The Colne and Trawden Light Railway Order of 1901 authorised the construction of a tramway between the two Lancashire towns of Colne and Trawden, to be built and operated by the Leeds firm of Batley and Greenwood.
The first section to open was that between Heifer Lane (where the depot was situated) and the Albert Road/Queen Street junction, via Keighley Road, Market Street and through the town centre, on 28th November 1903, with other sections opening in stages; to the boundary with Nelson at Bott House Lane on 30th November 1903; to the Rock Hotel, Trawden on 22nd January 1904, and to the Zion Chapel on Lane House Lane, Trawden by December 1905.
A branch line from Heifer Lane to Laneshawbridge was operating by the end of December 1904.
The gauge chosen was 4ft, which coincided with that of neighbouring systems.
The company traded under the name the Colne & Trawden Light Railway Co Ltd, although, despite the title, it was a conventional street tramway, apart from a short stretch of reserved track towards Trawden, which removed the need to climb steep sections of roadway on Cotton Tree Lane and Church Street. The cars were liveried in a light green and cream.
Although the tracks connected with those of neighbouring Nelson at the borough boundary, passengers could not travel through and had to change cars to continue their journey.
Arrangements were made for through running in 1911, but passengers were still required to re-book at the boundary (a practice which continued for several years).
In the same year half of the fleet was canopied to make travelling in the inclement weather more comfortable and attractive.
On the 24th March 1914, Colne Corporation purchased the entire system (even though part was within the boundary of Trawden UDC), changing the tramways title to Colne Corporation Light Railways.
|Mountain & Gibson||Milnes||22/28|
In producing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996); Trams in the North West (Peter Hesketh, Ian Allan 1995).