TRAM 678

THE PLANS FOR TRAM 678

  • Whilst the tram’s present appearance is somewhat disheartening visually - internally the car is much the same as it was when rebuilt over fifty years ago from rail coach condition.

  • The Trust intend that this will all be the subject of renovation with a return of 678 to green and cream livery in due course -  and future exhibition bearing original fleet number 278.

THE HISTORY OF TRAM 678

  • Number 678 was originally built in 1935 by English Electric Company in Preston.

  • It was one of forty five similar single deck trams of decidedly luxurious and modern appearance for this period - known popularly as ‘rail coaches’.

  • In the early 1960s when Blackpool opted to experiment with trailer tram operation, 278 (as it was then numbered) was modernised with new cab ends and fitted with couplings to pull new trailers built by Metro Cammell in Oldbury. Ten examples were completed in this way.

  • A later decision to cancel three of the trailer sets saw 678 revert to becoming a solo motor unit in its modified form along with two similar cars. 

  • It remained more or less in its 1960s’ rebuilt condition until withdrawal by BTS in 2004.

  • In its final years of operation 678 had been given a sombre all-black sponsor livery for a local radio station.

  • Number 678 was purchased for the Trust by a Fleetwood business and remains very much in its as-withdrawn condition.  The tram retains original swing over seating from the 1930s with roof glazing and wooden trim inside.