The first part of the tramway opened on 29 September 1885, a conduit line running from Cocker Street to Dean Street on Blackpool Promenade.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.
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.
Blackpool Conduit 4 is the only surviving conduit tram from the Blackpool system, and is now one of the oldest trams in the world.