According to Official Guinness Records,
The first public electric railway was opened on 12 May 1881 at Lichterfelde near Berlin, Germany. It was 2.5 km (1.5 miles) long, ran on 100V current and carried 26 passengers at 48 km/h (30 mph). The first electric railway was made by Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith in Vermont, USA, in 1835. It was a small railway powered by a miniature electric motor. The first serious attempt at electric power on a railway was made by Robert Davidson in 1842 when he tried out a battery locomotive weighing five tons on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway, Scotland, where it ran at 6.5km/h (4mph). The first practical electric railway was built by the German Engineer Werner von Siemens (1816-92) for the Berlin Trades Exhibition (May 31 to September 30, 1879). It was an oval about 300m (984ft) in circumference with a gauge of 1m (3.28ft). The electric locomotive had a 2.2 kW (3hp) motor, picking up current at 150V from a center third rail and returning it via the wheels and running rails. It could pull 30 passengers on three cars at 6.5km/h (4mph).
For a complete list of 1881 records, please visit 1881 Guinness Records in Germany.