E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Tramway or Tram Rails.
A railway for tram-carts or waggons, originally made of wooden rails. Iron rails were first laid down in 1738, but apparently were called dram-roads (Greek, dram-ein, to run). We are told there were waggons called drams (or trams). Benjamin Outram, in 1800, used stone rails at Little Eaton, Derbyshire; but the similarity between tram and Outram is a mere coincidence. Perhaps he was the cause of the word dram being changed to tram, but even this is doubtful. (See Rees Cyclopædia.)
Trams are a kind of sledge on which coals are brought from the place where they are hewn to the shaft. A tram has four wheels, but a sledge is without wheels.Brand: History of New-castle-upon-Tyne, vol. ii. p. 681. n. (1789)