Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy 125 to Blackpool Trams

It is the 125th anniversary of English city of Blackpool's electric tram system, said to be the oldest electric system in the world. There is a week of festivities in Blackpool with tram parades, open tram depot and various other celebrations, all happening while the Blackpool Illuminations are underway.

Yes, I have travelled on a few of Blackpool's trams and they are great fun, although you could never think of them as a fast way to travel. The trams run from Starr Gate in the south, and travel along the coast through the main area of Blackpool and then on to northern town of Fleetwood where Brian hails from, a distance of eighteen kilometres.

Look, you can see the route on this simple map from Wikipedia.

Let us look as some of the trams that may be running during the celebrations. I have chosen them quite subjectively.

My photo of a Boat Tram at the Fleetwood Terminus and where the ferry to Ireland departs.

Its sister tram, with lights on while making a tour of the illuminations.

Boat trams used to come in an open version.

Or a double decker if you prefer.

It can come with a roof too. This is the basic Blackpool work horse tram known as a Balloon Car. There are more modern versions as well, such as the one one we rode in.

This is a Dreadnought tram, designed to move large crowds of beach goes. Photo by Caroline Matthews.

This is a Brush Rail Car. You can see Blackpool Tower in the background, having stood there since the 1890s. Photo courtesy Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester.

A much older Box Car.

And you can't see anything from me about Blackpool Trams without seeing once again a photo of a Jubilee Car fighting heavy seas. Wave mitigation work on the sea front means it will be unlikely that this scene will ever happen again, I stress unlikely. I suppose it is progress, but rather spoiling fun.

Blackpool Tram Events
Fylde Tramway Society
Lancastrian Transport Trust
Blackpool Transport
Blackpool Trams Info
Heaton Park Tramway


  1. Trams with character and class :)
    How's the girdle?

  2. Interesting note, the 'new' Bombardier Flexity 2 trams that currently are running in Blackpool are the same as the trams just announced to be bought by Melbourne.

    Only ours will be built in Dandenong. (In other words, they will come pre-stripped and vandalised!)

  3. Certainly very varied Jayne. Don't ask about the girdle as I am about to slash a significant vein open.

    Msilsby, so ours are Flexity. Someone on TDU suggested otherwise. I was going to include something about Blackers new trams, but left it for another day.

  4. Love that tram in surf photo every time I see it. I remember you posted a steam train charging through water some time ago too. It's a great theme.

  5. LiD. I think that train photo was at Windsor Station from memory.