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The Blackpool Streamlined Trams (Hardback)

Transport Trams

By Peter Waller
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: Great Tramcars
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 200 colour illustrations & diagrams
ISBN: 9781526709042
Published: 30th October 2020

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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.

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About Peter Waller

Brought up in Bradford, PETER WALLER grew up as the city’s trolleybus network gradually declined.


In 1986, he commenced in a career
in publishing, working for a number of years as Ian Allan Ltd’s Publisher (Books), where he oversaw the commissioning and publication of a wide range of books. The first book that he wrote was British and Irish Tramway Systems since 1945 in 1992. Since then he has written a number of books on transport subjects. Moving to Shropshire in 2007, he is now a full-time author and editor. He is also a director and secretary
of the Online Transport Archive, a director of Shrewsbury Dial-a-Ride, chairman of 
the West Shropshire Talking Newspaper, a committee member of the National Railway Heritage Awards and a past president of the Rotary Club of Shrewsbury.

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