Blackpool Corporation No. 236

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Blackpool 236

Photo: Jim Dignan

Towards the end of the 1920s, most of Britain’s first generation tramways were facing a mid-life crisis with fleets of aging tramcars that no longer met the demands and expectations of passengers who had experienced the increased levels of comfort and safety associated with the latest in motor bus design and technology. Many tramways succumbed to this increased competition during the 1920s and 1930s and opted for motor buses or trolley buses instead. Some other systems did manage to rise to the challenge by renewing their fleets and infrastructure, but this was unlikely to happen in the absence of an enthusiastic tramway manager and a supportive tramway committee that was willing to authorise expenditure on the purchase or development of more modern designs of tramcar.

Blackpool Corporation were fortunate in having already agreed to implement a modernisation programme by the time a new general manager, Walter Luff, was appointed, in 1933. Armed with this commitment he devised an ambitious five-year plan to replace virtually the entire fleet with several different types of modern luxury tramcars that were built to a revolutionary streamlined design. Much of the rest of his tenure (he retired in 1954) was spent implementing this grand design, which enabled Blackpool alone to keep faith with a traditional but modernised British tramway system that lasted until it was replaced by a completely new second generation tramway in 2012.

Specification

Type of tram
Type of tram Electric single deck modernised 'toast-rack' tram
Livery
Livery Green and cream
Seating capacity
56
Date built
1934
Manufacturer of body
English Electric
Manufacturer of truck
English Electric
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
EE 327 2 x 40 hp
Controller
EE DB1
Current collector
Trolley pole mounted on a ‘trolley tower’ base
Modification

1958-9 – windscreens fitted at either end. 1968 renumbered as 607; four of the class were scrapped at this time. Refurbished in the early 1990s and given new liveries. Temporarily converted to pantograph operation at around this time, but returned to trolley pole operation after complaints from passengers about being showered with grease and dirt when it rained.

Withdrawn from service

Withdrawn from service Withdrawal from passenger service in 2004

Subsequent history

‘Adopted’ by the Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation and Fylde Tramway Society, which raised money for its restoration.

Restoration history

Restored by Blackpool Transport Services on a commercial contract basis prior to its permanent move to Crich.

Current status
Restored to operational condition. Commissioned for service as part of the operational fleet during the current season.
Date started operating at Crich
2012
Total mileage covered at Crich
4,919
Current location
Depots
Timeline
  • 1934 – 2004Fully operational on original tramway
  • 2004 – 2011In storage
  • 2011 – 2012Undergoing restoration
  • 2012 –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.