The horse-drawn tram (horsecar) was an early form of
rail transport that developed out of
industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, and from the
omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel rail or '
tramway'. These were local versions of the
stagecoach lines and picked up and dropped off passengers on a regular route, without the need to be pre-hired. Horsecars on tramlines were an improvement over the omnibus, as the low
rolling resistance of metal wheels on
from 1852 on) allowed the animals to haul a greater load for a given effort than the omnibus and gave a smoother ride. The horse-drawn streetcar combined the low cost, flexibility, and safety of animal power with the efficiency, smoothness, and all-weather capability of a