Lancaster Canal Tramroad

Lancaster Canal Tramroad

Lancaster Canal Tramroad

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The Lancaster Canal Tramroad, also known as the Walton Summit Tramway or the Old Tram Road, was completed in 1803 to link the north and south ends of the Lancaster Canal across the Ribble valley (Barritt, 2000), pending completion of the canal. The canal link was never constructed.


The Lancaster Canal Company obtained an Act of Parliament (32 Geo. III c. 101) in 1792 to construct a canal linking the towns of Kendal, Lancaster and Preston to the coalfields around Wigan. Coal was to be the chief traffic northwards and limestone southwards.In the original Canal documentation (see Barritt; 2000), the southbound and northbound tracks were referred to as the Limestone and Coal Roads respectively – reflecting their primary traffic and its direction Most of the canal was completed quickly, including the impressive aqueduct across the River Lune near Lancaster, but the part across the wide valley of the River Ribble remained to be built when the construction capital became exhausted.

The original plan foresaw an impressive stone aqueduct across the river and up to 32 locks to complete the route. As a temporary measure, the canal company constructed a tramroad to link the two halves and allow revenue traffic to start flowing. Construction took three years.

The tramroad

In 1794, the canal company engaged the services of William Cartwright, first to supervise the construction of the foundations for the Lune Aqueduct and later as Resident......
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