Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway / Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway

The Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway Company began steam-hauled services in June 1881, subsequently extending the line in June 1890 through a lease arrangement with the Lucan, Leixlip and Celbridge Steam Tramway Company. The company's name was changed to the Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway in 1897, the same year in which it relinquished the LL&CSTCo lease, and in 1900, it ran its first electric service, the line having being regauged from 3ft to 3ft 6 ins in the process. The system closed in January 1925, but was re-opened in May 1928 following the company's take-over by the Dublin United Tramways Company, and yet another regauging, this time from 3ft 6ins to 5ft 3ins. The last tramway service on the line was withdrawn by the DUTCo in April 1940, whereupon the line closed for good.

Several reasonable quality photographs have survived that show staff of the Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway Company. In common with the vast majority of steam tramway operators, drivers and firemen/stokers (always two in the case of the D&LSTCo) wore typical railway footplate-like attire, namely, cotton jackets and trousers, along with cotton or grease-top caps. Neither the hats nor the jackets bore insignia of any kind. Conductors on the other hand appear to have been issued with waistcoats (with six metal buttons, of unknown pattern) and three-quarter length jackets with upright collars; it is unclear whether the latter carried any insignia. Caps were in a kepi-style and carried a prominent cap badge, an example of which has yet to come to light.

The photographic record for the electric era — during which the concern operated as the Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway Company — is unfortunately sparse indeed; it is therefore only possible to describe the uniform in the most general terms. Motormen and conductors working the new electric services were issued with single-breasted jackets with lapels; although the jackets were apparently brown, nothing else is known about the badges or insignia. The situation with respect to caps is also unclear, though one photograph clearly shows a crew wearing straw boaters, a common practice on the D&LER's near neighbour, the Dublin United Tramways Company. At some point, probably around the time of the Great War, the uniforms were changed to a double-breasted, lancer-style of tunic with two rows of five buttons and upright collars, along with a switch to military-style caps. Once again, nothing is known about the insignia that these uniforms would undoubtedly have carried.

Following the bankruptcy of the D&LER and closure of the system in 1925, the line remained dormant, eventually being relaid some two years later — by the DUTCo — to the standard gauge of 5ft 3ins, after which is was operated by them. Staff working the services during this period would therefore have worn the standard DETCo uniforms (see link).

It is currently unclear whether the D&LSTCo or the D&LER employed inspectors, and certainly no photographs appear to have survived.

Further reading
For a history of this tramway, see: 'The Dublin, Lucan and Leixlip Steam Tramways and Electric Railways' by Alan T Newham, in the Tramway Review, Nos 32 (p222-232) and 33 (p3-19); Light Railway Transport League (1962). For an overview of the Irish tram scene, including the Dublin and Lucan, see 'Irish Trams' by James Kilroy; Colourpoint Books (1996).


Steam tram drivers and conductors
Dublin and Lucan Steam Tram No 5 and staff
A busy scene with Dublin and Lucan Steam Tram No 5, a Kitson product delivered in 1884 — photo undated, but judging by the condition of the engine and the various types of headwear in evidence, probably taken in the late 1880s or early 1890s. The location is probably Lucan Village (with thanks to John Kelleher for the identification).

Dublin aand Lucan Steam Tram No 5 and crew
A blow-up of the above photo showing some of the assembled men. The figure fourth from the left appears to be wearing a uniform waistcoat with a kepi-style cap, whilst two of the three central figures are possibly the engine driver and fireman/stoker.

Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway engine at Conyngham 1895
An unidentified Kitson, though seemingly one of the smaller engines in the stable, so probably either No 1, 2 or 3. The photo is thought to have been taken around 1895 at Conyngham, a date supported by the tired-looking condition of the first carriage — a vehicle of the Lucan, Leixlip and Celbridge Steam Tramway — which was effectively an extension of the D&LST opened in 1890. Author's Collection.

Dublin and Lucan Steam Tram at
A blow-up of the above photo showing the driver and stoker/fireman, both of whom are wearing cotton jackets and railway-footplate style caps (without badges).

Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway conductor
Another blow-up of the above photo, this time showing the figure (on the right) in smart three-quarter-length jacket, waistcoat and kepi-style cap. He is probably the conductor, though clearly lower in rank than the rather intimidating and thick-set individual in the foreground, who is probably a manager or a foreman.

Dublin and Lucan steam tram No 6 Ballydowd 1895
An evocative image — taken circa 1895 — of two school excursion trains (the second is out of shot to the right) at Ballydowd. The engine is one of the larger Kitsons, No 6.

Dublin and Lucan Steam Tramway Tram No 6 Ballydowd
A blow-up of the above photo showing the engine driver and fireman/stoker aboard No 6, both in railway footplate-like attire. The figure in the kepi-style cap and long coat is probably a conductor, though he could equally well be an inspector or even a station master.

Motormen and conductors
Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway tramcar
A staged shot intended to show the distinctive curved trolley boom of one of the new electric cars, this example being No 15. With thanks to the National Tramway Museum.

Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway conductor
A blow-up of the above photo, which although of poor quality, does show that the conductor is wearing a single-breasted jacket with lapels, and a straw boater, the latter being a particular favourite of Dublin tramway systems during the summer months.

Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway No 15 and motorman
A motorman at the controls of Dublin and Lucan Electric Railway No 15 — photo undated, but probably taken in the early 1920s. He is wearing a lancer-style tunic and military style cap with a tensioned crown (top). Author's Collection.