Dickson Road Trams As Well

March 6, 2018

Literally the end of the line outside North Station before the terminus was cut back to relieve problems caused by traffic during peak season.   The feeder wires are evident above this Brush car before it reverses for its return journey to Fleetwood.  Blackpool residents today will note the more sober look of the retailing offer in the 1960s - compared to today's low end frontage.

 

The much anticipated extension of Blackpool's tramway - the first since the 1920s - along a stretch of Talbot Road to a new terminus adjoining Blackpool's principal railway station is reason to remember the much earlier tram service to the same destination.

Dickson Road didn't quite have the photogenic qualities of the Marton and Squires Gate tram services - but it was always a popular and busy service for residents in the north of the town and beyond of course.   Up until 1960 North Station trams were notable for being the exclusive domain of the 'Pantograph' cars delivered in 1928 (all ten of them).  Complete with unique destination blinds and showing the service number '1'  these trams were always based within the confines of Bispham Depot their entire working lives.  Two of the class have managed to survive - 167 at Crich, and 174 masquerading as the 'Western Coach' in the ever popular illuminated 'Western Train' - a role for which it was ever destined it seems.   The frame, controls) and bogies of 168 were utilised under the remarkable 'Rocket' car aka 'Tramnik One' when it was formally launched.  

 Pantograph 175 during later years outside Bispham Depot - a Brush car can be seen in the dark interior.    Both Images :   John Woodman

 

A further class of tram and one which became the year round stalwarts on the North Station service were the 'Brush' cars of 1937.  Many were based in Bispham Depot, of which one example was upgraded with 'Vambac' controls and new resilient wheel bogies in the late 1940s.  It would retain these to withdrawal in 1962 when it was regrettably scrapped along with sister experimental car 208 and almost all of the Marton 'Vambac' cars.  Number 303 was an oddity at Bispham Depot and infrequently used due to its unfamiliar controls - nonetheless it managed to make appearances in service almost until the end of the North Station line.  I had one memorable nighttime ride from North Station recalling the atypical ratcheting sound from the platform roof and smooth running bogies.  No camera at hand though unfortunately.  

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

 

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