Blackpool Tramway
Locale England
Dates of operation 1885 –
Track gauge 1435mm
Length 11 miles
Headquarters Blackpool
Brush Railcoach 623

Brush Rail car 623 in Mystique livery

The Blackpool tramway runs from Blackpool to Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, England and is the only surviving first-generation tramway in the United Kingdom (UK).[1] The tramway dates back to 1885 and is one of the oldest electric tramways in the world. It is run by Blackpool Transport as part of the Metro Coastlines, owned by Blackpool Borough Council. The tramway runs for 11 miles (18 kilometres) and carries 6,500,000 passengers each year.[2]


700 and 720 at bispham

Double-decker Balloon tram 700, restored to wartime livery, passes 720 at Bispham

The first part of the tramway opened on 29 September 1885, a conduit line running from Cocker Street to Dean Street on Blackpool Promenade.[3] It was one of the first practical electric tramways in the world, just six years after Werner von Siemens first demonstrated electric traction. The inauguration was presided over by Holroyd Smith, the inventor of the system, and Alderman Harwood, the Mayor of Manchester.[citation needed]

The line was operated by the Blackpool Electric Tramway Company until 1892 when its lease expired and Blackpool Corporation took over the line. A further line was added in 1895 from Manchester Square along Lytham Road to South Shore. The tracks were extended to South Pier and a line on Station Road connecting Lytham Road to the Promenade in 1897.[3]

In 1899 the conduit system was replaced by overhead wires and in 1900 the line was extended north to Gynn Square where it linked up with the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad. In 1901 The Marton loop was opened, connecting Talbot Square and Central Station along Church Street, Devonshire Square, Whitegate Drive, Waterloo Road and Central Drive. A new depot was built on Whitegate Drive in Marton. A line was added from Talbot Square along Talbot Road to Layton in 1902. By 1903 the Promenade line had reached the Pleasure Beach.[3]

In 1920 Blackpool Corporation took over the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company gaining eight miles of track and three depots, two in Fleetwood and one in Bispham. The small Bold Street Depot in Fleetwood was closed and a loop constructed at Fleetwood Ferry.[3]

The original Blundell Street Depot was replaced by a larger depot on Rigby Road in 1920. Along the line to Fleetwood, between Rossall and Broadwater a more direct line was built in 1925. The final tramway extension was in 1926, along the Promenade to Clifton Drive at Starr Gate where a connection was with Lytham St. Annes tracks.[3]

In 1936 route closures began with the Central Drive and Layton routes. Lytham Road closed in 1961, Marton in 1962, and the Tramroad line on Dickson Road to North Station in 1963. Marton and Copse Road Depots closed in 1963 and Bispham Depot in 1966. This left the track running from Starr Gate to Fleetwood, which still remains. Blackpool Borough Council transferred the operation of the tramway and buses to Blackpool Transport Services Limited in 1986.[3]

The networkEdit

The tramway today runs from Starr Gate in Blackpool to the Ferry Terminus in Fleetwood. Most of the route runs along the Fylde Coast sea front, turning inland at Cleveleys for the last few miles before ending at the coast in Fleetwood. The tracks consists of four different types:

  • Street running, open to all traffic - along Lord Street in Fleetwood and a short stretch on the Promenade in Blackpool by the Metropole Hotel.
  • Paved reserved track alongside a road, open to pedestrians but not road traffic - along most of the route between Starr Gate and Gynn Square.
  • Reserved ballasted track, open to trams only - from Gynn Square to Rossall.
  • Interurban style alignment, not following a road and open to trams only - from Rossall to Fleetwood.

There are four loops, at Starr Gate, opposite the Pleasure Beach, Little Bispham and Fleetwood, and links to Rigby Road Depot.[4]

Blackpool tramway todayEdit

Princess Alice at Bispham

Open-topped Balloon tram 706 "Princess Alice" at Bispham

Blackpool is one of the three surviving non-heritage tramways to use double-deck trams, the others being Hong Kong and Alexandria, Egypt. They are, however, outnumbered by single-deck trams. Blackpool was the only town in the UK that retained its trams: between 1962 and 1991 Blackpool had the only urban tramway in the UK. The last English city to lose its conventional trams was Sheffield in 1960. The last in the UK was Glasgow in 1962. The opening of Manchester Metrolink in 1991 heralded a revival.

The Blackpool tram fleet is diverse. Some of the 1930s trams are still in regular service in virtually unchanged condition. Others have had their bodywork rebuilt. Occasionally historic trams are borrowed from the National Tramway Museum for public service.

Trams run from Starr Gate in the south to Fleetwood in the north. Some services, especially in busy periods such as during Blackpool Illuminations or on Bank Holidays, start or terminate short, at Cleveleys, Red Bank Road in Bispham, or the Pleasure Beach. This is to allow a more intensive service through the centre of Blackpool. During Blackpool Illuminations, specially decorated trams carry passengers along the promenade along the illuminated area. Fleetwood was the only town in England to retain trams running down the main street.[5]

For the first time the entire length of the tramway was closed in November 2007 for five months of essential repair work, the second phase of an £11,800,000 upgrade,[6] whilst at the time Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Council had a joint bid awaiting Government approval, which could provide up to £77,000,000 for a total upgrade of the trams and the tracks.[7] In January 2007 the City Class 611 prototype "supertram" was being tested on the tramway when it caught fire as it approached Central Pier, causing extensive damage. The driver escaped when the electrical console in the cab reportedly blew up. The tram, manufactured by Merseyside based Tram Power, was being tested as part of a bid to replace the current trams.[8] The same tram had derailed on 30 May 2006 at Starr Gate loop during previous trials. A Rail Accident Investigation Board report stated that the derailment was due to wear and tear on the track with a contributory factor being the new type of running gear on the two-car prototype.[6]

The tramcar was rebuilt at a cost of £150,000, but was not permitted to resume trials as testing is not allowed during the busy summer months and because of the current closure of the tracks for repairs. The tram is currently scheduled to form part of a trial park & ride tram line in Preston.[9]

Following the Government's pledge to a build 25 new tram networks by 2010, a £1 billion bid for a government grant was launched by Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council in 2002 to expand the tram network to include St Annes to the south and new housing estates in Fleetwood to the north, with a possible further phase to include links to Poulton-Le-Fylde and Thornton. In 2004 campaigners behind the bid expressed disappointment that nothing had been done to take the plans forward in two years. By November 2007 there was no further development.[2]

On 1 February 2008 it was announced that the Government had agreed to the joint Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Council bid for funding toward the total upgrade of the track. The government will contribute £60.3m of the total £85.3m cost. Blackpool Council and Lancashire County Council will each provide about £12.5m. The Government's decision means that the entire length of the tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood will be upgraded and 16 state-of-the-art trams will replace the current fleet.[10] There will however be a small collection of retained vintage trams including up to ten Balloon cars with centre door modifications to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.[11]

Blackpool tramway in popular cultureEdit

In 1989, Alan Bradley, a character in the British soap opera Coronation Street was killed when he fell under the wheels of a Bispham tram outside the Strand Hotel on North Promenade. The tram that killed him was Balloon Car 710, now owned by Friends of Fleetwood Trams[12]

Fleetwood Transport FestivalEdit

Each year the Fleetwood Transport Festival, known locally as Tram Sunday,[13] is held on the third Sunday in July. The festival celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2005.[14] The festival attracts thousands of visitors to the town[13] and takes place on the full length of the main street, Lord Street. There are vintage tram rides from Fishermans Walk to Thornton Gate.[5][15] In 2007, the festival, despite its popularity, was nearly cancelled due to a lack of support organising the day.[13] A last-minute appeal for help resulted in the festival being saved. In 2010 the festival was cancelled, however it returned in 2011.[16]

Overhead wiringEdit


679 at Bispham

English Electric Railcoach No 679 at Bispham

The tramcars are powered by 550 V overhead wire with electricity transmitted to the tramcars by pantograph and a few by trolley pole.[17] The wire was made of floss.

The system originally used the conduit system, in which trams took electricity from a conduit situated below and between the tracks. Electrical resistance was greater than anticipated and the voltage in portions of the conduit was far less than that generated at Blundell Street - 230 V dropped to 210 V at the junction with the main line on the Promenade, 185 V at Cocker Street and 168 V at South Pier (then Victoria Pier). In addition there were difficulties during floods. Despite the difficulties, the conduit line was extended to Station Road in 1897. Overhead wiring was installed in 1899, and the conduit removed.

Tram depotsEdit

Template:Unreferencedsection Over the years six depots were built to service the fleet.

Blackpool Tramway - Bispham depot headstone

Headstone from Bispham depot in Crich.

Bispham depotEdit

Built in 1898, Bispham depot was extended in 1914 by the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company to house 36 trams on six tracks. A substation was built to the side of depot. The depot was used to receive pantograph cars in 1928 and Brush cars in 1940. It closed on 27 October 1963 and was used as a store until the mid 1970s. The building was demolished to make way for a Sainsbury's supermarket. The depot's headstone was installed at Crich's National Tramway Museum.

Bold Street depotEdit

Bold Street depot opened in January 1899 and had a capacity of four cars on two tracks. The depot was used only by the last two trams to Fleetwood in the evening and the first two trams in the morning. After Blackpool Corporation took over the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company in 1920, it was closed. Wires were taken down in 1924 when the Fleetwood loop was built. After World War II the depot was used by Fisherman's Friend and was demolished in 1973 to make way for flats.

Blundell Street depotEdit

Blundell Street depot opened in 1885 to house ten conduit trams. It was extended in 1894 an 1896, and in 1898 when the roof was raised to accommodate overhead wiring. After extension, the depot housed 45 trams on five tracks. The depot became a store in 1935 when the new central depot opened at Rigby Road. The inspection pits were filled in after World War II and after 1956 the building was used as a bus garage. The depot was reopened for trams in March 1963 after the closure of Marton depot. A new entrance was built in July 1964 but capacity was restricted by the presence of an ambulance station in the building. Due to damage to the central roof in a gale, the depot was demolished on 4 November 1982.


Corporation Tramways building, Blackpool


Rigby Road Depot, Blackpool

Copse Road depotEdit

Copse Road depot was built in 1897 by the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company with six tracks, capable of housing 18 trams. It was originally used as a store and service depot. After passing to Blackpool Corporation Tramways it was used to dismantle old trams. Between 1925 and 1949 a line connected the depot with the railway and was used to shunt wagons. The depot is now a car showroom and the substation still feeds the Fleetwood section.

Marton depotEdit

The depot was built in 1901 to accommodate 50 trams. It was used for central routes but declined in use after the closure in 1936 of the Layton and Central Drive sections. The depot closed for tram use between 1939 and 1944 due to the war, and accommodated aircraft of the Vickers Aircraft Company. The depot closed on 11 March 1963, with the last car to leave the depot being Standard car 48. The front half of the depot was demolished with the rear half in commercial use. A petrol station is now on the site.

Rigby Road depotEdit

Rigby Road depot was built in 1935 and is the only depot still in use. It has a capacity of 108 trams. It was designed to replace the Bispham and Blundell Street depots. The depot has been modernised several times. In 1955 tracks 15 to 18 were enclosed by a partition to be used as an electrical compound and in 1962 a tram washing plant was built, along with the replacement of the roller-blind doors by folding aluminium doors.

Starr Gate depotEdit

Starr Gate depot is currently under construction as part of the complete network refurbishment, it will cost £20m, open by Easter 2012 and have a maximum capacity of 20 trams. It is being built to house the 16 new supertrams, whilst an expansion public attraction to display heritage units is currently unfunded.[18]

Tramcar fleetEdit

Standard tram at bispham

Preserved Standard tram 147 at Bispham, painted as 177, the last Standard to be built

Blackpool Tramway has a varied fleet of tramcars. The standard livery is that of the colourful Metro Coastlines, which is also used by the bus fleet. The tramcars also use the traditional green and cream liveries of Blackpool Transport and carry a number of colourful all-over advertisements. [17] Some former trams are in use and on display at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire.

The trams currently in use on Blackpool Tramway include:

Standard carsEdit

55 cars built between 1923 and 1929 by Blackpool Corporation Transport Department. They are double deck, originally with open balconies and a capacity of 78 passengers, with 32 seats on the lower deck and 46 on the upper deck. The four-window design came from the 1902 Motherwell trams. They were 33ft 10in long, 16ft 7in high and 7ft 2in wide, had Preston McGuire bogies with 4ft 1in wheelbase and 30in diameter wheels, BTH B510 motors and hand and rheostatic brakes. There was also a further 6 cars purchased from London United Tramways for use on the tramway.

080320 Blackpool 167 at Crich 1

Sole surviving intact Pantograph Car No 167 at the Crich Tramway Museum

Pantograph carsEdit

10 cars built in 1928 by English Electric in Preston. These cars were single-deckers and purchased at a cost of £2,000 by Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company. They were designed for interurban use and of American appearance. They could carry 48 seated passengers. They had a pantograph built by Brecknell, Munro & Rogers, mounted on a tall tower. The first car, (167), was delivered on 30 July 1928 and the last, (176) in 1929. They were 40ft long and 7ft 6in wide, had Dick Kerr bogies, BTH B510 motors and air-brakes, hand and rheostatic brakes.

Boat carsEdit

Open boat at bispham

Open Boat tram No 600 at Bispham

Commissioned in 1933 by Walter Luff. Originally introduced as a prototype, this revolutionary new tramcar (225, later 600) arrived in January 1934 and was one of four other designs that would be chosen to replace the ageing toastrack cars. After its initial trail period it was chosen over its competitors and a further 11 more were ordered, arriving in July and August of the same year.

Built by English Electric, a single deck open-topped model with central doors, 4' wheelbase and trolley pole conductor. They were originally numbered 225-236 and have seating for 56 passengers. All cars were identical, except for prototype 225, which has shorter body panels.

First worked on the circular and coastal tours and were stationed at both the Rigby road and Marton depots for ease of access. They continued on these services until the war years, when they were stored out of service due to the withdrawal of the circular tour and general lack of demand. This continued until 1946, when they returned to work on the Promenade service.

The full fleet remained until 1963 and the closure of the road routes to North Station. The fleet was reduced to 8 cars, with 229, 231, 232 and 234 being scrapped in 1968. The remaining cars were re-numbered 600-607 in the same year. In the late 1970s/early 1980s two boat trams (601 and 603) were sold to museums in the USA and one of them (603 as 228) still operates in San Fransisco. 606 was loaned to Glasgow for the Garden Festival in 1988, returning to Blackpool later that year.

In the early 1990s the remaining cars were refurbished and received a number of new liveries, including Routemaster red, blue and yellow and a fictitious wartime livery. The fleet was converted from trolley pole to pantograph conductors, but they were soon converted back as passengers were showered by grease and dirt from the power line when it rained. In 2000 606 was given to the Trolleyville museum in Ohio, USA in exchange for Standard car 147, which has been restored to its original 1924 condition.

Name Boat Cars
Built English Electric 1934
Capacity 52-56 passegers
Motors 2xEE 327, 40 hp (17.5 kW)
Controller 600,607: 2xEE DB1 / 602,604,605: 2xEE Z type
Chassis EE 4' wheelbase

Balloon carsEdit

712 at Bispham

Balloon tram 712 at Bispham Station

Commissioned in 1933 by Walter Luff, the controller of the network, in a bid to modernise the tramway's fleet and were intended to replace the Dreadnought cars that had been in service since the opening of the tramway. Built by English Electric during 1934 and 1935, the first being presented to Blackpool on 10 December 1934. 27 were delivered, of which the first 13 were open-topped. Numbered 237-263 and used on both summer and winter services.

They had central doors and stairs, with a capacity of 94/84 (54/44 in the upper saloon, 34 in the lower saloon, 6 standing). Half-drop windows provided ventilation and art-deco curved glass lights provided electric lighting. The enclosed-top trams had sliding roof windows and thermostatic-controlled radiators.

The cars originally worked on the Squires Gate service and it was during this time that they became known as Balloon Cars because of their bloated streamlined appearance. During World War II the need for the open-top cars fell significantly and cars 237-249 had their tops enclosed (without roof windows). Also during this period the fleet was painted in a green and cream livery in order to conserve paint and time, as well as to reduce the chances of them being spotted from the air.

After the war years the Balloons were neglected slightly in place of the new Coronation cars, as they were considered old fashioned and too slow to load. Blackpool Corporation soon changed its mind after experiencing the temperamental nature of the Coronations and the Balloons began to make a comeback in the late 1950s. In 1958 check rail was installed through to Fleetwood and the Balloons increasingly began to appear on market-day specials, as they were useful for moving the large crowds travelling north. The Balloons continued to run their normal Squires Gate service until its closure in 1961 and following this were sent to work on the Promenade service.

In 1968 they were re-numbered to 700-726. Between 1979 and 1982, Balloon cars 725 and 714 were totally rebuilt into two new Jubilee cars, 761 (725) and 762 (714). The reconstruction of 725 included moving the stairs to the end and extending its body length. However, 762 retained a central door. During 1980, an accident at the Pleasure Beach Loop caused 705 and 706 to be withdrawn. 705 was scrapped and 706 was rebuilt as an open-topper, later named 'Princess Alice'. During the early 1990s 4 Balloons retired from service were heavily modernised, re-emerging with flat ends and modern interiors similar to cars 714 and 725, which became known as Millennium cars.

In 2002 the Balloons were banned north of Thornton Gate due to the poor condition of the track. Following heavy repair work the Balloons were allowed back from 2005.

Name Balloon Cars
Built English Electic 1934-1935
Capacity 84-94 passengers
Motors 2 x EE 305 type, 57 hp (25 kW)
Controller 2 x EE Z6
Chassis EE 4' 9'' wheelbase

Railcoach carsEdit

Commissioned in 1933 by Walter Luff. The English Electric streamline fleet also included 45 standard enclosed single deck trams known as railcoaches. Only one (279) of these trams remain in their original form with ten cars rebuilt as towing cars for the Progress twin cars in the 1950s and 1960s and thirteen having been converted to the One-Man Operated (OMO) class in the 1970s whilst those that were not rebuilt were scrapped. These have all since been scrapped or withdrawn. 3 railcoaches from the Progress twin car class are heavily modified former towing cars 678–680, which were converted back to single trams with driver cabs at both ends, however they retained their flat ends. None of these remain in the active fleet as 680 was withdrawn around February 2009.

080511 Blackpool Brush 623 at the Pleasure Beach turning loop

Brush Railcar No 623 painted in wartime green and cream livery

Brush carsEdit

20 single deck cars, numbers 621-638, originally 284-303.[17]

Built by Brush Engineering in Loughborough in 1937, the railcars originally worked the Lytham Road route, out of Rigby Road Depot. They were transferred to Bispham Depot in the late 1930s, where they worked the North Station to Fleetwood route with the Pantograph cars. In the 1960s, they were transferred again to Rigby Road, where they worked the Starr Gate to Fleetwood route. During the 1960's, brush cars 301 and 303 were scrapped. In 1968, the 18 surviving brush cars were renumbered 621-638. Brush cars 626, 630 and 631 were given major overhauls between 1994 and 1996 and they emerged with a fully modernised interior and different lifeguard arrangements. 626's overhaul saw it's capacity reduced from 48 to 46 due to the positioning of a control box in one of the passenger saloon's. In 2001, car 633 was rebuilt into the illuminated Trawler and is now number 737.

One of Blackpool's most enduring and successful designs, a few of the class are still working the tramway today.

Coronation at fleetwood

Preserved Coronation tram 304 at Fleetwood

Coronation carsEdit

These 25 cars were named as the Coronation cars because most were delivered in Elizabeth II's Coronation Year, but only three members of this 1952-1953 class of car remain, with the rest having been scrapped. Originally numbered 304-328 and renumbered 641-664 (except for 313 which was scrapped in 1965), they were built by Charles Roberts Ltd at their Horbury Junction works, Wakefield. Two were preserved under the private ownership of the Lancastrian Transport Trust (LTT). The sophisticated Variable Automatic Multinotch Braking and Acceleration Control (VAMBAC) control system of these vehicles proved to be their Achilles heel as it proved to be extremely unreliable in service. Thirteen of the class had their VAMBAC systems replaced by conventional controllers during the 1960s, prolonging their comparatively short service life to 1975, when they were withdrawn. The unmodified examples were withdrawn from 1968.

Blackpool Coronation 304 (later 641), the first of the fleet, was bought for preservation and achieved celebrity status in 2002, when it was the subject of an episode of the Channel 4 television programme Salvage Squad. It was returned to working order by Salvage Squad and LTT members. It was unveiled to the public on 6 January 2003 when it was filmed carrying out test runs along Blackpool Promenade.[20][21]

Progress Twin carsEdit

10 single deck power plus trailer cars, the power cars were rebuilt from 10 English Electric cars in 1958–62, whilst 10 trailers were built brand new. 671–680 are the power cars and 681–690 are the trailer cars. They operate in regular pairs (for instance 675 + 685) except for 678–680, which sometimes operated singly without their trailers. Trailer cars 688-690 were scrapped. Although originally only driven from the power towing end, they were later converted to be driven from either end with driver cabs fitted to the trailers. In June 2007, 677 was scrapped, apart from a section from the underframe and a section of the body framework which was used to provide a replacement body section for the restoration of the Illuminated Western Train.[17]

Jubilee class carsEdit

Jubilee tram

Jubilee tram 762 at the Sand Castle, Blackpool

The two Jubilee cars, 761 and 762, were rebuilt from Balloon cars 725 (761) in 1979 and 714 (762) in 1982.[17] The reconstruction of 725 included moving the stairs to the end and extending its body length. 762 remained with a central door.

The cars are 46ft long and 7ft 6in wide. They have two English Electric 305 HP 57 motors. They served on the Fleetwood to Starr Gate service year-round with a driver in winter plus a conductor in summer. Since 2003 they have been limited to the Cleveleys to Pleasure Beach service. Both 761 and 762 currently have advertisement liveries. 762 has been preserved by the National Tramway Museum.

080511 Blackpool Centenary 644 at the Pleasure Beach

Centenary tram No 644 at the Pleasure Beach

Centenary carsEdit

The 8 centenary cars are single deck trams with flat ends and doors positioned at both the front and centre giving them a more bus-like appearance. They are numbered 641–648 and have a capacity of 52 passengers (of which 16 is standing). They can be operated by one person, as the position of the doors means that the tram can be solely operated by the driver, as opposed to a crew of three. This is useful during low season and early morning/late night services when there is little demand, as it allows the network to keep labour costs down.

The centenary cars were built by East Lancashire Coachbuilders during 1984-88, with 1985 being the tramway's centenary year, hence their name. Originally intended to replace the OMO cars which were suffering from metal fatigue, twelve were ordered. However, due to cost cutting only a prototype car (651, later 648) and later another seven were ever built. The cost cutting continued as, although the bodies chassis and bogies were brand new, the motors and wheelsets were pre-war, refurbished from various withdrawn cars. The bogie design continued the theme of the "O.M.O." and L.T. Underground cars, having "Metalastik" rubber/metal bonded springs.[17]

080511 Blackpool Millennium 709 approaching Starr Gate

Millennium tram No 709 approaching Starr Gate

Millennium carsEdit

4 double deck cars. They were rebuilt from 4 Balloon cars (707, 709, 718 and 724) in 1998–2004. They retained their numbers in the Balloon series. They have a much more rectangular shape which gives the upper decks an increased capacity.[17]

Flexity 2 carsEdit

As part of the upgrade of the entire tramway, 16 new Flexity 2 (Blackpool) trams have been ordered, for use on the tramway from 2011-2012 onwards. These will be accommodated at a newly built depot at Starr Gate by Volker Fitzpatrick.

Blackpool Trawler Illuminated Tram

Illuminated tram 633, rebuilt in the shape of a trawler

Illuminated carsEdit

A variety of rebuilt single and double deck cars, of different designs, rebuilt as illuminated themed trams. They run along the illuminated part of the Promenade during Blackpool Illuminations. Originally no numbering series, until 1968 when the numbering series became 731-736 for the remaining illuminated trams with 633 becoming 737 in 2008.[17] A campaign by the local newspaper, the Blackpool Gazette in 2006 to get one of the Illuminated trams, Western Train, back on track,[22] resulted in a £278,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore the tramcar which first ran in 1962. It was withdrawn from service in 1999 and had stood derelict at the Rigby Road depot.[23] The tramcar was due to return during the Illuminations Switch-On in 2008. Instead it was relaunched on 14th May 2009.[24] In January 2008 it was revealed that another iconic illuminated tram, the Rocket tram, which had been in service between 1961 and 1999 but which had since then stood idle, was also due to be restored with expectation being that it could return to service for the Illuminations in 2009 at a cost of about £150,000 and with the help of a newly created Friends of the Illuminations group. It has since been preserved by the Lancastrian Tranport Trust in 2002.[25]

See alsoEdit


Further readingEdit

  • Abel, P.H. and McLoughlin I. (1997) Blackpool Trams: The First Half Century 1885-1932, The Oakwood Press, ISBN 0-85361-503-9
  • Higgs, Philip (1984) Blackpool's Trams: As Popular as the Tower, Lancastrian Transport Publications, ISBN 0-9509405-0-X
  • Johnson, Peter (2001) Trams in Blackpool, Leicester : AB Publishing, ISBN 0-9536386-2-6
  • Joyce, James (1985) Blackpool's Trams, Ian Allan, ISBN 0-7110-1475-2
  • McLoughlin, Barry (2006) Blackpool Trams and Recollections, Silver Link, ISBN 1-85794-280-9
  • Palmer, Steve (1988) Blackpool and Fleetwood by Tram, Platform 5, ISBN 0-906579-83-X
  • Palmer, Steve (1996) The Heyday of Blackpool's Trams, Ian Allen, ISBN 0-7110-2459-6
  • Palmer, Steve (2007) Blackpool's Trams Past and Present, Venture, ISBN 1-905304-22-6

External linksEdit

Historic town tramway systems in the United Kingdom (v/t)


Alford and Sutton - Barnsley and District - Birmingham Corporation - Blackpool - Brill - Bristol - Chesterfield - City of Birmingham - Dearne District - Derby - Doncaster - Grimsby & Immingham - Grimsby District - Heaton Park - Hull - Ilkeston - Liverpool - London County Council - London United - Maidstone Corporation - Mansfield & District - Matlock - Mexborough & Swinton - Nottingham Corporation - Nottingham & District - Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire - Rotherham - Scarborough funiculars - Sheffield - Southampton - Volks Electric - Warrington - Wisbech and Upwell - Wolverton and Stony Stratford


Great Orme - Swansea and Mumbles Railway - Pwllheli and Llanbedrog


Glasgow - Scottish Tramway and Transport Society

Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway Tramway

Isle of Man

Douglas Bay Horse Tramway - Douglas Southern Electric Tramway - Manx Electric Railway - Snaefell Mountain Railway - Upper Douglas Cable Tramway


Maley & Taunton