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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

641 - 648 / 701 - 708 Eight New Trams For Blackpool and Copenhagen

John Woodman

Eight new trams in a class by their own concluded the chapters of tramcar development in Copenhagen and Blackpool. Blackpool's final design aided and abetted by East Lancashire Coachbuilders in Blackburn arrived with a prototype (641) in 1984 with two tranches of three cars each following on in subsequent years. A final model to the same design was later added with a testbed car used by GEC Traction which became 648 after its initial (and assumed) fleet numberf 651 was replaced. The third tranche of three cars was cancelled. They were to become 648-650.

An older (but not necessarily wiser) John Woodman stands in front of prototype Centenary car 641 of 1984 after its withdrawal and transfer to Wyre Dock storage in Fleetwood in its final fleet livery,.

Kobenhavn Sporveje to give Copenhagen Tramways their formal title in the 1950s also introduced a class of eight newly designed trams built in their own workshops from 1949. Numbered 701 - 708 they became the last class of tram built by the operator. A bulk order for 100 new articulated trams was placed the following decade with the order secured by Duwag. The delivery follwed on testing of a sample car on loan from a German operator, with a comparison example built by the Belgian firm then supplying new trams to Brussels (and other systems in Europe).

A very youthful author posing (with dufflebag) in front of one of Copenhagen's final tram design. Note the external point blade handle fixed on the dash - a common feature of the city''s tram fleet. These were manually applied by the driver from his cab. Another very distinctive feature were large enamelled service/route numbers affixed to the front of each tram. These were interchangeable (of course) and came in different background colours.

Copenhagen developed its own distinctive fleet of two axle and 4 axle trams, some with matching trailers. The city was also one of the rare European operators of double deck cars (up to the 1930s). An example from the latter type can be seen (and ridden on) at Denmark's exemplary national tram museum, along with a preserved example of the 701-708 class and the replacing Duwag articulated type - all of which had been sold on to Cairo, Egypt. One example being repatriated to Denmark for the national museum collection after withdrawal.


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