Electric trams run by the Cardiff Corporation were introduced in 1902, replacing horse-drawn buses. A service from Roath Park to Town opened on May 13th 1902 with three tram cars, but was withdrawn on June 19th. By this time there were services between Roath and Pier Head, and between Cathays and Town, both of which opened on June 13th. A Sunday service between Roath Park and Pier Head was introduced from August 17th using six cars.
1904 a turning circle was constructed at the Roath Park terminus, in time for the summer season. The Roath Park line was the most profitable in the system, and the terminus enabled up to five cars to load or unload, then leave in procession along the single line Ninian Road.
The Tramways Committee paid for bands to play in Roath Park, costing five or six pounds per day, but resulting in an increase of £50 in revenue for the day. On a single day in June 1904 when a band was playing, 12,000 people visited the Park; and on the Wednesday of Whit-week forty-nine cars, all packed with passengers, ran on the Roath Park line.
The fare in 1904 from Fairoak Road to Clive Road was 3d and went up to 3½d in November. On weekdays trams ran every nine minutes from early morning until after 11.00pm, and on Sundays every 12 minutes from early afternoon until 9.45pm. (Note 3d represented 3 pence in old British currency when there were 240 pennies to a pound. There were 12 pennies to a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound.)
The last car to Roath Park, number 107, ran on Saturday 3rd December 1949. Trolley buses took over from the trams on the followng day.
In this photograph trams number 4A (St Mary St) and 4B (Roath Park) are at the Roath Park Terminus in Ninian Road, with Fairoak Road in the background.
Sources of Information
In general, the information in this section is taken from Cardiff's Electric Tramways by David Gould, Oakwood Press, 1974.
Other sources are: