The Porto Mule (horse) Trams

A mule tram on Praça da Batalha in front of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, about 1900.

Porto, like many other cities, developed a horse tram system in the last decades of the 19th century, although instead of horses mainly mules were used to haul the vehicles. This page tells the history of these first trams of Porto. There is a separate page about the oldest tram vehicles.

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The Oldest Porto Tramcars

Porto mule tram, location unknown but believed to be in Matosinhos.

The history of the oldest Porto tramcars is very complicated, but partly also obscure. They were hauled by both mules and steam locomotives. Later part of them were transformed into electric trams while the others continued as trailers of the electric trams. The majority was disposed of during the second decade of the twentieth century, but a few even made it into the first half of the 1960’s.

This page is about the vehicles, there are separate pages about the history of the mule and steam tram networks.

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The Porto Steam Trams

Steam tram with locomotive Henschel no.5 at Cadouços ca.1902. Photo Aurélio da Paz dos Reis.

In Porto, like in most cities before electric trams were introduced, horse trams provided the urban public transport, although in Porto more often mules were used. Steam trams were used in many cities too, most on busy suburban routes. Porto was one of the cities in Europe using steam locomotives for trams. This page is about the steam trams of Porto that operated in the city for 36 years. This page is about the history of the steam tramline and the locomotives used, there is a separate page about the tram vehicles that were hauled not only by the locomotives, but also by mules and electric trams.

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