The Sanson Tramway in the Manawatu region of New Zealand operated from 1885 until 1945. Administered by the Manawatu County Council, it connected with the national railway network at Himatangi on the Foxton Branch. It was never part of the national network.
After the construction of a tramway (later upgraded to a railway) linking Foxton and Palmerston North, settlers north of Foxton began efforts to have a rail link built from to their settlements so they could easily access the port. In 1878, the Foxton and Sanson Railway Company was formed in order to build a line northwards from Himatangi (then named Carnarvon) to Sanson, and it envisaged that the line would ultimately become part of a trunk route from Wellington to the north. However, before construction began, legislation was passed that made it appealing for the Manawatu County Council to build the line as a tramway and thereby qualify for subsidies. Work started from the Foxton line at Himatangi in 1882, and although construction progressed in stops and starts, the line opened to Rongotea Siding on 23 August 1884, followed by Sanson, south-west of Feilding, on 16 November 1885. In 1902, a short extension beyond Sanson was opened to the southern bank of the Rangitikei River, opposite Bulls.
The Sanson Tramway was initially operated by the steam tram Hibernia that had operated on Wellington city's tram network. It was not an adequate source of motive power, and a former Foxton locomotive from the days when the Foxton Branch was a tramway commenced work on the line by the time it was opened to Sanson. As traffic became more substantial, old locomotives were acquired from the national railway network to run on the tramway. As these locomotives were very light, they were just at home on a rural tramway as they had been on the nation's expanding network of railway lines before being displaced by more powerful and substantial engines.
When the Foxton locomotive depot closed and passenger services on the Foxton Branch were withdrawn in 1932, through running to Foxton from the tramway ceased. The line received a boost just before World War II when it was required to service contractors at the Ohakea RNZAF Base, and during the war petrol restrictions helped to generate traffic. However, these restrictions ended with the coming of peace and post-war traffic on the line was too insignificant to justify its continued existence. It closed on 29 November 1945.