Dudley and Stourbridge Tramways



Owner Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways Co Ltd
Opened 31st May 1883 (steam)
Operator Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways Co Ltd
Taken over 1897 (controlling interest acquired by the British Electric Traction Company Ltd)
Taken over
2nd April 1898 (Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Co Ltd - a BET subsidiary)
First electric route 26th July 1899
Took over 3rd October 1900 - Dudley to Sedgley Depot section of the BET-owned former Dudley, Sedgley and Wolverhampton Tramways Company line
Took over (operation) 5th April 1901 (Kinver Light Railway - a subsidiary of the British Electric Traction Company Ltd)
Taken over (operation) January/February 1902 (Wolverhampton and District Electric Tramways) - WDET-owned Duduley to Sedgely Depot services
Took over (ownership) 29th September 1902 (Kinver Light Railway)
Ownership transferred 1st July 1904 (to Birmingham and Midland Tramways Ltd - another BET-owned entity) and administered by the newly formed Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee
Taken over 1st January 1909 (Dudley Corporation) - all track within municipal boundary; leased back to the DSDET for a period of 30 years
Took over 1st April 1924 (South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Co Ltd - a subsidiary of the British Electric Traction Company Ltd) - Wednesbury to Dudley line
Took over 31st August 1928 (Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways) - Willenhall to Darlaston section (operated by Walsall Corporation Tramways) and former South Staffordshire lines worked by the WDET
Closed 1st October 1930 - upon purchase of its sole remaining line - WIllenhall to Darlaston - by Walsall Corporation
Length 21.24 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description Wheel, magnet and electrical flashes
Materials known Brass; chrome; black horn
Button Line reference [113/16]

Comment BET had a common approach to all its subsidiaries (with the exception of its London operations), so staff working the electric services (from 1903 onwards) would have worn the standard BET 'Magnet and Wheel' button. It is currently unclear what uniforms were worn prior to 1899, and by staff working the steam services up until their discontinuation..

The history of BET-owned tramways in the Black Country is a complex one. BET essentially started by purchasing shares in Birmingham and Midland Tramways Ltd (steam) and then rapidly expanded their influence by gaining control of several other key tramways. On 1st July 1904, BET transferred its shares in these other companies to the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Co Ltd, a company which it directly controlled. The six systems were from then on operated by the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee, which comprised board members of the individual concerns:

- Birmingham and Midland Tramways (via the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Co Ltd)
- City of Birmingham Tramways (via the City of Birmingham Tramways Co Ltd)
- Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Tramways (via the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Co Ltd)
- Kidderminster and Stourport Electric Tramway (via Kidderminster and District Electric Light and Traction Co Ltd) - from October 1915
- Kinver Light Railway (owned by the DSDET)
- South Staffordshire Tramways (via the South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company Limited)
- Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways (via Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Ltd)

The B&MTJC worked both in conjunction, as well as in competition with, its many local authorities, many of whom had their own ambitions. This was ultimately to cause the downfall of the Committee, with its last lines being handed over to Walsall Corporation in 1930.