Blackpool Transport Services No. 762

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Blackpool 762 in service on a "Purple Tram Day". Photo: Jim Dignan

The period between the closure of Britain’s last major inland first generation tramway in Glasgow in 1962 and the launch of a new era of light rail or second generation tramways starting with Tyne and Wear’s Metro in 1980 was a challenging one for Britain’s sole remaining tramway operator, Blackpool Transport Services. They were faced with an ageing fleet of trams and no surviving domestic tramcar manufacturer from which new vehicles could be purchased, so if new trams were needed they would have to produce them themselves.

At the same time, changes in the economic climate prompted a quest for increased operational efficiency, partly by trying to increase the carrying capacity of existing vehicles but also through the use of ‘one-man-operated’ tramcars in a bid to reduce staffing levels.

Blackpool 762 and its sister car 761 represent an innovative and imaginative response to both sets of challenges. Number 762 began life as a conventional “balloon”-style double deck tram, numbered 714, and continued to operate in this guise for its first 36 years. At this point, in 1971, both 762 and 761 (originally numbered 725) were withdrawn from service and moth-balled since they were in need of a major overhaul.

Specification

Type of tram
Electric double deck rebuilt passenger tram adapted for driver-only operation
Livery
Purple all-over advertising livery for Nickelodeon Land, Blackpool’s premier theme park. Originally green and cream but has appeared in assorted liveries over the years.
Seating capacity
90 in total
Date built
1982
Manufacturer of body
Blackpool Transport
Manufacturer of truck
Blackpool Transport
Gauge
4’ 8½”
Motor
EE 305 type, 2 × 57 hp
Controller
Brush Chopper Controls
Current collector
Pantograph
Modification

The tramcar began life as a conventional ‘balloon’ tram but was extensively rebuilt between 1979-1982 with remodelled front and rear ends that incorporated additional doors and stairs, lengthened underframe and body, new bogies, braking and control equipment.
The tramcar was refurbished between 2000 and 2002.

Withdrawn from service

Withdrawal from passenger service in 2011 and moved to Crich

Subsequent history

Spent some time in the workshops receiving attention to its controllers

Restoration history

See above

Current status
Restored to operational condition. Commissioned for service as part of the operational fleet during the current season.
Date started operating at Crich
2014
Total mileage covered at Crich
580
Current location
Workshops/Depots
Future plans

Now forms part of the operational fleet

Timeline
  • 1979 – 1982Rebuilding of tramcar
  • 1982 – 2000Operational on original tramway
  • 2000 – 2002Undergoing refurbishment
  • 2002 – 2011Operational on original tramway
  • 2011 –Undergoing testing and 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.