British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2016

As we approach the end of another year we start to turn our attention towards celebrating what has gone on over the past 12 months and we all know what that means don’t we? Yes it’s time for the British Trams Online Tram of the Year contest! As always the contest starts with the nominations process and we are now seeking your nominations in four categories: Tram (traditional) of the Year, Tram (modern) of the Year, Tramway of the Year and Event of the Year. Nominations will remain open until Saturday 3rd December.

Last year we crowned Liverpool 245 as Tram (traditional) of the Year, Manchester Metrolink 3100 as Tram (modern) of the Year, the Blackpool Tramway as Tramway of the Year and the Blackpool 130th Anniversary event as Event of the Year but what has done enough to take the accolades for 2016? Well that is down to you!

You can nominate as many trams, tramways and events as you like and we will then make a decision on what should make the final shortlist with voting open for 4-6 weeks. To nominate you can either comment below, email gareth@britishtramsonline.co.uk or leave a comment on Facebook. If nominating please give reasons for your nomination as although many will be obvious you may have an idea which no-one has considered!

So what are the categories?

Tram (traditional) of the Year

There is no doubt that this category has been dominated by Blackpool over the years (10 of the 14 trams which have won the category have at least operated in Blackpool!) but in 2015 this stranglehold was loosened with Liverpool 245 taking the honours. But which tram has done that something special in 2016?

Something special is of course incredibly subjective with the previous winners including trams which have spent a period on loan away from their home tramway, a new livery being applied and entry into service after restoration. Basically anything out of the ordinary qualifies and the choice is yours!

Tram (modern) of the Year

A category which has only been on offer for two years and on both occasions Manchester Metrolink trams have got the most votes (1007 and 3100 respectively). As things stand at the moment we may not open voting for this category as there don’t seem to have many modern trams making the news in 2016 but we will open nominations and see whether we can get at least two trams on the shortlist!

Again we are looking for something special in a similar way to the traditional category and once again it is up to you what that something special is!

Tramway of the Year

This will be fourth year that we are looking for Tramway of the Year and in the past this has gone to Blackpool (twice), Crich and Heaton Park. We aren’t looking for the tramway which has operated the best service (there are other far more serious award ceremonies for that!) but rather, and here’s that word again, the tramway which has done something special in the year. It’s up to you what that something special is! And please note this is a joint category for both modern systems and museum lines.

Event of the Year

Another category which was launched in 2012 and this has been shared between Crich and Blackpool in the four years so far with three of the occasions being due to an anniversary celebration. With 2016 seeing no major anniversaries that pattern will almost certainly end but which event do you think has been the most special (sorry there is that word again!)

And remember this category doesn’t have to be an actual special event on a heritage line (although it has been almost exclusively that in the past) it can also be a line opening on a modern tramway system. But once again it is up to you to put your nominations forward!

If you want to know more about the British Trams Online Tram of the Year contest please visit the dedicated Tram of the Year page which provides details of all winners since the very first contest in 2003.

Nominations will be open until Saturday 3rd December with voting then open from Sunday 4th December until Saturday 14th January 2017.

And please remember the British Trams Online Tram of the Year contest is just for fun so don’t get too worked up if your favourite doesn’t make the shortlist!

The 2015 winner of Tram (traditional) of the Year is seen at its home tramway in October 2015. But which tram will take the title in 2016? (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

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18 Responses to British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2016

  1. David Green says:

    Metrolink 3091 the gold tram

  2. David Blake says:

    Er, ahem! No major anniversaries in 2016? I had the pleasure of attending a remarkable one in August that this website also reported on at the time. Not only that, but of a delightfully unique tramway line that belongs to a long departed age – is it the world’s oldest? – and had initially created international shockwaves by being closed down suddenly, unexpectedly and completely, then changed hands after 108 years with the same operator, and was able to reopen for its special anniversary season after a lot of dedicated work by a lot of people.

    Furthermore, with little preparation time it grasped the opportunity bestowed upon it to prove itself, extended its running season at both ends for the first time in many years, ran more trams, and increased its ridership and takings by over 40%. Add to that the fact that it is the only remaining genuine Victorian horse tramway in the world. As part of its 140th anniversary celebrations it staged two cavalcades of horse drawn trams and recreated Victorian history by running its first 2-horse double-deck tram for many years, as well as welcoming the public into its stables and working with volunteers to provide an interpretive exhibition and guided stable tours.

    Although I could nominate the anniversary celebrations as event of the year, I feel this would not fully reflect all the remarkable happenings this year, and for that reason I would like to nominate the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway as Tramway of the Year 2016. For all that has been achieved so far, as I have already outlined, in what has been a rollercoaster 140th anniversary year by any stretch of the imagination, for the friendliness, welcome and positive outlook of its staff and volunteers in the face of uncertainty (we made 4 separate and rewarding visits to the island to experience the horse tramway and its stables), for the way it is looking to the future with enterprising plans for an even longer season in the year ahead, and in the hope that despite the many uncertainties and challenges it faces it will be given a deserved secure future as an inseparable part of Manx and our wider British and international transport heritage.

  3. Paul says:

    For me, Tram of the Year is a tussle between the pair that swapped places for the year and have both put in sterling service at their temporary homes – Blackpool 147 & 31 (could/should these be joint nominees??), and the revamped illuminated Trawler 737. (Sorry – more Blackpool…)

    LRV as Gareth said in the introduction is a hard one… I had expected to be nominating the first Sheffield Tram-train to enter service but as that has been further delayed into next year, I can’t see anything obvious that stands out, so I’ll go for Manchester Metrolink 3120 as the final member (for now??) of the UK’s biggest class of tram .

    Event is a hard one with no major openings or launches to celebrate. Blackpool & Crich basically repeated successful events of previous years but nothing really innovative, and it’s been a relatively quiet year at Beamish & Birkenhead, so from an enthusiast perspective, I’ll nominate East Anglia Transport Museum’s ‘London Weekend’. Although it was as much about other forms of transport, the visit of LCC 106 from Crich was the first time a short-term visiting tram had operated at the site.
    As a Left-field nomination, I also think that the Heaton Park Tramway’s involvement in the national commemorations of the Battle of the Somme is worthy of recognition. While certainly not an event aimed at ‘tram enthusiasts’ the tramway played a notable role in an event of national significance. As well as three days of intensive service, two trams were specially decorated for the event, educational visits supported, and the tramway also acted as a genuine public transport system, providing a shuttle service for the audience for the concert on the Friday evening.

    Tramway is the easiest category for me – it can only be the phoenix-like rising of the Douglas Horse Tramway “under new management”; going from the threat of total closure at the start of the year, to recording the best passenger numbers and financial results in many years.

  4. Kev says:

    It has been a quiet year this year. through no fault of their own our museums have had nothing major happening so it is quite difficult to nominate.
    Event – LCC 106 at East anglia as its the first time the museum has had a car on loan for a short period event and their first operational open topper.
    Tramway – Douglas Horse Tramway for rising Phoenix like and growing in strength
    Tram – (traditional) Marton 31 for returning home and becoming the first traditional open top Tram to run on a light rail system.
    Tram – (modern) 3100 for being a milestone for Metrolink

    • Paul says:

      Isn’t 3100 disqualified for 1. it being 18 months since it arrived and entered service and 2. having won the category for exactly the same thing last year??

  5. Raymond Luxury-Yacht says:

    Nothing much to say that hasn’t already been said:
    Tram (traditional): The North Metropolitan horse car rescued by Crich and the LCCTT, for proving that there are still some absolute gems out there waiting to be saved.
    Tram (modern): Metrolink 3120, as the final tram in the largest single class of trams we’re likely to see in the UK for a long time.
    Tramway: The Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, for obvious reasons.
    Event: LCC 106 visiting the EATM, simply because it was a number of firsts rolled into one (First Crich tram visiting EATM, first short term loan of a tram to the EATM, first open topper to run at EATM).

  6. David Mee says:

    Tram (trad) – Marton 31 for reasons already mentioned by others

    Tram (modern) – Metrolink 3120 to celebrate this milestone in the continuing story of the UK’s most extensive modern tramway

    Event – Its got to be the 140th Anniversary events on the Douglas Bay Tramway. Two consecutive weekends of events, the first during the annual transport heritage event and more low key on the actual anniversary weekend. With line ups outside the depot, unusual cars in service, stables open to visitors, Double Decker hauled by two horses, a final chance to see the withdrawn cars, plus a cavalcade of most operational vehicles -its a winner for me!

    Tramway of the year – Douglas Bay Horse Tramway for dodging the grim reaper, having an innovative and enhanced season of services under the new regime and massively increasing patronage during the year.

  7. Rob Glysen says:

    Event of the year Tram wise for me would have been Tram day at Crich, but having not even visited some of the transport museums here I feel my vote would be slightly uninformed.

    However, as far as events go, the Somme celebration at Beamish was absolutely incredible, there was a mounted cavalry trotting round the tramway and countless other notable war related displays it was like seeing ghosts. No doubt other places had fantastic events on too, and although its just for fun picking a winner would be a monumentous task!

  8. Jim says:

    Tramway of the Year – Horse trams in Douglas – to recognise the sheer hard work by all involved to keep this running and boost passenger numbers.

  9. Nigel Pennick says:

    The Blackpool trawler revamped with its computer-controlled LEDs. Part of the old tradition of decorated and illuminated trams, but taking it further with current technology. Is this a modern or traditional tram? It crosses the boundary between the two.

  10. Erik Ickerbobs says:

    Metrolink 3120 and Hovertram 735

  11. Erik Ickerbobs says:

    Supertram 399207

  12. John Hibbert says:

    I agree on Marton 31 Metrolink 3120 and Douglas for both tramway/event of the year, but doesn’t Balloon 706 count as “traditional” re “first open topper…..”?

  13. David says:

    Many worth suggestions have already been made.

    For heritage tram, I would like to suggest Beamish’s 264 which returned to service this year after a fine restoration.

    Metrolink 3120 seems to be a logical choice for modern tram but as has been remarked, there has not been a lot out of the ordinary.

    For tramway, I suspect that Douglas Horse Tramway will be voters’ choice but the work at Blackpool to run heritage and modern so successfully side by side, with events, development of volunteer operation, private hire and extension of the system, should also be recognised.

  14. Dave Mac says:

    Tram – Sheffield 264
    Event – Heaton Park Somme commemerations
    Tramway – Douglas.

    All for reasons given above.

  15. peter narramore says:

    I would like to nominate Crich for the event of the year (trams day on 10th September). They pulled out all the stops to provide a thoroughly enjoyable day with an intensive tram service, including several works vehicles, and the one off line up of 3 Portuguese trams. The sight of a succession of trams leaving the depot on a wet morning gave a good impression of a typical day on a small network in the 1930′s.
    My suggestion for traditional tram of the year is Cardiff 131 which ran several trips for visitors on the 10th and provided a different experience from the normal tram ride.

  16. BigG says:

    Most possibilities have been covered in all categories. But how about Oporto C65 as historic tram of the year? An unglamorous workhorse maybe but, on handover, it looked in remarkably good form and represents another important step in the re-allocation of trams between organisations.

  17. Kevin Bucknall says:

    Trad tram of year – Blackpool Brush 637
    Ok – so I am the owner. She is looking for a new home but so far I have managed to save her from being used as a spares source. Those who are unsure of which tram to vote for could use their vote to show support for those who are trying to save the less supported trams. If I get no votes then maybe noone gives a damn and I am wasting my time but I have given her another year of life and would love to see her reach her 80th birthday in Sept 2017. She is the youngest surviving Brush car, the only one of her class to carry passengers on the Marton route, still very solid bodily and a new coat of paint will make her look as good as any . 637 is asking for the protest vote – heck if UKIP can get that many votes why not 637?