Picture in Time: Blackpool Engineering Car 753

It is a tram which it is hoped will be back on the rails sometime in 2019 for the first time since withdrawal in 1990 but it will look significantly different this time around as it will be a passenger tram once more having been converted into an overhead line car back in 1958. We are of course talking about Engineering Car 753 – or Standard 143 if you prefer.

Originally built in 1924 as Standard 143 the tram was withdrawn from passenger service way back in October 1957. But it wasn’t the end for the tram as it was converted into overhead line car 3 entering use in this guise during July 1958. Renumbered as 753 in 1972 it remained in use until 1990 when a fire caused severe damage and led to it to be withdrawn once more and it remained stored at Rigby Road for many years. That was until it was acquired by the Lancastrian Transport Trust with a view to restoring it to a passenger tram once more. The project has taken many years and an aborted effort for the 125th anniversary in 2010 will hopefully soon be easily forgotten with the tram running in passenger service once more later in 2019.

In the first of today’s two images we see 753 – albeit with only the gold 7 visible as its fleet number – at Cleveleys in October 1983. The overhead line crew are on the raised platform of the tram and seem to be undertaking repairs to one of the overhead line bracket arms.

And then in this second image we see the repairs continuing as Balloon 709 approaches from behind as it heads north with a service to Fleetwood.

Both Photographs by Phil Steer

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