This article is about the historic tramways of Shanghai. For the current network in Zhangjiang High-tech Park, see Zhangjiang Tram. For a current tram network in Songjiang District, see Songjiang Tram.
Trams in Shanghai began operating in 1908 using a steel wheeled electric system. In 2010, the Zhangjiang Tram reintroduced this form of transport to Shanghai in the form of a single line in the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in suburban Pudong. Additionally, in 2018 and 2019 two steel wheeled tram lines have opened in Songjiang District.
The first proposal for a tram network in Shanghai was in 1881, Jardine Matheson proposed to the French Concession Board of Directors to open tram services in the French Concession and both parties began planning for a tram network. The Board of Directors adopted the initiative and began planning a tram network.
The first tram line in Shanghai was opened between Jing'an Temple and The Bund on January 21, 1908. The line was 6.04 kilometers long and operated by British commercial interests. Later that year the French completed an 8.5 km tram line between The Bund and Xujiahui. In 1912 a locally operated Chinese system opened in Nanshi District.
Three tram companies expanded their routes step by step, and collectively reached their maximum extent in 1925 with 328 tramcars and 14 routes. The British system was the largest with seven routes and 216 trams; the French system, had three routes and 60 trams; the Chinese system and operated 52 trams on four routes totaling 23.5 km in length.
During the Korean War, anti-western sentiment and sanctions by the United States made it very difficult for the British and French to operate their respective systems. By 1952 and 1953 the British and French companies were shut down and the three tram systems were consolidated and turned over to local control as part of a mass campaigns of the Communist Party to expel foreign influence. Starting from the late-1960s, the number of buses, taxis and private cars increased rapidly, taking over more streetspace and causing traffic congestion. The congestion greatly affected the quality of tram services and tram lines were gradually dismantled or converted into trolleybus lines. The last tram lines were demolished in 1975.