Picture in Time: Blackpool OMO 5

The year is 1987 for today’s edition of Picture in Time as we feature a photo of a tram from the class of trams which arguably saved the Blackpool Tramway in the 1970s. The tram in question is OMO 5.

This tram became OMO 5 in 1972 entering service in the November of that year having been converted from English Electric First Series Railcoach 221 which had in turn been used as Works Car 5 between 1965 and 1971. Initially in the attractive (and very different) Plum and Custard livery with a trolley pole 5 received a repaint into red and white and was fitted with an experimental Brecknell Willis single arm pantograph by 1976. The familiar sight of a diamond pantograph followed by the mid 1980s and then it was a coat of green and cream applied to the tram in 1986.

And it is this coat of green and cream which we see on the tram as it is forming a full length Fleetwood to Starr Gate service in 1987. The location is still pretty much unmistakable as Albert Square in central Fleetwood.

5 became the penultimate OMO car to be withdrawn from service – on 17th February 1993 – and remained stored at Rigby Road until June 2000 when it was transported to the Clay Cross store of the Tramway Museum Store. It is still there today remaining as part of the national collection and waiting its chance to shine once again.

Photograph by Noel Downie

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