Kinver Light Railway 1901-1930

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Promoted by the BET under the Kinver Light Railway order of 1898, this 3ft 6ins gauge tramway ran from the Fish Inn at Amblecote (where it connected with the tracks of the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Company’s system) to the Staffordshire village of Kinver, via Wollaston and Stourton, a distance of just over 4 miles.

A small depot was constructed at Amblecote and another at The Hyde.

The initial rolling stock consisted of 3 (Nos. 1-3) double-deck open-toppers constructed by the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works of Preston, delivered in 1900.

The Board of Trade, however, prohibited these from running on the system for fear of them overturning on the sleepered track between Ridge Top and the Stewponey Hotel on the Wollaston to Stourton section.

As a result the BET drafted in three single-deck cars from the nearby Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company (who actually worked the lines on behalf of the Kinver Company), and the system opened on the 5th April 1901 using the loaned cars.

The line was an immediate success and necessitated a rush order of additional cars. 3 single-deck cars with open mid-section and toastrack seating were ordered from Brush and arrived in 1901.

On the 29th September 1902, a controlling interest in the Company was acquired by the Dudley and Stourbridge concern and the Kinver Light Railway became part of that Company’s system, although because of the line’s tourist traffic, special cars were purchased and it was generally separately maintained with its own allocated rolling stock, which was numbered within the parent company’s fleet.

The rolling stock and tramway deteriorated badly during World War I and with the rise of the motor coach soon afterwards, the line’s appeal began to fade.

With the abandonment of many of its parent company’s lines in the late 1920’s it was inevitable that it would soon close, although, in the end, it survived almost to the end of the Dudley and Stourbridge Company’s system, passing into history in February 1930, just a few weeks before the final closure of the entire system on 1st March 1930.

FLEET SUMMARY

YearFleet No.TypeTrucksBuilderSeating
19001-3Double-deck
Open-top
bogie
Brill 22EERTCW??/??
1901?-?Single-deck
Combination
4-wheel
Lord BaltimoreERTCW26
19011-3Single-deck
Open
Combination
Toastrack
BrushBrush56
(12+32+12)
190246-48Single-deck
bogie
Brill 22EERTCW38
191163-68Single-deck
Covered
Toastrack
4-wheel
Brush L&C RadialCity of Birmingham Tramways40
191246-47Single-deck
bogie
Brill 22EBrush?38?
19166, 21, 32, 70Single-deck
Semi-open
Combination
bogie
Brush DBirmingham & Midland JTC56
(16+24+16)

Nos. 1-3 (of 1900) were exchanged for unknown cars in 1901 (ex-Dudley, Stourbridge & District Electric Traction Co. Ltd. (fleet numbers unknown, new 1900).
Nos. 1-3 (of 1901) re-numbered 49-51 (in Dudley, Stourbridge & District fleet c.1902).
Nos. 46-48 originally Nos. 1-3 of 1900, converted to single-deck by the Dudley, Stourbridge & District Company and returned c. 1902.
Nos. 46-47 (of 1912) ex-South Staffordshire Tramways Co. Ltd. (fleet numbers unknown, new ?); former Brush double-deck open-top cars cut down to single-deck; they received the trucks from the former Nos. 46-47.
Nos. 63-68 ex-City of Birmingham Tramways (Nos. 257-262; former cable cars of 1899 converted to electric traction in 1904)
Withdrawn c.1902 (unknown cars (of 1901); returned to the Dudley, Stourbridge & District Company), c.1911 (46-47 (of 1902)), 1916 (63-68), c.1918 (48), c.1925 (46-47 (of 1912)); remainder unknown probably 1930.


In preparing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996); PSV Circle Fleet History 2PD2 (1979).