Coventry Electric Tramways Co. Ltd.

1895-1912


On the 5th December 1895, the former steam tram line, which had closed in 1893, was re-opened between the LNWR's Station and Foleshill Road, as a double-track, electric line, now under the ownership of Coventry Electric Tramways Ltd., formed to take over the business of the Coventry & District Tramway Company. A week later the remaining section of the line was opened to Bedworth. The first electric trams (Nos. 1-4) were four double-deck open-top cars with Brush 40-seat bodywork on Peckham Cantilever four-wheel trucks. By April 1896 four more cars (Nos. 5-8) were in service; the bodies were converted from four of the six Falcon-built steam trailer cars of 1884 and seated 53 passengers. They were mounted on Peckham Cantilever four-wheel trucks. The remaining two Falcon trailer cars were used as trailer cars with the electric trams until 1898, when they too were converted (as Nos. 9-10).

The Coventry Electric Tramways Act of 1897 authorised the construction of more routes and on 22nd July 1899 a line to Stoke, east from the city centre via Priestley's Bridge, Ford Street and Gosford Green was opened. On the 27th July another line to Gosford Green via Victoria Street was opened. To work the new services an additional 15 tramcars were purchased from Brush, ten (Nos. 11-20) were powered cars, whilst the remaining five were trailer cars and were un-numbered. A second tram depot at Priestley's Bridge was opened to supplement the depot in Foleshill, which had been inherited from the Coventry & District Tramway Company.

In March 1905 two short extensions from Broadgate to Earlsdon and Allesley Road, via Smithford Street and Spon Street, were opened and twelve ex-Wigan Corporation ERTCW cars (Nos. 19-30) purchased (the previous Nos. 19-20 being sold). The five Brush trailer cars were also electrified at the same time using the trucks from Nos. 6-10; the new cars taking the now vacant numbers.

The fleet was further strengthened, in 1907 with the purchase of six more open-top double-deckers (Nos. 31-36) from Milnes, and in 1910 with five ex-Norwich Electric Tramways, Brush-built, open-top, double-deck cars (Nos. 37-41).

Under the Coventry Electric Tramways Act of 1903, the Corporation was given the power to purchase the undertaking in 1910, or at intervals of seven years thereafter. In the event, the undertaking was purchased on the 1st January 1912 and the tramway passed to Coventry Corporation.

FLEET SUMMARY

Fleet No.

Type

Trucks

Builder

Seating


1895

1-4

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Peckham Cantilever

Brush

20/20

To Coventry Corporation 1912.

1896

5-8

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Peckham Cantilever

Falcon

28/26

Nos. 5-8 were constructed from former steam car trailers built in 1884/85 by Falcon.
No. 5 to Coventry Corporation 1912.
Withdrawn 1904 (6-8).

1898-99

9-10

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Peckham Cantilever

Falcon

28/26

11-20

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Peckham Cantilever

Brush

26/26

Nos. 9-10 were constructed from former steam car trailers built in 1884/85 by Falcon.
Nos. 19 and 20 transferred to Norwich Electric Tramways in 1904.
Nos. 11-18 to Coventry Corporation 1912. 
Withdrawn 1904 (9-10).

1904

6-10

Double-deck
open-top

Peckham Cantilever

Brush

20/20

19-30

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Peckham Cantilever

ERTCW

24/22

Nos. 6-10 converted from un-numbered trailers cars of 1898-99, using the trucks and equipment from the previous Nos. 6-10.
Nos. 19-30 ex-Wigan Corporation (Nos. 1-12, new 1900).
To Coventry Corporation 1912.

1907

31-36

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Mountain & Gibson

Milnes Voss

28/22

To Coventry Corporation 1912.

1910

37-41

Double-deck
open-top
4-wheel

Mountain & Gibson

Brush

34/26

Nos. 37-41 ex-Norwich Electric Tramways (Nos. 7, 9, 16, 32, 36, all new 1900).
To Coventry Corporation 1912.

Trailer Cars

1895

9-10

Double-deck
open-top
bogies

?

Falcon

28/26

Nos. 9-10 were converted to electric cars on Peckham Cantilever trucks c.1899.
Withdrawn 1904 (9-10).

1898-99

-

Double-deck
open-top

Peckham

Brush

20/20

These cars were un-numbered until 1904 when they were converted to electric cars and numbered 6-10, from whom they inherited the trucks and electrical equipment.


In preparing this history reference has been made to the following sources;
The Directory of British Tramways (Keith Turner, PSL 1996); Coventry Transport 1884-1940 (AS Denton and FP Groves, BTHG 1985); Coventry Transport 1912-1974 (Commemorative Brochure by Coventry Transport Committee 1974).
 


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