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No Trams to Blundell Street

July 12, 2017

The days when trams still trundled (carefully) along Princess Street and Blundell Street are now long gone.   Only the tracks remained to remind us of this once critical access link to the Promenade tramway from the tram depot and workshop as an emergency connection if Hopton Road and Lytham Road tracks are out of use.  

 

With continuing development of the Foxhall Village residential scheme work has now encroached on to the former properties bordering Tyldesley Road, Blundell Street and Princess Street.   Land has been cleared and new water, sewer and other utilities are being inserted for the expanding housing project which will absorb Blundell Street entirely.   Tram track along Blundell Street has partly been removed to facilitate utility work, and likewise along Princess Street where the historic tram connection (from the original 1885 conduit installation) to what had been Blundell Street Depot is now undergoing incremental removal.  Below :  Blundell Street track remnants

 And the curve leading from Blundell Street into Princess Street.  A connecting line to the right once led into the Depot building but has been removed some years ago.

 Above :  looking east on Princess Street to the curving tramway into Blundell Street with the remains of the junction points which had a second track leading into the depot (left hand side).   Contractors work on new water mains have removed one of the rails. 

A visit today to Blundell Street and Princess Street recorded the status of contractors work and the vanishing infrastructure which formerly was integral to Blackpool's tramway operation.  Blundell Street tram track itself was inserted in the early 1920s to connect the depot and Princess Street track with the new Workshops created on Corporation land across from Rigby Road.   This became even more important by the mid 1930s with construction of the new tram depot which enthusiasts are familiar with up to the present day.  The arrival of shoals of streamline trams under Walter Luff's Five Year Programme from 1933 necessitated urgent expansion of depot capacity for which the large Rigby Road depot provided an immediate solution.  Blundell Street Depot itself was retained by the Transport Department into the 1970s fulfilling varied roles which involved buses, ambulances, withdrawn tramcar storage and of course a covered site for scrapping a good many in the early 1950s.   Its use ended after strong gale force winds dislodged internal roofing beams making it potentially dangerous for further work and despite representations at the time for its preservation and use as a potential transport museum, it was demolished to make way for a Council car park.  

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