Blackpool trams .info
'Standard' - tram 143 project
Back in the 1920s many
Lancashire towns, including Blackpool, operated traditional
open fronted double-deck tramcars. Blackpool Corporation built
a fleet of 42 traditional ‘Standard’ cars during the 1920s
in response to both growing patronage on the tram routes and a
need to rationalise the assortment of tram types, many
originating from the early 1900s. Many of these trams were
rebuilt from earlier cars or built from scratch by the
Corporation's own craftsmen. One such tram was No.143 which is
preserved by the Lancastrian
Transport Trust (LTT) who have decided to make it their
next major restoration project so that people can once again
ride on a genuine 1920s tram along the Blackpool tramway again
- a tram built in Blackpool for operation in Blackpool.
This car has a unique history. Withdrawn from passenger duties in October 1957, it was fitted with a bus engine and generator set to allow it to operate independent from the overhead. An inspection tower was fitted on the upper deck and the tram transferred to Engineering car duties. Later renumbered 753 in the works car fleet, it survived on such duties until June 1990 when the engine caught fire and damaged the lower deck saloon. Unwilling to see such an historic tram broken up, the car was donated to the LTT in February 2002 and was transferred to our Brinwell Road depot and restoration workshop on 13 April 2003 to await future restoration.
No Blackpool ‘Standard’ cars survive that represent the original open driver’s platform and open balcony design as originally fabricated in Blackpool Corporation’s workshops (and no other preserved bogie cars represent this design from any other British tramway system in the UK).
The Blackpool tramway is one of the inherent themes and stories behind the development of Blackpool as Britain’s premier seaside resort. Blackpool had the country’s first electric street tramway and, from 1962 was also the last operating street tramway in the UK until the new breed of tramways in cities such as Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham opened in the 1990s. The tramway in Blackpool has a unique place in the country’s heritage and this fact is acknowledged in the Blackpool Heritage Strategy. The tramway is an important part of Blackpool’s development in social, industrial and engineering contexts.
Many millions of journeys would have be made on trams of this type not just by the residents of Blackpool going about their daily business but by the many tourists that flocked to the resort each summer. We want to recreate the sight of a 1920s tram travelling along the Blackpool tramway once more and give people the opportunity to ride on the transport of yesteryear. The project is supported by other groups that represent Blackpool’s tramway and heritage community, including the Blackpool Civic Trust, Fylde Tramway Society, Seaside Heritage Trust and, of course, Blackpool Transport.
an online donation to help Raise the Standard
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© LTT 2005