Picture in Time: Blackpool Centenary 651

We are back in Blackpool for this instalment of Picture in Time. The tram we are taking a look at is Centenary 651.

Built in 1985 as a test car and originally owned by GEC Traction to trial new switched reluctance equipment. As with all of the Centenary Cars it operated on the Blackpool Tramway with its first passenger use on 16th July 1985, in doing so becoming just the second of the class to be used in service. With the tests complete 651 was purchased by Blackpool Transport in 1988 and it was moved into the Rigby Road workshops for fitting with conventional Centenary Car equipment. Renumbered as 648 it entered service on 4th January 1990. Today it remains operational in Blackpool as part of the heritage fleet.

This image shows 651 shortly after delivery in September 1985 as it enters Pleasure Beach loop having just terminated from the north. Also of interest in this shot is the construction of the Sandcastle in the background.

Photograph by John Hampton

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