Boat Trams

 
 

 

 

 

Blackpool Boat Trams have an unmistakably streamlined elegant appearance:  they are open topped single decker vehicles with fronts shaped like the hull of a ship, and are perfect for touring along the Sea front on sunny days.  They were manufactured in 1933 by English Electric and were introduced as part of the modernisation process begun by Walter Luff when he took over as controller of the network. 

Twelve Blackpool Boat Trams were built, of which four are still in service.  The boats were intended as replacements for the Toastrack cars which were regarded as outdated and dangerous.  The Toastracks were basically a moving platform supporting a row of seats. They were uncovered and without sides.  Because they didn’t have central walkways, conductors had to move along the outsides to collect the fares from passengers. At the time of their introduction the Boats were thought of as being among the most advanced to be found anywhere.

Blackpool Boat Tram number 228 is now a famous attraction in San Francisco where it forms part of the Municipal fleet of Vintage streetcars.  Adorned with Christmas lights, it is regarded as the most entertaining ride in the entire fleet and the railway gets more enquiries about this than any of the other cars it operates. Blackpool Boat Tram 225 which was the prototype car went to Heaton Park Manchester in 1985 and stayed there for over ten years.  Since its return the vehicle has been renovated and in 2004 was decorated with rows of lights. It is named the Duchess of Cornwall, and is also distinctive due to having lower side panels than the others. Blackpool Boat Tram 602 which is illustrated on this page was first used in july 1934 and has seating for 52 passengers. It has two 40 hp motors and is seen here coloured in Blackpool Tramways yellow and black livery

 

 

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