Home to mainland Britain’s first electric tramway, the Blackpool Tramway is the last surviving first-generation tramway in the UK

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The oldest part of the tramway, along Blackpool Promenade, was opened on 29th September, 1885, originally using conduit collection. The electric supply was converted to overhead power four years later.

Over 130 years later and 2017 was a red-letter year for the Tramway as September saw the eightieth anniversary of the Brush Car tram and in October a collection of illuminated heritage trams paraded along the promenade for the first time in the tramway’s history.

Modernisation

Over five million passengers rode the Tramway in 2016 and in 2012 it underwent renewal efforts which saw modern light rail trams operating along the eleven miles of coastline. The £100 million redevelopment was completed in April 2012 and involved the relaying of track and the building of a new depot.

Other upgrades included a brand-new fleet of Bombardier trams that have reduced journey times by up to 15 minutes. Bombardier’s trams have level boarding and step-free interiors as well as designated disabled/pushchair areas.

The vehicles are 32 metres long, split into five sections and can accommodate up to 222 passengers.

  

Heritage

Heritage Blackpool is unique to the UK as it has the freedom to operate unmodified vintage trams throughout the year under its heritage brand, Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours.

The Heritage Tram Tours have gone from strength-to-strength since 2014 and is a fine example of modern day voluntary working, with up to ninety per cent of its workforce being volunteers.

There are twelve different types of car that have been used on the tramway over its 133-year lifespan, with some travelling around the world, like the iconic Boat car which was used in the USA during the 1970s.

New upgrades

One of Blackpool’s modern trams collects passengers a North Pier on its way from Starr Fare to Fleetwood
Photo: Stephwn McKay

The improvements previously made to the tramway received such a positive response from the public that at the end of 2018 Blackpool Transport alongside Blackpool Council began further upgrades. The existing tramway service operates between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry from approximately 05.30am until 11.30pm, with a peak service every ten minutes.

The tramway extension will leave the existing route at North Pier, via a two-way double track junction. The route will cross the Promenade highway and enter Talbot Square, which is being remodelled to provide segregation of trams and highway traffic. The existing pedestrian signals on the Promenade will be replaced by a signalled intersection.

A new eastbound tram stop is to be located in Talbot Square, to allow interchanges with the existing North Pier tram stops. Beyond Talbot Square, a double track alignment continues eastwards in the centre of the highway. It is anticipated that the proposed tramway extension will be completed in Spring 2019.

Managing Director: Jane Cole
Finance Director: James Carney
Director of People & Stakeholders: Sally Shaw

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Address: C/O Blackpool Transport Services Limited, Rigby Road, Blackpool FY1 5DD
Phone:  01253 473001
Email:  enquiries@blackpooltransport.com
Website: www.blackpooltransport.com