The Wisbech and Upwell Tramway
was a rural standard gauge tramway
in East Anglia
. Built by the Great Eastern Railway
to carry agricultural produce.
Its success was one of the reasons for the Light Railways Act 1896
competition ended passenger services in 1927, but freight carried on until 1966
when it was cut as part of the Beeching Axe
Originally the line used GER Class G15/LNER Class Y6 0-4-0T tram engines, which in accordance with Board of Trade regulations had sideplates and cowcatchers. These were replaced by more powerful 0-6-0T GER Class C53/LNER Class J70 and later by Drewry 0-6-0DM (Class 04) shunters. One coach survives.
For a short time in 1930-1931 two LNER Class Y10 Sentinel geared steam locomotives were used.
It ran from the Cambridgeshire
town of Wisbech
to the Norfolk
village of Upwell
. Its route carried it close to farms and villages, allowing goods to be shipped into Wisbech
where they could be transferred onto the main line and carried to destinations further afield. It was this agricultural trade that caused the line to be constructed in the first place, and what kept if afloat after passenger services ceased in 1927
The Rev. W. Awdry drew much inspiration from the tramway for stories in his Railway Series children's books. In the book Toby the Tram Engine the character Toby and his coach Henrietta are introduced, both of whom are based on stock used on the tramway.