The world has seen the first tram operating in New York, USA in 1842, then in Europe (Paris in 1854 and London in1860); whereas those vehicles started wandering the streets of Istanbul on the 3rd of September, 1869, operating in Tophane-Ortaköy line.
Bound by a contract concluded regarding the "Construction of the Tramway in Dersaadet and Its Facilities", dated 30th of August, 1869; the management of vehicles that were driven by horses and that comprised of the construction of railroads for the transportation of passengers and goods along the streets of Istanbul was allocated to the company named `Dersaadet Tramway Establishment`, established by Krepano Efendi, being valid for 40 years.
The first horse-driven tram started servicing in 4 lines; which are Azapkapı- Galata, Aksaray - Yedikule, Aksaray - Topkapi and Eminönü- Aksaray in 1871. 53,000 TL income was collected with carrying t 4,5 million passengers, using 430 horses during its first year of operation.
Afterwards more lines were added to the system such as Kabristan Street-Tepebaşı- Taksim-Pangaltı-Şişli from Voyvoda, Beyazıt-Şehzadebaşı, Fatih- Edirnekapı-Galatasaray-Tünel and Eminönü-Bahçekapı.
The horse drawn trams that had been operating within the Ottoman Empire boundaries were established in the main cities of the empire and started operating firstly in Thessalonica, then in Damascus, Baghdad, Izmir and Konya. The Ministry of Defense took over the horses of the trams during the Balkan War that commenced in 1912 for 30.000 gold pieces; hence Istanbul remained without tram for more than a year. The Tramway Enterprise that had been turned over to the Government on the12th of June, 1939 by the law numbered 3642, then turned over to Municipality of Istanbul on the16th of June, 1939 by the law numbered 3645.
The Tramway Management has reached to an end with the removal of trams from operation on the 12th of August 1961 on the European side, and from the Anatolian side on the 14th of November, 1966.
By the end of year 1990,the historical tramline of Tünel-Taksim has recommenced to service with restoration of old wagons taken out from the museum. and it has been operating on a line of 1640 meters with 3 mortises and 2 wagons, making 14.600 trips, totaling 23.944 kilometers per year and carrying 6,000 passengers a day on average; as well as serving for touristic purposes.