An Act of Parliament passed in 1900 allowed Ipswich Corporation to operate an electric tram service within the town. Over the next three years a tram depot was built on Constantine Road (adjacent to the Portman Road football ground) and over ten miles of track, with overhead electric cables, were laid with the service officially opening in November 1903.
The fleet initially comprised of 26 double deck trams, but so popular was the service that by the middle of the following year the fleet had been increased by a further 10 vehicles.
Routes through the town included Whitton to Cornhill, onto the railway station along Princess Street, and then Bourne Bridge. There where services to Lattice Barn and Derby Road Station; Bath Street for connections to GER river steamers on the Orwell; Bramford Road; Queen Street to Stoke Bridge; and Felixstowe Road.
Car no. 33 – lovingly restored by the Ipswich Transport Museum – is pictured here in the distinctive dark green and cream livery of the service. Each car seated 50 passengers, 24 of whom travelled on the upper deck. At just 5′ 9″ wide the cars were among the narrowest in use across the country.
The trams saw just over twenty years of service. WWI saw a deterioration of the fleet and tracks due to shortages of labour, material and equipment – and the routes served by the trams were eventually replaced in their entirety by a trolley bus service in 1926.