Blackpool Corporation No. 40

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Blackpool 40

Photo: Jim Dignan

Blackpool 40’s place in the tramway history books is assured by virtue of the fact that this classic ‘Standard’ tramcar design was to be the last of the ‘traditional’ first generation trams to operate in the United Kingdom. By the time it was built, in 1926, Blackpool’s tramway was in a state of considerable upheaval. Six years earlier the tramway had been amalgamated with its northern neighbour, the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad and a programme of track renewal had been completed in 1922-3.

However, Blackpool’s tram fleet was also by now in urgent need of renewal. During the immediate post-war years these needs had intensified as a result of extensive housing development around the inland or town routes, for which many of the existing older ‘sea-front’ tramcars were not so suitable. Hence the quest for a substantial number of economical and reliable all-weather tramcars offering a comfortable ride and at least some protection from the elements.

The mid-1920s were also a period of financial austerity which made it difficult for the tramway manager, Mr Charles Furniss, to obtain approval for the purchase of more than a limited number of all- new tramcars though seven completely new Standard tramcars were ordered from Hurst, Nelson of Motherwell.

Specification

Type of tram
Double deck bogie tramcars with open balconies and open downstairs vestibules.
Livery
Red, white and teak
Seating capacity
78 (46 wooden seats on the upper deck; 32 seats in the lower saloon)
Date built
1926
Manufacturer of body
Blackpool Corporation.
Manufacturer of truck
Preston McGuire equal wheel bogies
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
BTH B265C 2 x 35 hp
Controller
BTH B510A
Current collector
Trolley
Modification

December 1931 driver’s vestibules fitted;
September 1934 deep rocker panels fitted and repainted in green livery;
November 1936 major body repairs carried out and lower deck given upholstered seating.

Withdrawn from service

12 January 1963 (last operating open balcony tramcar in Britain)

Subsequent history

3rd-5th October 1963 taken to Crich for preservation
1964 entered service at Crich.

Restoration history

1983 / 1984 complete overhaul and restored to 1931 external condition including red livery with shallow rocker panels but interior seating does not match (should be longitudinal on both sides and covered in red moquette).

Current status
Restored to operational condition. Commissioned for service as part of the operational fleet during the current season.
Date started operating at Crich
1963 for 20 years then 1986 to date
Total mileage covered at Crich
41,457
Current location
Depots
Timeline
  • 1926 – 1963Operational on original tramway
  • 1963 – 1983Operational at Crich
  • 1983 – 1984Under restoration
  • 1985 – 1985Operational at Blackpool
  • 1986 –Operational at Crich

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.