Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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South Staffordshire Tramway Co

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1882 The South Staffordshire and Birmingham District Steam Tramways Co was registered.

1889 The company was incorporated by an Act of Parliament under the title South Staffordshire Tramway Co.

1893 The electric overhead system of the South Staffordshire Tramway Company was opened. It connected Walsall, Wednesbury, Darlaston, and Bloxwich. The generating station was at James Bridge. The Electric Construction Corporation built the line.

Staffordshire was the only part of the country in which the overhead system of electrical traction with only one series of poles had been adopted; in other places the electric wire poles were placed on either side of the street, with a wire stretching from one to the other, and a cross wire suspended from the trolley wire, which made it impossible to have outside passengers. In the South Staffordshire system the poles were on one side of the road only.

By 1898 South Staffordshire Tramway Co had been experimenting with a system of "auto-traction" for 2 years but the system had proved a failure so the operations continued to use steam engines. An agreement between Electric Construction Co and South Staffordshire Tramways Co (June 1897) had been reassigned to British Electric Traction Co and had been completed[1].

1900 As from February 1st, a lease of the tramways has been granted to the South Staffordshire Tramways (Lessee) Co. [2]


  • For a description of the overhead electric tramway and its plant and generating machinery see The Engineer 1892/11/18


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 3 June 1898
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908