Cork Electric Tramways
Owner Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company Ltd (a subsidiary of British Thomson-Houston Co Ltd)
Opened 22nd December 1898 (electric)
Operator Cork Electric Tramways and Lighting Company Ltd
Owners name changed Late 1920s (Cork Electric Supply Company)
Closed 31st March 1931
Taken over 1st April 1931 (Irish Omnibus Company)
Reopened 7th April 1931
Operator Irish Omnibus Company
Closed 30th September 1931
Length 9.89 miles
Gauge 2ft 11½ins
Button description Elaborate script initials (‘CET’) in scalloped rim
Materials known Nickel
Button Line reference [None]
Comment Unfortunately I currently have no evidence that this button is indeed an issue of the 'CET', though tantalisingly, the style of button is almost identical (bar the substitution of initials) to another Irish tramway, 'Dublin United Tramways'. In addition to the Cork system, BTH also owned, operated or controlled the following systems: Chatham and District Light Railway, Isle of Thanet Electric Tramways, Lanarkshire Tramways, and Paisley District Tramways. Interestingly, the buttons of all these companies have very little in common stylistically, suggesting that BTH left this aspect of tramway operation to the tramway companies themselves.
Perhaps uniquely amongst tramway systems, at least those of the British Isles, Cork actually had two official closures. The first one was intended to be final, but when the replacement bus provision proved to be woefully inadequate, tram services were restarted under the auspices of the bus company, and were run at a loss for the ensuing six months, following which another closure took place!
The unusual gauge was to accommodate the running of railway wagons (3ft gauge) between termini of the two local railways (the 'Cork and Muskerry Light Railway' and the 'Cork, Blackrock and Passage Railway'), which in the event never came to pass.