The Blackpool Streamlined Trams (Hardback)
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As seen in the Lancashire Post: 'Revolution kept a Lancashire institution up and running for generations.'
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In the early 1930s the tramcar in Blackpool was at a crossroads; the system needed investment in both new track and new trams whilst there was a serious threat that the ‘town’ routes – as elsewhere in Britain as operators faced the same challenges – might have been converted to bus operation.
The appointment of Walter Luff as the new general manager was, however, to prove a turning point. Working closely with English Electric, based in nearby Preston, Luff developed a series of streamlined trams – both single-deck and double-deck – that were to revolutionise the town’s tramway. By the end of 1930s, the corporation had acquired more than 100 new trams – the majority built by English Electric but with 20 coming from Brush – that ensured the survival not only of the key route along the Promenade to Fleetwood but also of the bulk of the ‘town’ routes.
Over the next 70 years these trams were to form the cornerstone of the Blackpool system. Almost from the start, when a number were modified to cater for the changed requirements during the Second World War, many of the trams were rebuilt – into the power cars that worked with the trailers, for example, or the one-man operated cars of the early 1970s – that extended their lives and saw them outlast more modern designs. It was only with the modernisation of the Blackpool system in the first decade of the 20th century that, finally, they became largely obsolete but still, as part of the heritage fleet, they remain very much part of the contemporary Blackpool scene.
This book examines the history of Blackpool’s streamlined trams of the 1930s from development through to preservation.
By focussing on the trams themselves, and providing a detailed lineage of their individual development, compete with an appendix summarising each tram’s history, Waller has written an important addition to the more straightforward business and picture book histories of the Blackpool tram network which local historians and industrial archaeologists will find of great value aiding future studies of this subject.Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society
A fact of great importance and transcendence in the history of trams.Miniaturas JM
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This work provides a detailed and attractive addition to the library of UK tramway material and is well recommended.West Somerset Railway Association
With some nice pictures, the book is good value for money.Tramway and Light Railway Society - Tramfare Magazine, May-June 2021
Featured inTramway Review, March 2021
... this is an excellent publication, well worth its cover price, and highly recommended.Ffestiniog Railway Magazine
Review by Roger Roger BackhouseYork Model Engineers newsletter
What a variety are pictured here! Double deck ‘balloon” cars, single deckers including open topped cars and various illuminated cars, a speciality of the town. Just the book for the tram lover!
Peter Waller, director and secretary of the Online Transport Archive, has written another great book on UK trams. It contains all the information needed to get to know these Blackpool trams and many black and white photographs and color about them. It also contains a chapter dedicated entirely to illuminated trams, which is a very curious thing.Unos Cuantos Trenes
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