opened in 1796. The rails were of the plate type, 3ft long and laid on stone blocks, this form of track being used extensively in tramway construction.

The line became part of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway in 1883 and did not close until 1922, when it was still a tramroad.

The trucks were made of iron and were used to transport limestone to the canal, the end door enabling their contents to be tipped into barges. They were horsedrawn in ‘gangs’ and braking was achieved using ‘sprags’, a stout iron bar put through the spokes of the wheel so that the wheel jammed.

On display

National Railway Museum: Great Hall

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.


Locomotives and Rolling Stock
Object Number:
metal (unknown) and wood (unidentified)
railway wagon
  • vehicles and vehicle components
  • vehicle
  • rolling stock
British Rail, Historical Relics

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