|Dublin City Tram c 1916|
Like most rebellious outbreaks the
Trams aided the rebels as a number of them were seized either at gunpoint or in Andrew McDonnell's case on Pearse Street at the point of a six foot pike. He stood his ground in front of the oncoming tram, leveled his pike and hoped that the driver would stop. He shook nervously as the forty ton tram bore down on him. Once the tram halted he ordered all the passengers off and his volunteer comrades stepped on board and headed for the action of the city centre.
|A cartoon on William Murphy's Tram Company who was at the centre of the 1913 Lockout|
By 2pm on the first day of the Rising all trams had either been abandoned on the streets of the city or had returned with haste to their garages. The electrified transport system would not operate again until May 3rd offering a limited service with a full schedule resuming on Sunday May 13th. The limited service was due to a number of factors, the damage to tracks and overhead wires and extensive on certain routes especially through the Rathmines/Portobello area, the lack of staff as many had been arrested in the aftermath, the lack of electrical supply and military martial law.
|From the Freeman's Journal|
The company lost three trams completely, destroyed during the Rising. One was burnt out at the foot of Lower Bridge Street and Usher's Quay and used as a barricade to supplement the defenses of the Volunteers at the Mendicity. The second Tram 308 was overturned on St Stephens Green by Michael Mallin's ICA forces and a third was eventually overturned on North Earl Street. This tram had been seized by the rebels and attempts to speed it off the rails at the Talbot Street turn failed. Homemade explosives under the tram also failed to fell the vehicle and when a hand grenade also failed to explode, Joesph Plunkett arrived from the GPO and using his Mauser weapon fired a number of shots at the grenade which exploded turning the tram on its side. Later in the week children were seen playing in the tram, ringing the bell and dancing on the leather seats.
|The Burnt out remain of the Tram at Bridgefoot Street|
After the surrender of the rebels on May 1st, the authorities commandeered some of the trams to travel the safer parts of the city to collect some of the corpses and take them to the city morgue.
The only transport throughout the entire week in and out of the city was the Dublin to Lucan Electric Railway which operated from Parkgate Street to the suburban village. Many of the city's more affluent citizens used this system to retire to the relative safety and comfort of the Spa Hotel where they watching the fiery glow of the burning city later in Easter week.
The railway system was also greatly affected. Rebels seized two main railway stations Westland Row (now Pearse Street) and Harcourt Street with the intention of preventing the British using the stations to bring in reinforcements from the Curragh and Dun Laoghaire. Although Amiens Street remained in the hands of the Crown forces the last trains out of the station was the 2pm to Dundalk and the 2.45pm to Howth. Two excursions from Belfast arrived back at 3.30pm with military permission and protection. The station was utilised as a replacement for the telegraph services in the GPO to keep in touch with the war office in London.
|Kingsbridge Station now known as Heuston Station|
The British did dispatch troops to Dublin from the Curragh but the trains stopped in the middle of nowhere ten miles from the city forcing the heavy laden troops to march the rest of the way. All rail services into and out of the city were suspended from April 24th to May 3rd.
Losses for the railway companies were fair higher than for the tram company. The Dublin and South Eastern Railway company claimed £2000 in damages and £14,000 in lost revenue. The Midland and Great Western had £700 in damages and £20,000 in losses and according to its chairman Sir Joshua Goulding in 1917, the Great Southern railway company had revenue losses of £21,000.
|Transport Today on board the 1916 Easter Rising Coach Tour|