Dudley and Stourbridge Tramways, later Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Tramways

Owner Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways Company
Opened 31st May 1884 (steam)
Operator Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways Company
Taken over 1897 (controlling interest acquired by the British Electric Traction Company)
Taken over
2nd April 1898 (Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company - a BETCo subsidiary)
Last steam service 25th July 1899
First electric service 26th July 1899
Took over (operation) 3rd October 1900 - Dudley to Sedgley Depot section of the BETCo-owned former Dudley, Sedgley and Wolverhampton Tramways Company line
Took over (operation) 5th April 1901 (Kinver Light Railway) under a lease arrangement from the owner, BETCo
Taken over (operation) January/February 1902 Dudley to Fighting Cocks services (by Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Limited, a BETCo subsidiary)
Took over (ownership) 29th September 1902 (Kinver Light Railway) from BETCo
Ownership transferred 1st July 1904 (to Birmingham and Midland Tramways Limited - a BETCo subsidiary) and thereafter managed by the newly formed Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee
Took over (operation) 19th November 1904 (Rowley Regis Urban District Council) - UDC-owned line between Old Hill and Blackheath under a 30-year lease
Taken over 1st January 1909 (Dudley Corporation) - all track within the municipal boundary; immediately leased back to the DS&DETCo for a period of 30 years
Parent company name changed 13th August 1912 (from B&MTL, to the Birmingham District Power and Traction Company)
Took over (operation) 1st April 1924 (South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company - a BETCo subsidiary) - Dudley to Wednesbury (via Tipton) services
Took over (operation) 1st April 1928 (BDP&TCo) - Spon Lane and Bromford Lane services
Took over (operation) 1st September 1928 (WDETL - a BETCo subsidiary) - Darlaston to Wednesbury, Wednesbury to Walsall, and Darlaston to Walsall services
Took over (operation) 1st November 1928 (Walsall Corporation) - Willenhall Crescent Road to Darlaston services
Parent company name changed 18th December 1929 (from BDP&TCo, to the Birmingham and District Investment Trust Limited)
DS&DET closed 1st March 1930
Taken over 2nd March 1930 (SST[L]Co or B&DITL?) - services that the DS&DETCo had been working on behalf of the SST(L)Co
Company wound up 24th September 1930
Length 21.24 miles
Gauge 3ft 6ins

Button description (pre-1903)
Uniforms not worn

Button description (1903 onwards)
Wheel, magnet and electrical flashes
Materials known Brass; chrome; black horn
Button Line reference [113/16]

Comment The British Electric Traction Company had a common approach to all its subsidiaries, so staff working the electric services would have worn the standard BETCo 'Magnet and Wheel' button. Uniforms were not issued to steam-tram crews prior to the BETCo take-over, and may well have not been provided to them by the BETCo either.

The history of BETCo-owned tramways in the Black Country is a complex one. The BETCo essentially started by acquiring an interest in several local tramways (Dudley and Wolverhampton Tramways; Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways; and South Staffordshire Tramways) in 1897, then rapidly expanded its influence by gaining control of several other tramways. On the 1st July 1904, the BETCo transferred its shares in these companies to Birmingham and Midland Tramways Limited, a company which it directly controlled. The six tramways (later seven) were thereafter managed as a single concern by the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Joint Committee (from October 1915, the Birmingham and Midland Joint Committee of Electricity, Tramways and Motor Omnibus Undertakings), which comprised board members from the individual concerns:

- Birmingham and Midland Tramways (via the Birmingham and Midland Tramways Limited)
- City of Birmingham Tramways (via the City of Birmingham Tramways Company) - until 1912
- Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Tramways (via the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company)
- Kidderminster and Stourport Electric Tramway (via Kidderminster and District Electric Light and Traction Company) - from October 1915
- Kinver Light Railway (owned by the DS&DETCo)
- South Staffordshire Tramways (primarily via the South Staffordshire Tramways [Lessee] Company)
- Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways (via Wolverhampton District Electric Tramways Limited)

The B&MTJC worked in partnership with many local authorities, some of which owned the tramway lines within their municipal boundaries, but leased them to one of the B&MTJC's constituent tramway companies. Many of these authorities harboured transport ambitions of their own, which were ultimately to be the downfall of the B&MTJC's network, the last of its services being taken over by Walsall Corporation in 1930.