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Blackpool Tramway : introduction

The first tram line in Blackpool opened along the Promenade in 1885, and was the first electric tramway in the country. Blackpool Corporation took over the system in 1892, and the system expanded to serve much of the Fylde coast and towns inland. The line to Fleetwood was opened in 1888, and became part of the Blackpool Corporation system in 1920. Line closures began in 1936, but the bulk of the network was closed in the early 1960s, leaving only the line from Starr Gate (just to the south of Blackpool) along the Promenade and up to Fleetwood.

Link to picture
681 heading along North Promenade, bound for …

The line is now the only remaining 'traditional' tramway in UK. The line is a mix of street running and reserved track. Along the Promenade trams run next to the road, then after a short section of street-running the line runs on reserved track for the interurban section to Fleetwood. In Fleetwood trams join the street again, and there is a short one-way loop to reach the terminus. [more]

There are 76 trams (including 8 preserved trams) and 7 trailer cars. They are a variety of ages and designs, with a mix of double- and single-deckers, open- and closed-top cars, and special illuminated trams. [more]

Blackpool is a seaside town, and passenger traffic on the tramway is heavier in summer than in winter. For this reason the tramway operates every 10 minutes in summer and every 20 minutes in the winter. Tram stops vary from a bus-stop-style flag at the side of the tram track, to the stops on the reserved track section which have substantial shelters. [more]

The Blackpool Tramway is run by Blackpool Borough Transport, which is owned by Blackpool Borough Council. The track is owned directly by the council.

Updates

8/3/09:
Some new photos added, including new 'Illuminations' gallery • click here to view all new pictures
5/12/05:
Blackpool is now covered by Google Earth high-resolution satellite imaging—there are links to Google Earth images on each of the tram stop pages
 

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