Blackpool Transport Services No. 645

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Blackpool 645 at Crich Tramway Village - photo Ian Rigg

Blackpool 645 arriving on site on 18th July 2023. Photo Ian Rigg

Blackpool’s Centenary class of tramcars was the last in a long line of first-generation tramcars to be built for a British tramway.  The small class of eight trams were built during the 1980s as replacements for the ageing fleet of OMO trams that had been reconstructed a decade earlier by adapting some of the pre-war railcoaches to extend their lifespan.

By 1985 (the year of the Corporation tramway’s centenary), these OMO cars were becoming life-expired, and a tender was originally issued for ten replacement single-deck tramcars.  This was won by East Lancashire Coachbuilders and the trams were built in Blackburn, though only seven were initially completed as funding for the rest of the order ran out prematurely.

Blackpool 645 as it appeared in 1988, not long after it entered service. Photo: David Beardsell, Easter 1988.

In appearance, the tramcars resembled that of many contemporary single deck buses that operated throughout the UK though they were fitted with the same English Electric motors as were used for the rest of the tram fleet.  One departure, however, was that the conventional controllers and brake handles were replaced by more modern Thrystor controls of the type that had been adopted for the Jubilee tramcars (such as 762, which is also in the museum collection).


Type of tram
Single deck, electric bogie tramcar with offset centre doors.
Green and cream originally. Now features remnants of an all-over red advert for applied in 2009, overlaid by an inauthentic graffiti livery applied after it was withdrawn from service.
Seating capacity
Originally 54 seated and up to 16 standing passengers
Date built
Manufacturer of body
East Lancashire Coachbuilders
Manufacturer of truck
Blackpool Transport Services 5’6” wheelbase and Metaltastik suspension
4' 81/2”
Now English Electric 305 2 x 57hp
Brush Chopper Controls
Current collector

November 1988 – adverts first appeared.
1993 motors repaired.
February 1994 ‘Driver in position’ pedals installed.
September 1995 twin headlamp units were replaced by single ones.
May 1999 bodywork repanelled and a new pantograph fitted.
May 2003 – March 2009 major overhaul of trucks, rewiring, remodelled front ends.
Winter 2009 direction indicators fitted.

Withdrawn from service

6th November 2011.

Subsequent history

Sold to Windy Harbour Caravan Parks for use as a café.
Acquired by Blackpool Transport Services heritage fleet in July 2017 as a source of spares.
19th July 2023 donated to TMS as a possible second Access Tram.

Restoration history

The tram was withdrawn in operational condition but suffered a breakdown on its last day in service.
Restoration to operational service awaits the outcome of an assessment as to its suitability for conversion into a second Access Tramcar.

Current status
Under assessment as a possible second Access Tram and combined ‘One-Person-Operated’ tram.
Date started operating at Crich
Total mileage covered at Crich
Current location
Future plans

Depending on the outcome of the assessment process it will either be converted into an operational Access Tram and combined ‘One-person-Operated’ tram or used as a source of spares.

  • 1987-2011Operational on original tramway
  • 2011-2017Converted to cafe
  • 2017– 2023In storage at Blackpool Transport Services
  • 2023 – dateCrich Tramway Museum

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.