Our Fleet

Welcome to the new ‘Our Fleet’ page! A joint effort between our Marketing team and our resident Archivist has led to us profiling our tram fleet, both past and present!

Ranging between 50 and 120 years old (in some cases), we have a mixture of operational and non-operational vehicles at Rigby Road and elsewhere.

Get a preview of what awaits in Tramtown or check out which tram you’re touring the coastline on! Many of our operational trams and buses are available for private hire too, so take your pick from our fleet below and get in touch.

As part of ‘Our Fleet’, we have created summaries of whole vehicle classes and specific case studies where we can. Keep an eye out for feature articles where we’ll deep dive into the stories of specific trams. You’ll also find present day photos alongside archives that have been made digital, some of which you can browse in our gallery. Vehicle owners have been credited where possible.

Click on any of the contents below to skip through ‘Our Fleet’.

Illuminated Trams

Heritage Buses

Twin Cars

Brush Railcoaches

Centenary Cars

Coronation Cars

Open Top Boats

Double Deck Streamliners (Balloons)

The B Fleet


Bolton 66

Princess Alice

Marton 31

Fleetwood Box 40

Illuminated Trams

Double deck car 68 was the first illuminated tram in Blackpool in 1912 as it was decorated and illuminated for the Princess Parade opening by Princess Louise. The car then ran as an illuminated car, starting in 1925 when the Illuminations as we know them began, until 1936.

Purpose-built cars ‘The Lifeboat’ (1925) and ‘The Gondola’ (1926) became part of Blackpool Illuminations until 1961/62.

When the Blackpool Belle was built in 1959, it was intended to replace The Lifeboat and The Gondola. When the Belle became a success as a passenger-carrying feature car, it prompted plans for four more illuminated feature cars to follow it.

Perhaps the most iconic of the group was The Western Train, which is said to have been inspired by the wife of the general manager at the time. The idea came to her after she watched an old-fashioned train in a western film on television.

The Western Train

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1962: Built from English Electric’s Railcoach 209 and Pantograph car 174, the Western Train went into operation during the 1962 Autumn season.

1999: The tram was withdrawn from service due to its need for workshop attention.

2009: The Western Train was launched after receiving funding from the National Lottery for a full restoration.

2020: The Western Train received another extensive refurbishment.

The Train remains one of the Illuminations’ main stars and should be for years to come.

HMS Blackpool

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1965: HMS Blackpool (often referred to as ‘The Frigate’) was built as an illuminated feature car on the underframe of 1928 Pantograph car 170. The name was chosen to honour the Royal Navy’s frigate of the same name.

The car was built for the Illuminations, but it would occasionally serve promenade circular tours to generate extra revenue.

2003 – 2004: HMS Blackpool was overhauled and extensively rebuilt in preparation for the new season in 2004.

2019: The car needed major work on its lighting, so was withdrawn at the end of the 2019 season.

2020: HMS Blackpool was relaunched in September 2020 with new external lighting.

The car is currently a popular feature of the Illuminations season and can be found on daytime Heritage tours from time to time.

The Trawler

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

2001: The Trawler was created out of 1937 Brush Railcoach, numbered 633. The new feature car had received generous funding from Lofthouses, the Fleetwood manufacturer of Fisherman’s Friend lozenges. The design was based on the company’s logo, which was a trawler.

2008: The Trawler had bore its original 633 fleet number but was changed to 737 in 2008.

Before Blackpool’s tramway upgrade, The Trawler was occasionally used for regular public service which was quite a unique sight to behold on the Promenade.

2016: The tram was imaginatively reworked for the 2016 season with the support of Lofthouses. It received a major refurbishment and installation of LED lighting.

The Trawler is currently used on Illuminations tours and occasionally used on daytime Heritage tours.

The Rocket

Owner: Fylde Transport Trust

1961: The Rocket was constructed using the underframe of withdrawn 1928 Pantograph car 168.

Inspired by the Russian space satellite ‘Sputnik’ of 1957, the tram was named ‘Tramnik One’. The ‘cockpit’ was occupied by two wax dummies dressed in space suits from Louis Tussaud’s wax works in Blackpool.

1999: The tram was withdrawn from service and retired due to its deteriorating body structure and electrical wiring.

2002: The Rocket was donated to the Lancastrian Transport Trust (now the Fylde Transport Trust).

2012 – 2014: The tram was a static display on the Gynn Square roundabout during three Illuminations seasons but has otherwise remained at Rigby Road since its withdrawal.

The iconic tram is currently stored at the depot.


Owner: Fylde Transport Trust

1963: The Hovertram was created using the underframe of 1934 English Electric Railcoach 222. Sponsored by Shell, the feature car was designed as a double deck hovercraft which was considered modern maritime transport at the time.

At a 99-passenger capacity, The Hovertram was the highest capacity feature car to operate on the Blackpool Tramway.

2001: The tram was withdrawn from service, having run on Illuminations tours for decades.

2007: The Hovertram was purchased by Beith Transport Museum in Ayrshire, then acquired by the North Eastern Electrical Trust in Sunderland in 2014.

2016: It rejoined the other illuminated trams at Rigby Road depot on loan from the North Eastern Electrical Trust.

2020: The car became part of Fylde Transport Trust’s collection of vehicles.

The Hovertram currently resides at Rigby Road, unfortunately with no plans to be operational in the future.

Heritage Buses

Atlantean 864 (formerly 364)

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1984: Blackpool Transport purchased two final versions of the Atlanteans (363 and 364) as the production of their chassis was coming to an end. They joined the 60 Leyland Atlanteans that had been accumulated between 1977 and 1984 for regular service.

Atlantean 364 (along with its sister 363) entered service in September 1984, intended for private hires and some regular service work.

2006: The last service duties for the Atlanteans ended in October 2006.

2009: 364 survived until 2009 before being withdrawn completely.

The Atlantean remains part of the Heritage fleet, having been renumbered to 864. It is still available for private hires, which is the purpose it was designed for almost 40 years ago.

PD3 501

Owner: Various Private Owners

1967: A batch of 25 similar buses (501 – 525) were delivered to Blackpool Corporation. With a Leyland Titan PD3A/1 chassis and Metro Cammell Weyman bodywork, the bus seated 71 passengers.

The PD3s had the traditional 1960s-style open rear entrance platform for passengers, of which Blackpool was one of the last operators to specify on its buses.

1970s: The original livery with a green band above the lower deck windows was changed to almost completely cream.

1983: The roof was repainted green, which is how the livery has remained.

1985: PD3 501 was withdrawn from service to be privately preserved.

The iconic bus is now used for private bookings as a valued member of the Heritage fleet under private ownership.

Open Top Bus (Leyland Olympian 857)

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1987: The Leyland Olympian entered service in London as number L257 in the Arriva fleet. The bus originally had an enclosed upper deck with bodywork from Eastern Coach Works.

2007: Having been withdrawn from service in London, the bus was converted to an open top and acquired for the City Sightseeing fleet in Blackpool. The bus was then renumbered to 857.

2012: The City Sightseeing operation ended but 857 was retained and painted in green and cream livery.

2015: 857 began private hire work.

The Leyland Olympian 857 is still available for private hires today and fulfils duties during parades and special occasions.

Twin Cars

In 1958, two English Electric Railcoaches (275 and 276) were rebuilt as a prototype Twin Car. Both cars retained controls at both ends, meaning they could operate together or separately when needed.

The prototype was successful and ten trailer cars (T1 – T10) were ordered from Metro Cammell Weymann. Following this, eight Railcoaches were converted into towing cars by an in-house team between 1960 and 1962.

This totalled ten Railcoaches that could tow trailer cars, but could only travel in one direction when they were towing. Due to the trailer cars having no controls, the twin cars couldn’t reverse which presented operational problems.

As a result, seven of the ten trailers were permanently coupled with their towing cars to create permanent Twin Cars. To make them double ended, one set of controls was moved from the Railcoach/towing car to the opposite end of the trailer car. This allowed them to travel forwards and backwards without having to turn around.

The remaining three uncoupled trailer cars were disposed of in 1972, whilst the uncoupled towing cars – still operational as single Railcoaches – continued to operate until all being withdrawn by 2008 (including Railcoach 680).

We currently have three Twin Cars at Rigby Road (672/682, 675/685, 676/686) in addition to trailer 681, but none are currently operational. 672/682 is awaiting workshop attention after an onboard fire in 2016, whilst 675/685 is awaiting a complete rewire.

Twin Car 675/685

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1958: English Electric originally manufactured Railcoaches 275 and 276, which were built into a Twin Car prototype in the tram workshops. Both cars could be operated independently by their controls at both ends and were painted in all cream livery.

1960/61: After the prototype’s success, Metro Cammell Weymann supplied 10 trailer cars (T1 – T10).

1965: Trailer set 275 and T5 were permanently coupled and painted in half green, half cream livery.

1968: Car 275 and T5 were renumbered as 675 and 685 in the 1968 renumbering, which are the numbers they still retain today.

2012: The Tramway upgrade led to 675/685 being withdrawn from service.

The 675/685 Twin Car is currently awaiting a complete rewire before it rejoins the active Heritage fleet.

Brush Railcoaches

Owner: Various

1937: 20 trams (Numbered 284 – 303) were supplied by Brush Electrical Engineering Co of Loughborough. They were regarded for their handsome looks, sliding sun roof and luxury interiors for the time. The Lytham St. Annes tram system also closed in 1937, so the Railcoaches compensated for the trams lost during this closure.

1940: At the outbreak of World War II, the trams were transferred to Bispham Depot and continued to operate on the North Station to Fleetwood route and the Promenade.

1963: When the North Station route closed, the cars were transferred to Rigby Road to serve the Starr Gate to Fleetwood route.

1968: Eighteen remaining trams of this class were renumbered 621 – 638.

1969: Car 638 was rebuilt into a prototype ‘one man operated’ car, which paved the way for the new OMO cars in the early 1970s. However, it was unable to enter public service due to its difficult layout and a disagreement with the trade union over its operation.

1970s, 80s & 90s: Modifications to 13 Railcoaches saw their specifications simplified, whilst others were modernised. Cars 626, 630 and 631 were substantially rebuilt or refurbished.

2004: Several cars were ‘mothballed’ and kept in storage due to them being surplus to requirement in the operational fleet.

2012: Five Brush Railcoaches remained in service until the time of the Tramway upgrade, in addition to the ‘mothballed’ cars.

Railcoach 631 is owned by Blackpool Transport and is currently on regular Heritage service. 621 also operates on regular service by agreement with its owners Fylde Transport Trust. In addition, the FTT owned car 624, which was transferred to the works fleet in 2002 and remains at Rigby Road as works car 259.

625 and 290 are owned by East Anglia Transport Museum since their acquisition in November 2022, which is where they now reside.

Railcoach 680


Owner: Manchester Transport Museum Society

1935: Originally numbered 280, Railcoach 680 was built by English Electric Company of Preston as one of forty-five streamline single deck railcoaches.

1960: 280 was rebuilt as a towing car as part of the twin car program, without its signature pointed ends and given a single destination screen at each end. It would continue to operate as a single car if required.

280 was one of three towing cars that weren’t permanently coupled with their trailers, so it remained able to operate as a single car if needed.

1968: The car was renumbered from 280 to 680 as we know it today.

2008: 680 was withdrawn from service and ownership was transferred to the Manchester Tramway Museum Society. However, it remained in Blackpool until 2013.

2013: 680 went on loan to the North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish and operated for a year.

2015: The car was briefly used at Heaton Park in Manchester before returning to Blackpool, still owned by the Manchester Tramway Museum Society.

Since 2015, Railcoach 680 has operated as part of the Heritage fleet, facilitated by the Manchester Tramway Museum Society.


Owner: Fylde Transport Trust

1935: Built by English Electric, OMO 8 entered service as Railcoach 265.

1968: 265 was renumbered as 612 in the 1968 renumbering scheme.

1970s: Early in the decade, Blackpool Corporation Transport rebuilt 612 into a ‘one man operated’ tram due to economic strains along with 12 other similar cars.

1972: The tram was withdrawn from service due to an accident.

1974: 612 resumed service, only this time as OMO 8.

1992: OMO 8 was withdrawn from service and retired.

2005: The tram had languished for over a decade out of service before the Lancastrian Transport Trust (now the Fylde Transport Trust) took ownership and transported the car to their premises in Marton.

2010: OMO 8 returned to Rigby Road for the 125th Tramway anniversary procession in Blackpool.

OMO 8 is currently stored at Rigby Road but is still owned by Fylde Transport Trust. It has already undergone cosmetic restoration with a yellow and maroon repaint, but it awaits a full restoration.

Centenary Cars

Centenary Cars arrived during the 1980s to replace the thirteen OMO cars. Despite only being constructed in the early 1970s, the OMO cars had been built on 1930s Railcoaches and had become worn.

Between 1984 and 1988, East Lancashire Coachbuilders of Blackburn delivered eight new single deck cars capable of one-man operation. When the Blackpool tramway celebrated its centenary in 1985, this new class of car became dubbed the ‘Centenary’ class.

The Centenary Cars were the last UK purpose-built trams for commercial mainline passenger service. They operated between Blackpool and Fleetwood on regular service until the upgrade of the tramway in 2011.

Centenary Cars (The trams)

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1984: East Lancashire Coachbuilders of Blackburn delivered the prototype design (Car 641) due to the urgent need to replace the OMO trams from the 1970s.

1985: Car 648 (originally 651) was delivered to Blackpool as the second ‘Centenary’ but was owned by GEC Traction. The car operated to test GEC’s new ‘switched reluctance’ control equipment.

1985: After testing, Car 651 was also deemed a success and was purchased by Blackpool Transport. It re-entered service in January 1990 and as Car 648.

1986 – 1988: Prototype Car 641 was deemed successful and more Centenary Cars joined it, numbered 642 – 647.

2011: Traditional Tramway operations drew to a close and the Centenary Cars had been a mainstay in regular service.

Car 648 retained most of its original features despite extensive overhauls and remains in the Heritage fleet with car 642. Car 642 is also stored at Rigby Road.

Centenary car 645 was acquired by the Fylde Transport Trust but was then owned by Blackpool Transport to be stored for spare parts. In July 2023, Centenary 645 was acquired by the National Tramway Museum at Crich where the car will be restored and hopefully repurposed as a wheelchair-accessible tram.

Coronation Cars

Twenty-five Coronation Cars, built by Charles Roberts of Wakefield, entered service between June 1952 and February 1954. They were General Manager Walter Luff’s final cars that he introduced and they gained their names from the coinciding 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronations were fitted with VAMBAC control equipment. However, the weight of the steel trams damaged the tram track and the sensitive controls under the trolley tower were affected by the weather, making maintenance extremely difficult.

Modifications were made to the trams in the 1960s to replace their VAMBAC controls by repurposing English Electric control equipment from other Railcoaches.

Our Coronation Cars were gradually withdrawn from service from the late 1960’s to the mid-1970’s, such that by 1975 only one Coronation remained in service.

Coronation Cars (The trams)

Owner: Various

1952: 25 cars (Numbered 304 to 328) were supplied by Charles Roberts of Wakefield. They had new ‘VAMBAC’ control gears, silent running bogies and were the largest single deck ever built in Britain (50ft long, 8ft wide).

1964: After the first Coronation Car was withdrawn the year before, 13 more had their VAMBAC equipment removed. Those that still maintained it were limited to seasonal use.

1968: The remaining 24 trams were renumbered 641 – 664.

1975: After a severe decline in condition, only one operational tram remained in service.

1983: Car 660 was kept in Blackpool as a memento and restored to its original livery, whilst the original first tram 641 (the only remaining VAMBAC-controlled car) and 663 were moved to private preservation.

2002: Car 304 (641) was seen on TV show Salvage Squad with the goal of restoring it.

2013: Car 663 returned to Blackpool to join 600 and 641

Car 304 (641), owned by Fylde Transport Trust, is targeted with a return to operation in 2023.

The non-operational 660 is retained by Blackpool Transport, whilst 663 is privately owned and is undergoing restoration at Rigby Road.

Open Top Boats

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1934: 12 Boats were originally built by the English Electric Company of Preston and used mainly on the Circular Tours and the Promenade. At first, they were nicknamed ‘Luxury Toastracks’ after the Toastrack trams they replaced before the term ‘Boats’ finally stuck. The Boats were eventually reduced to operating only on busy, clear days though.

World War II: The Boats were kept in storage during the war but were moved from their usual home of Marton Depot due to the RAF using the site during the war.

1962: The Boats were moved to Blundell Street Depot as Marton Depot closed in 1962. The cars also received a simplified all cream livery during the 1960s.

1963: 4 Boats were withdrawn from service.

1968: The Boats that remained in service were renumbered 600 – 607.

1985: Prototype 600 (225) was loaned to the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester until 1997.

Only three boats currently remain in Blackpool after the Blackpool Tramway upgrade: Prototype 600, 602 (227) and 604 (230). Open Top Boats 600 and 602 are the only remaining cars on regular Heritage duty.

One Boat car is at the National Tramway Museum, whilst no fewer than four Boats reside in the US with two of them operating on a heritage service in San Francisco.

Double Deck Streamliners (Balloons)

The double deck streamliners date back to 1934 – 1935 and totalled 27 in all. English Electric Company of Preston built 13 open top (237-249) and 14 enclosed (250-263) Streamliners.

The open top models were nicknamed ‘Luxury Dreadnoughts’ due to the name of the class they replaced. English Electric simply called them ‘double deck bogie cars’, whilst the enclosed cars were called ‘double deck railcoaches’ in the tram workshops. The term ‘Balloon’ was later adopted possibly due to the barrage balloons from the Second World War.

All double deck streamliners have been rebuilt during their lifespans, many of which are unrecognisable from their original condition.

Several Streamliners are retained in a number of liveries. Blackpool Transport own 717, 723 and 701 with the latter being non-operational. 717’s Heritage restoration leaves it as close to the original condition as possible.

Fylde Transport Trust own the non-operational 715, whilst 704 is privately owned and undergoing a full restoration on behalf of its owner.

Double Deck Streamliner 717

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1934: 717 was one of the fourteen enclosed Streamliners introduced by General Manager Walter Luff in 1934.

1955: The new General Manager Joseph Franklin (as of 1954) ordered a refurbishment and modernisation programme for the ‘Balloons’. This involved single destination blinds at each end, a mainly cream livery and increased seating capacity.

1977: After the modernisation programme had taken longer than expected, 717 finally received its single destination blinds in 1977.

2004: Blackpool Transport received a substantial legacy from Phillip R. Thorpe ‘to further tramcar operation in Blackpool’. 717 was selected for restoration to its original 1934 condition.

2008: After drawn-out compromises over the restoration with the rail regulator at the time, 717 was launched in 2008 and named ‘Phillip R. Thorpe’ in recognition of its main benefactor.

2014: The late Daphne Luff renamed 717 ‘Walter Luff’ in recognition of her father’s role in introducing streamlined trams in the 1930s. This was a key factor that enabled the survival of Blackpool’s transport system at the time.

Currently, 717 operates on regular Heritage tours and is available for private hires.

710 (Coronation Street Tram)

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1934: 710 is one of thirteen open top double deck streamline bogie cars (237-249) introduced by Walter Luff. It was originally numbered 247 when it was delivered.

1941: The top deck was fully enclosed due to the need for high capacity trams all year round during World War II. This gave 247 a similar appearance to the fourteen enclosed Streamliners that had been delivered in 1934 and 1935.

1968: Car 247 was renumbered to 710 in the general renumbering scheme of 1968.

1989: 710 infamously featured on Granada TV’s Coronation Street when it killed villain Alan Bradley on North Promenade near the Imperial Hotel. The car has been renowned as ‘the Alan Bradley Tram’ ever since.

2007: 710 ran its last service on 4th November 2007 and became one of the ‘mothballed’ trams in storage. It had been regularly used as a seasonal tram until this point with only a brief loan to the National Tramway Museum in the 1985 season.

2011: 710 was acquired by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Fleet and was sadly reduced to outside storage for over a decade.

2023: The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust decided to dispose of their Blackpool tram collection, making it possible for 710 to return to Rigby Road.

710 is currently awaiting cosmetic restoration to become a static exhibit at Tramtown.

The B Fleet

In preparation for the tramway upgrade in 2012, sixteen modern Bombardier Flexity 2 trams were ordered. It was thought, however, that these sixteen wouldn’t be enough for the summer and Illuminations traffic.

Nine Balloon cars were therefore modified with ‘plug doors’ to use the new platforms on the LRT system. This group is known as the ‘B Fleet’, which was intended for use when the LRT trams had excessive traffic.

The reality was that these nine converted Balloons have not been needed as expected and several are now in disrepair. Others such as 700 have been ‘adopted’ into the Heritage fleet and can still operate on public service if there is demand.

Despite not being fully compliant with regulations, the B Fleet have legislation that allows them to operate on our modern LRT system.

The B Fleet cars are as follows: 700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 719, 720, 724.

B Fleet Balloon 724

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1935: 724 was originally numbered 261 from the batch that English Electric Company of Preston manufactured. It was one of 14 enclosed streamline double-deck bogie cars (250 – 263) supplied this year.

1968: The ‘Balloon’ was renumbered as 724 after being modified with single destination blinds the year previous.

2004: 724 was amongst 4 cars rebuilt with flat fronts, earning them the nickname ‘flat-fronted balloons’ or ‘Millennium cars’ due to the rebuild taking place around the start of the new Millennium.

724 was also fitted with ‘plug doors’ to make them accessible from the new Tramway platforms. It was intended for use as part of regular service when required and therefore became a member of ‘the B fleet’.

2011: On 6th November 2011, 724 served on the final evening of traditional Tramway operations.

The car is currently stored as a non-operational tram with Blackpool Transport.


Standard 143

Owner: Fylde Transport Trust

1924: Standard car 143 was built in the Blackpool Corporation Tramways workshop. It entered service in 1924 as a balcony, open vestibule car.

1929: Windscreens were added to the car.

1932: The top deck was completely enclosed.

1957: Standard 143 was withdrawn from passenger service.

1958: 143 was converted into engineering car 3 (later 753) and received a diesel engine to operate when the overhead power supply was off.

1990: The car’s engine disastrously caught fire, resulting in withdrawal and storage at the depot due to the damage it sustained.

2002: The car was acquired by the Lancastrian Transport Trust (now the Fylde Transport Trust) and moved to their premises in Marton for restoration.

2005: Restoration to its original condition began with a red, cream and teak livery along with renumbering back to 143.

2010: 143 returned to Rigby Road for attention from the Heritage engineers.

Standard 143 is currently awaiting final commissioning before it can re-enter service on Heritage tours.

Standard 147

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1924: Standard 147 was built by Hurst, Nelson and Co Ltd of Motherwell. It was one of seven cars supplied by the company with an open driver’s platform and open balcony upper decks. Painted in red, white and teak livery, 147 entered service on the town routes and the Promenade.

1933: The open vestibules on the top deck were enclosed.

1940: The car became fully enclosed as was common during the 1940s for trams with open tops or open vestibules.

1966: The car was one of the last three Standards withdrawn from service and was transferred to the Gerald E Brookins Museum of Electric Railways in Ohio, USA.

2000: After never being used in Ohio, 147 returned to Blackpool for a small team at Blackpool Transport to work on. This team included Michael Airey, the Body Shop Manager after whom the car is now named.

147 is currently non-operational, having donated one of its two motors to car 143.

Bolton 66

Owner: The Bolton 66 Tramcar Trust

1901: Bolton 66 was built by Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works of Preston for Bolton Corporation. It was originally an open top tram but received a balcony top cover in 1912. The car was later renumbered 366 in 1940.

1947: When the Bolton Tramway came to an end, the top deck was removed, and the lower deck was repurposed. The car spent time as a summer house and later a chicken coop, which was common for disused trams in the UK.

1966: The car was rescued by the Bolton 66 Tramcar Trust who are still its owners today.

1981: Bolton 66 arrived in Blackpool on a 6-month-long loan and has never left since.

1995: To mark 50 years since the end of World War II, the car was renumbered as No. 366. It was then returned to ‘66’ the following year with a full repaint.

Bolton 66 remains a firm favourite amongst our operational Heritage fleet.

Princess Alice

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1934: Manufactured by English Electric Company of Preston, Princess Alice entered service as car 243. She was one of 13 open top double-deck bogie cars, nicknamed ‘Luxury Dreadnoughts’.

1942: Due to the wartime need for enclosed trams, the top deck was covered.

1968: Car 243 was renumbered to 706.

1980: The car was involved in a serious head-on collision with car 705. Although car 705 was damaged beyond repair and scrapped, 706 was retained for eventual workshop attention. Without this accident, 706 might not have existed as it does today.

1985: To mark the centenary of Blackpool’s Tramway, the tram was rebuilt into the original open top style for the celebrations. Car 706 was also named ‘Princess Alice’ after Prince Phillip’s mother this year – the name she has been known by ever since.

2015: Princess Alice was completely withdrawn due to structural issues, stemming from wear and tear.

The tram is currently awaiting a rebuild, including a new underframe sponsored by the Fylde Tramway Society. The steelwork has now been delivered and restoration has begun.

Marton 31

Owner: Blackpool Transport Services Ltd.

1901: Marton 31 was built by Midland Railway and Carriage Works in Shrewsbury as one of 15 four-wheeled open top cars. It operated on Layton and Marton services and became known as the ‘Marton Box’ due to its shape.

1911: The majority of Marton Boxes (including 31) received top deck covers to protect passengers from the elements.

1920: Marton 31 was rebuilt as a lengthened bogie car to increase its seating capacity and its top became open again before being covered up in 1928.

1934: The car was withdrawn and replaced by the new Streamliners. Some Marton Boxes were scrapped but 31 became the No.4 overhead line inspection car, later to be renumbered 754.

1983: Marton 31 was the longest living tram on its home system in the UK as it went on a 99-year loan to the North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish from Blackpool Corporation. It was returned to its open top style here.

1988: The car was relaunched into service in Beamish.

Marton 31 has visited its home of Blackpool several times: once from 1997 to 1999, once in 2010 and a final time in 2016 in exchange for the Standard 147.

The car currently resides in Beamish on loan from Blackpool.

Fleetwood Box 40

Owner: National Tramway Museum Society

1898/99: 11 box cars were built by United Electric Car Company of Preston.

1914: 4 more box cars were built to complete the 41-car fleet of the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company (15 box cars and 26 open-sided cars for summer).

The box cars served the route from Blackpool North Station to Fleetwood between 1898 and 1919, run by the Tramroad Company.

1920: Blackpool Corporation took over the Tramroad Company and connected their two networks. Box Car 40 was renumbered 114 and continued its normal route.

1936: 114 (Box Car 40) was withdrawn but continued life as work car No.5 for track repairs and overhead line maintenance. This came during a decade when the original Tramroad Company fleet was steadily being replaced.

1960: In March 1960, the car was returned to passenger condition for the 75th anniversary of the Tramway before resuming service in June. It received the Tramroad Company livery and was returned to its original fleet number 40.

After the 75th anniversary celebrations, Box Car 40 operated for a couple of seasons on promenade circular tours and as an occasional Fleetwood market day extra.

1963: The car then moved to the National Tramway Museum in Crich, Derbyshire for preservation and operated until 1964/65 before being stored.

1983 – 1988: Box 40 operated on the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester for 5 years.

1988: The car returned to Blackpool for the Tramway’s 90th anniversary celebrations and operated until 1991.

1996: Box Car 40 returned to Blackpool again in preparation for the centenary of the Blackpool to Fleetwood tramroad.

The car spent a brief period at the National Tramway Museum in 2014 but operated in Blackpool until 2018.

At present, Fleetwood Box 40 resides in Crich where it operates at the National Tramway Museum.


Still not satisfied? Come and visit us at Tramtown or hire a vehicle for a special event!

Special thanks to Archivist, Alan Greenhalgh and photographer, Gary Mitchell without whom this project would not have been possible.

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