Thursday, 24 March 2016

Kinver Light Railway

The iconic run along the canal.

Above 3 Kinver station

Surviving trolley pole on the route

Outside the Stewpony Inn, 1901

(Pics sourced via Google)

Before Beeching was much more than a lumbering toddler looking for nice things that weren't his to break there were occasional closures of railways and tramways in the UK.

An early - and rather tragic - victim was the Kinver Light Railway, which took hordes of Black Country folk out to the country on a route that took in street running and a lovely run along the canal and through the woods to a light railway style station in the picturesque village of Kinver.

It didn't close because it was losing stacks of money but because the tramway network that connected with it closed three weeks later. It would have been stranded had it survived.

What a fantastic asset this would be today! It many ways it was a continental style light railway/tramway on British soil, quote rare over here. It carried milk traffic as well as millions of passengers. It was a line decades ahead of its time really - and hopefully will be rebuilt in the future.

More info (from Wikipedia)

The Kinver Light Railway operated a passenger and freight tramway service between Amblecote and Kinver, in the Midlands of England, between 1901 and 1930.


The Kinver Light Railway was a subsidiary of British Electric Traction. They acquired the Dudley and Stourbridge Steam Tramways Company in April 1898 and applied for permission to build a tramway from Amblecote to Kinver.
The route ran from outside the Fish Inn at Amblecote where it had a connection with the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company tracks. After passing Wollaston and Stourton, it arrived in Kinver.
Passenger service started on 4 April 1901. Although parcels were carried on passenger services from the outset, from September 1903, goods trailer vehicles were attached behind service cars for freight.
The company was taken over by the Dudley, Stourbridge and District Electric Traction Company in 1902 for the sum of £60,000 (£5,817,612 in 2016).
The company made significant money from its freight operation. Substantial quantities of milk were carried, such that occasionally passenger vehicles were commandeered for freight use.

In film

The Sheffield Photo Company produced a film in 1904 entitled A Ride on the Kinver Light Railway. It was directed by Frank Mottershaw, a pioneer film maker.


The services finished on 8 February 1930, a victim of competition from motorbus traffic, and the final closure took place on 1 March 1930.

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