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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

1885 Was A Very Good Year

John Woodman


Not only did the very first electric tram take passengers along Blackpool's seafront line but across the Atlantic a new bus company was formed to traverse New York City's Fifth Avenue. Whilst this was perhaps less than noteworthy at the time - both enterprises would go on to develop remarkable double deck vehicles and similarly paint them in stylish green and cream colours. The Fifth Avenue Coach Company also echoed Blackpool Corporation Transport's transition with smart new double deck buses - a rare feature in US urban transit operation. Arriving just after the launch on Clydeside of the Cunard Liner Queen Mary for its maiden voyage to New York - the Fifth Avenue buses were known forever as 'Queen Marys'.

1930s scene on Blackpool Promenade with two examples of Blackpool's modern streamline trams.

John Woodman Archive


A competitor operator in Manhattan, this time with trams,. was the Third Avenue Railway Company. This operator went on to design a fleet of lightweight single deck cars during the 1930s - all built in the company's main works and depot at East 65th Street, Maintained in a neat red and cream livery the Third Avenue Cars involved centre doors for unloading and were double ended. An example was acquired by the National Tramway Museum as counterpoint to the PCC car which by the late 1930s was the highpoint of US trolleycar development.



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