Nominations now open for Tram of the Year

With December on the horizon it is that time of the year once again when we start to look back on the year to see which trams, tramways and events have stood out from the crowd enough to be crowned winners at the British Trams Online Tram of the Year awards. In 2016 we were celebrating Blackpool Marton 31, Manchester Metrolink 3120, the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway and the 140th anniversary of the same tramway as the winner but what has done enough to even make it onto the nominations list for 2017?

Once again we will be looking for nominations in four categories:

Tram (traditional)

Tram (modern)



We are sure that you know what we are looking for by now – it is after all the 15th year we have run the contest – but just in case you need some inspiration we take a brief look at previous winners in each category below.

Tram (traditional) of the Year

When Blackpool Marton 31 won this category in 2017 it was the ninth tram from the Lancashire resort to walk away with the award (with an additional two winners having actually operated in Blackpool!) so it is very fair to say that Blackpool is the dominant feature in this category (the only one which has run in all 15 years of the contest). Blackpool also has the only double winner, Brush Railcoach 623 winning in both 2007 and 2012.

But what of 2017? Is there another Blackpool tram that you think has done enough to make the shortlist? Or is there a traditional tram from elsewhere in the British Isles you think should be nominated? The choice is yours! As always we are looking for a tram which has done something special and it is entirely up to you what something special is, just please let us know why you think a tram should be nominated.

Tram (modern) of the Year

If the traditional tram category is dominated by Blackpool then the modern category is very much the preserve of Manchester Metrolink. In each of the three years this category has run a Metrolink tram has won from T68 1007 to M5000s 3100 and 3120.

But will Metrolink’s domination continue in 2017? Again you can nominate any modern tram (or LRV if you prefer) which has stood out from the crowd in 2017. It could be a new livery, it could be an entry into service, it could be the first tram on a route or there could be another reason entirely you think it should be on the shortlist.

Tramway of the Year

In the five years of this category only Blackpool has won more than once with the award being spread fairly evenly with Heaton Park, Crich and the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway also winning the most votes in the contest.

2017 has probably been a steady rather than spectacular year for many of our tramways but is there a tramway which has been more successful than others in your opinion? There can be any reason why you want to nominate a tramway (which can be a system or an operating museum line) so let is know giving any reasons why.

Event of the Year

Another five year category and in 2016 the stranglehold of Crich, Blackpool, Crich, Blackpool was ended with the 140th anniversary of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway winning the most votes.

In 2017 we have seen several more excellent events across the British Isles but which one do you want to see on the shortlist? It can be any event on a tramway but this doesn’t necessarily have to be a special event on a heritage tramway it could just as easily be a line opening on an operating tramway. As always your nominations could make all the difference!

So, how can you nominate? There are three ways to submit nominations:

1. Leave a comment below. Just remember you do now need to register to post on this news blog.

2. Email

3. Leave a comment on Facebook

If you want to know more about the history of the Tram of the Year contest please visit the dedicated page

Nominations are open from now until Saturday 2nd December and voting will then open on Sunday 3rd December and stay open until Saturday 13th January 2018.

The winner of the 2016 Tram (traditional) of the Year was Blackpool Marton 31, thanks to its successful loan period back home. On 30th May 2016 we see 31 at North Pier on a warm and sunny day just made for it! (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

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6 Responses to Nominations now open for Tram of the Year

  1. Chris Callan says:

    Tram (traditional) of the Year – Slightly left of field suggestion but Balloon Car 718. As in my view one of the most useful reactivation’s of the year providing a high capacity lights car for the BHTT operation. Am sure the Brush Cars will receive plenty of nominations though.

    Tramway of the Year- Midland Metro Birmingham. On various fronts seem to have made headway pushing ahead with starting to commission limited use of battery power to operate parts of future network, working to expand and improve.

    Tram (modern) of the Year – Any of the Sheffield Super Tram/Trains for finally entering service. I cant actually remember which one was first but that one lol.

    Event of the Year – “Totally Models & June Gold” BHTT. Despite the best efforts of a minority to sabotage event in the background was one of the highlights of the year for me seeing it do well. Hopefully the event organiser is given the freedom and power to develop Totally going forward (and other events)

  2. Kevin says:

    I would say:
    Traditional Tram Bournemouth 85 for moving to the national collection and being the first correctly displayed narrow gauge car there.
    Modern Tram, the first Tram Train to carry passengers
    Tramway – Sheffield Supertram for operating the pilot vehicles of Tram-train project.
    Event – Totally Models for becoming THE Tramway modelling event of the year.

  3. Phill Spowart says:

    I’d like to nominate Bolton 46 for tram of the year. Obviously the original is long gone, but it is the subject of a Model Engineer construction series by Ashley Best.

    For modern tramway, Manchester Metrolink, for their enormous help in reprofiling Berlin 223006’s wheels. Whilst this was last year, it was just too late for nomination (middle of december-by eck, it were cold!), and the tram has ran well all this year as a result. A nice example of a modern system helping a heritage one.

  4. Paul D says:

    For the Tram of the Year, there has to be a representative of the Blackpool Brush cars on the Shortlist in their 80th year the only question is which one… I’ll put 623 forward for a potential hat-trick of wins as it was one of two that ran on two lines during the year; was the tram that effectively launched the anniversary events with the special trip on the Friday preceding ‘Tram Sunday’ and has clocked up the highest mileage during the year. The alternative is 621 being the doyen of the class and returning after the longest gap since it last carried passengers.

    My other nomination is for Bolton 66. Often seen as the odd one out in Blackpool; in the absence of open cars this year, she has become one of the most used on Blue timetable (how many days was it 600 & 66??), almost certainly clocking up her highest annual mileage in preservation.

    Event – Beamish, Birkenhead and East Anglia all had quiet years compared to previous years, barely making the news while Heaton Park Crich and the Isle of Man tramways basically repeated successful formulae from previous events, so two innovative and different Blackpool events get my nominations. Firstly “Totally Models” – inspired combining of the real and model in one weekend. Secondly “Brush Car Friday” preceding the Anniversary Weekend which seemed to catch the public attention and showed that well executed smaller events can be just as attractive as the big-budget spectaculars.

    Tramway of the Year is the hardest to choose. With no new lines or extensions opening and no major anniversaries celebrated, there isn’t one that particularly stands out. All the modern systems had their up and downs, Blackpool (heritage) had it’s issues with missing favourites such as Boats and Twin-cars limiting variety and the museum lines carried on much as before with no real headline grabbing developments. I will therefore put forward Statfold Barn Railway for the return to operation of Burton & Ashby 14 which included the building of a new depot and dedicated line specially for the car.

    The Modern Tram is the easiest category for me – Sheffield Supertram 202 for being the first of the Citylink Class in passenger service (the only new trams to enter service this year) plus it is the only one named (to date) and it’s use on the Charity tour in September.

    • Kevin says:

      Your comments about 66 are interesting but looking from afar I’d say it hasn’t done an incredible amount of mileage and certainly not much more than last year. It ran far more often in the past, certainly in the 80s so by no means its highest mileage in preservation.

  5. David Maxwell says:

    I would nominate Blackpool Brush tram 621 as heritage tram of the year and am in agreement with those above nominating first Supertram tram-train to carry pax for the modern tram section.
    My tramway nomination would be Metrolink for completion of many projects in recent years especially now 2CCC and also for the response of staff to the bombing.
    Event of the year for me is always the Blackpool anniversary weekend.

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