The Rotterdamsche Tramweg Maatschappij was founded in 1878 and became the principal transport operator linking the city with the islands of South Holland and Schouwen-Duiveland. It originally operated horse trams but introduced steam traction in 1881, and later had electric trams that in due course worked over a network of 235 km of tramways, linking with the company’s ferries. Trams and ferries became redundant during the reconstruction that followed the flood disaster of February 1953 and the last tram ran in 1966. RTM then became a bus company and lost its identity in a takeover in 1978.
The Tramweg Stichting (tramway foundation) purchased steam tram equipment from 1965, and moved to the present museum at Ouddorp on the north side of Brouwersdam in 1989. The museum building was expanded in 2013-14, and models now show the full extent of the former RTM system. There are also steam and diesel locomotives, passenger carriages, a postal carriage, and wagons, used for livestock, agricultural produce and building materials, including postal carriage, as well as some of the company’s buses. Visits can be combined with boat trips or journeys on historic trams or buses from city centre.