Blackpool Corporation No. 298

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Blackpool 298

Photo: Jim Dignan

When Blackpool Corporation decided to modernise its ageing fleet of trams in the early 1930s, the first vehicle to be commissioned was a single deck tramcar built by English Electric to a revolutionary new streamlined design that became known as the ‘railcoach’ because it sought to emulate the levels of comfort associated with the most advanced road coaches of the day.

This radical new design with its pointed front ends formed the basis of several complementary classes of trams including the “open boat” replacements for the historic toast-rack trams (represented by 236) and a stylish series of double deck trams known as “balloons” (as represented by 249). Between them, these trams conferred a distinctive family identity on most of Blackpool’s tramcar fleet until well into the post-war era.

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298 on Lytham Road. M.J. O’Connor, 23/5/1959.

Specification

Type of tram
Type of tram Single deck, electric, centre entrance bogie tramcar
Livery
Livery Green and cream originally
Seating capacity
48
Date built
1937
Manufacturer of body
Brush Co.
Manufacturer of truck
EMB Hornless Equal wheel bogies
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
Crompton Parkinson C162 2 x 57 hp
Controller
Crompton West CTJ
Current collector
Trolley Pole with fixed head
Modification

1960s – fitted with heaters, motors and controllers from scrapped English Electric railcoaches and renumbered 635 in 1968 as part of a general fleet renumbering.

Withdrawn from service

Withdrawn from passenger service in 1974

Subsequent history

Following its withdrawal 298 has moved to a number of locations around the country but although some restoration was undertaken much work remains to be done.

Restoration history

The tram has received a considerable amount of attention since withdrawal, notably the bodywork, underframe and bogies but the restoration process is far from complete.

Current status
Preserved in partially restored state
Current location
Stored in off-site storage facility
Future plans

A dedicated fund exists to support the eventual restoration of the tram but is currently insufficient to complete the task.

Timeline
  • 1937 – 1974Fully operational on original tramway
  • 1974 – 2005In storage at various locations and, intermittently, undergoing restoration
  • 2005 – 2014On display in depots at Crich
  • 2014 –In off-site storage facility

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.