Blackpool & Fleetwood No. 40

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Blackpool and Fleetwood 40

Photo: Jim Dignan

In the early years of electric tramways it was not uncommon for operators to alternate between ‘open’ tramcars for the summer season and ‘closed’ saloon type tramcars in the winter or when conditions were inclement. Blackpool and Fleetwood No. 40 is a good example of a ‘saloon’-bodied enclosed tramcar which for many years performed a seasonal ‘double act’ with open-bodied toast-racks like Blackpool and Fleetwood No. 2 (also in the museum’s collection). Because of its rectangular shape, it is often referred to as a ‘box car’.

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B&F 40 at Rigby Road depot, M.J. O’Connor, 9/7/1960

Although number 40 turned 100 in 2014, this design of tramcar dates back even earlier, almost to the dawn of the electric tramway era. Indeed, number 40 joined an earlier batch of virtually identical tramcars that the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad ordered from the same manufacturer around the turn of the century.

Specification

Type of tram
Electric single deck fully enclosed saloon tram
Livery
Cream and teak
Seating capacity
48
Date built
1914
Manufacturer of body
United Electric Car Co.
Manufacturer of truck
Preston McGuire equal wheel bogies
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
BTH 509D1 2 x 40 hp (Originally 2 x 40 hp GE 67 motors)
Controller
BTH B510 (Originally BTH B18)
Current collector
Trolley Pole (Fixed head)
Modification

Renumbered as 114 when the tramway was taken over by Blackpool Corporation Tramways in 1920 and original American-style paraffin lamp at the front replaced by a more orthodox electric headlamp. Repainted in Blackpool Corporation’s red-and-white livery.
1926 original wooden seating replaced with upholstered seats and central partition in saloon removed. B18 controller replaced with more modern B510 version around this time.
In 1928 it was equipped with more powerful motors

Withdrawn from service

Withdrawn from passenger service on 10 October 1936 and around 1942 renumbered as works car no. 5 and repainted in all-over green.

Subsequent history

Used as works car until at least 1954 after which it towed the tower wagon for a time while the section between Cleveleys and Fleetwood was rewired. It may have remained in use as a works car until 1957/8.

Restoration history

Repainted in its original livery and partly restored as passenger tram to celebrate 75 years of Blackpool Tramways in 1960.(retaining upholstered seats and upgraded motors).
Donated to Tramway Museum Society in 1963 and ran at Crich in the early years before being placed in store in 1970.
Moved to Heaton Park and restored to operational service.
Returned to Blackpool in 1988 and again in 1996 for the Tramroad’s 90th year and centenary celebrations respectively

Current status
Restored to operational condition. Currently on long-term loan to Blackpool Transport Services.
Date started operating at Crich
1963 for 2 years, then 1991 for 5 years, then briefly in 2014
Total mileage covered at Crich
521 [mileage at Blackpool in 2016 was 422.3].
Current location
Blackpool
Timeline
  • 1914 – 1936Fully operational on original tramway and its successor
  • 1936 – 1954Converted to, or operated as, a works car
  • 1954 – c1958In storage
  • c1958 – 1960Undergoing restoration
  • 1960 – 1963Operated as a Heritage tramcar at Blackpool
  • 1963 – 1965Operational at Crich
  • 1965 – 1970On display
  • 1970 – 1979In storage
  • 1979 – 1983Undergoing restoration
  • 1983 – 1988Operated on Heaton Park heritage tramway
  • 1988 – 1991(Following overhaul) operated at Blackpool
  • 1991 – 1996Operational at Crich
  • 1996 – 2014Operated at Blackpool as part of the heritage fleet
  • 2014Operated briefly at Crich
  • 2004 –Operated at Blackpool as part of the heritage fleet

Crich Tramway Village is a brand name for the National Tramway Museum (Accredited with Arts Council England), solely owned and operated by The Tramway Museum Society, incorporated in England with liability by guarantee (no. 744229). Registered charity number 313615. Our ICO number is Z6700136.