In 1883, a new tramway opened to link the seaside resort of Portrush to the World-famous Giant’s Causeway. Shareholders in the original Company included Sir William Thompson, later Lord Kelvin, from Belfast and Sir Charles Siemens of Siemens Brothers in London.
The original line ran from Portrush station to the Market Place in Bushmills, before being extended to reach the Causeway in 1898, a distance of 9¼ miles. The electricity was supplied to the tram by an elevated rail which ran alongside the track. In 1899 this was changed to an overhead system to make the operations safer and more efficient. During its early years it also operated two Wilkinson Steam Tram Locomotives as the electric side rails was considered too dangerous for use in town. Rolling stock was a mixture of proprietary and home built, and all maintenance and repairs were undertaken by the Tramway’s own staff at their depot on Causeway Street
The Causeway Tramway ran from 1883-1949. It was the first in the world to be powered by a hydro-electric turbine and was developed by William Traill from Bushmills. A small section of the line recently re-opened with carriages drawn by diesel replicas of the original trams.