Olympic Torch rides on fourth and final tram

The involvement of trams in the London 2012 Olympic Torch relay has now come to an end after Wolverhampton 49 became the fourth tram to carry a torch bearer at the Black Country Living Museum on Saturday 30th June.

Wolverhampton 49 carried the Torch as part of the 43rd day of the relay with Kate Macfarlane from South Africa having the honour of being the torch bearer on the top deck of the stunningly restored open topper. The tram was not the only exciting form of transport to carry the flame on this day as it also hopped on board the steam narrowboat President at the Museum.

49 was driven by Bob Dale at the Museum during the Torch relay and the tram was also specially decorated with flags and bunting, becoming the first of the four trams to feature in this years relay to be specially decorated.

Previously in the Relay three other trams have had the honour of being selected to carry the flame with Douglas Horse Tram 44 and Manx Electric Railway 1 on the Isle of Man whilst in Blackpool Standard 147 was selected due to rather inclement weather.

The Olympic Flame has also caused disruption to the operation of a couple of our light rail systems. We have previously reported from Blackpool where the service was split because the Prom road was closed to all traffic including trams but there was also a service suspension in Nottingham when the Torch was in the City on Thursday 28th June. This saw all trams from Phoenix Park and Hucknall terminate at Royal Centre between 1600 and 2000 before Olympic legend Torvill and Dean carried the flame into the Nottingham Ice Arena for an evening celebration.

As has been shown in recent weeks Nottingham Express Transit are always keen to get in on the action and they also unveiled a special “supersquare” advert (on the centre car) on 202 celebrating the Olympics.


Torchbearer Kate MacFarlane (from South Africa) aboard Wolverhampton 49 for a short relay along the line at the Black Country Living Museum. Driver Bob dale at the controls. This was the only tram on which the torch has been carried to have been decked out with flags and bunting. (Photo: Graham Sidwell - Editor, Tramfare)


The second tram to carry the flame during the Torch relay was Manx Electricity Railway 1 with Geoff North at the controls. (Photo courtesy Isle of Man Transport)

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One Response to Olympic Torch rides on fourth and final tram

  1. David Taylor says:

    What a shame Wirral trams were not selected. It would have been ideal to ride a vintage tram along the road to the ferry terminal at woodside, The council officials said it was not safe so they had people run in front of a bus instead