Blackpool North Station - By Tram Again
In 1898 the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad Company commenced its new direct electric tram service between the centre of Fleetwood and Blackpool's Talbot Road Railway Station. This eight mile long service endured through the takeover by Blackpool Corporation Tramways in 1920 up until the route's closure and replacement by Corporation bus service in October 1963. The very last service tram from the North Station terminus (as it became known) was Brush car 290. This tram thus occupies an important pantheon in the history of Blackpool's tramway and it is fortunate in having been acquired by the founders of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust in 2010 when the town's traditional tramfleet was culled ahead of the light rail upgrade and transformation. The Trust placed 290 on static display at the Pleasure Beach turning circle, initially commemorating an equally important milestone in the reign of the monarch.
Upgrade of the tramway which relegated surviving examples of the town's tram fleet to a secondary role in summer seasons and for the autumn illuminations. Opportunity to preserve many of the 'traditional' tram fleet allowed enthusiast groups to acquire their favourite cars. The Operator has cooperated in these initiatives allowing for 'heritage tours' and individual hires over the past decade. The new extension of the tramway (the first since the 1920s) will see the emergence of tram service to the same North Station railway terminus using street running along Talbot Road from the promenade line opposite North Pier. Trams will once again pass in front of Blackpool's historic Town Hall in Talbot Square and traverse Talbot Road as far as a dramatic new property development - actually on the site of the original railway station terminus.
Diagrams courtesy of Blackpool Council.
The detailed layout for the tramway - with tracks now installed from the Promenade as far as entry on to the now demolished property formerly occupying North Station's original site. Continuance of the extension into the site and construction of the double track stub terminus will get underway over the next weeks. A scissors crossover will be inset before the actual terminus platform (similar to Connelly Station tram terminus in Dublin). This is something of an improvement on the original North Station tram terminus which consisted of a single track stub terminus with passenger unloading amidst street traffic.
The tracks have been laid and junctions cleared with construction of the commercial scheme about to begin - which will 'house' the new tram terminus inbetween a hotel and a office building with automatic stairway descending within a road underpass to emerge in the railway station precincts. Courtesy of Blackpool Council's detailed plans presented to the public two years previously - here is the layout of the North Station extension and tram terminus. Work in implementing the entire development has commenced with contractors on site despite delays through the pandemic's impact still with us.
For the first time since 1936 a tram service will traverse along Talbot Road. And also for the first time since 1962 trams will pass in front of Blackpool Town Hall - with an inbound platform stop (presumably marked 'Talbot Square')