T.E.B. Car 44

T.E.B Car 44

T.A.W. Car 1

T.A.W. Car 1

Boulogne-sur-Mer Trams, Wimereux

These two cards of Wimereux (near Boulogne), dating from around 1913, are numbers 13 and 18 in a series produced in France by photographer E.-H. Caron, and who was local to Boulogne. The first, entitled "WIMEREUX - Arrêt des Tramways", shows car 44 of the Companie des Tramways Electriques de Boulogne-sur-Mer (T.E.B.) at Wimereux terminus. To the left of the picture can be seen a tram of the Tramway d'Aubengue à Wimereux (T.A.W.) which is the subject of our second card. This is entitled "WIMEREUX - Le Monument du Ballon et le Tramway du Golf" and shows car 1 of the T.A.W. This card also informs us that it was "Obtenu avec plaques Lumière", whereas the first card was "Obtenu avec plaques Jougla" (these two photographic plate making firms had in fact merged in 1911).

The T.E.B. came into existence in 1896, taking over a previous standard gauge horse tramway (opened on 1st March 1881), converting it to metre gauge and electrifying it between 1897 and 1901. As well as routes in the town of Boulogne, they operated several suburban lines one of which was the 8 km route to Wimereaux, which opened around 1913. The line was a concession granted by the "departement" to the Société des Tramways du Boulonnais who leased it to T.E.B. The trams left Boulogne by its Casino route, following the coast and the Calais road to the nearby resort of Wimereux.

At the time of our cards, T.E.B. had 40 motor trams and 36 trailers. The small open-fronted (later enclosed) motor cars seated 18 with 12 standing and had two 35 horsepower motors. They had both track brakes and a run-back brake, necessary as in the town there were gradients as steep as ten percent in the Grande-Rue.

The town tramways in Boulogne were heavily damaged by bombing in the second world war, the depot being destroyed on 16th June 1944. The tramway was replaced by motor buses on 9th July 1951.

The T.A.W. was an original concession of June 1906 to a Monsieur Lonquety, which in March 1910 passed to a private company, the Société du Tramway du Pont de Wimereux à Aubengue. The metre gauge tramway from alongside the terminus of the T.E.B., as shown in our first card, just south of the bridge over the River Wimereux, opened on 18th September 1909 to serve a hotel by Aubengue Racecourse, 1.9 km distant. The tracks of this tramway were not linked to those of its neighbour until June 1913, after which operation of the line was taken over by T.E.B. The tramway had just two trams and ran a summertime only service which lasted until the end of the 1915 season, when it closed due to lack of staff as a result of the demands of the Great War, although it may have operated occasionally during the 1920s.

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