COPSE ROAD SUBSTATION

HISTORY OF COPSE ROAD SUB-STATION CONTROL EQUIPMENT

  • In 1919 Blackpool Corporation bought out the assets of the original 1898 Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company which owned and operated the line between Fleetwood and Blackpool’s railway station on Talbot Road up to that point

  • The Corporation then merged its own municipal tram fleet and operations with those of the interurban tramway from Gynn Square to Fleetwood. This included depots at Bispham and Copse Road in Fleetwood, and the Company’s forty-one single deck trams

  • Following on the takeover, Blackpool’s Tramways and Electricity Department set about modernising the original electrical power infrastructure of the former Company and installed new sub-station equipment and controls at Copse Road and Bispham Tram Depots.

  • The Copse Road Tram Depot continued to retain the control panels and equipment dating from the early 1920s when it was installed by Blackpool Corporation up to the light rail upgrade work which began in 2009

  • The sub station control equipment from this early period of electric tram operation was then acquired by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust to avoid it being scrappedThe control panels were responsible for power distribution on sections from Thornton Gate to Fleetwood Bold Street

  • Thanks to a grant from Blackpool Council and the practical assistance of Builders Supplies (West Coast) Ltd. - the entire unit was physically removed from its original stand inside the former Copse Road depot and is now in safe storage for the Trust

 

THE PLANS FOR THE COPSE ROAD SUBSTATION EQUIPMENT

  • It is the objective of the Trust to create a special display that involve reinstatement of the sub station controls in their entirety - as an educational exhibit

  • The Trust was informed by the electrical engineer in charge of the light rail upgrade and power supply that in his opinion the equipment inside Copse Road Depot was of important historic value and almost unique. He strongly recommended its conservation

  • We will be seeking a Sponsor to underwrite the costs of the display and installation once a site has been identified for the Trust’s tram exhibits and a skills training workshop

  • In the meantime the equipment is being stored for the Trust by Builders Supplies (West Coast Ltd) locally in the Fleetwood area.

Working to conserve for display, trams and artefacts of the longstanding coastal tramway serving Blackpool, Thornton Cleveleys and Fleetwood.

 

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