Cardiff Corporation 131

Tramway companies employed a number of vehicles for maintenance and, what would be termed on the railways, departmental use. One frequent need were for water cars to help keen the roads (and tracks) as clear as possible from mud and animal waste (horse drawn vehicles still being the majority at the start of the twentieth century). Many purpose built water cars were built with a wide variety of different set-ups depending on the operator's requirements [1].

Number built: 1
Built: 1902
Builder: Electric Railway & Tramway Carriage Works of Preston
Engine: 2 GEC 200K traction motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 60 hp (45 kW)

Cardiff Corporation 131 is the only water car to have survived into preservation. A small single truck tram, it was built for the Corporation in 1902 with a thousand gallon water tank. It was in use until 1950 when the Cardiff tram system was closed. Originally 131 had open sides but wooden panelling was added in 1913, which was not usual for water cars which were usually kept open. The tram was also fitted out for rail grinding and was used for staff transport.
Cardiff Corporation 131 at Crich Tramway Museum

Original configuration, public domain image [2]
131 isn't large, compare the double decker tram behind

The water tank can be seen inside behind the cab

131 has a cab at both ends
[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 119
[2] "The Cardiff Corporation Tramways", Electric Railway Journal Vol. XX No. 1 (July 1902) p. 42