It’s back! Tram of the Year returns – nominations now open!

The end of November is traditionally the time of year when we start to take a look back at the previous 12 months and to this end today marks the launch of the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2019 as we seek to anoint the Tram (Traditional), Tram (Modern), Event and Tramway of the Year – and the final decision will be yours! Lat year we saw the Manx Electric Railway dominate with “Ratchet” car 14, Stagecoach Supertram 399 203, Manx Electric Railway 125th anniversary and the Manx Electric Railway voted the most popular in each of the categories but what has done enough in 2019?

Nominations are now open for each of the four usual categories:

* Tram (Traditional) of the Year

* Tram (Modern) of the Year

* Event of the Year

* Tramway of the Year

You can make as many nominations as you want for each category and this can be done by either commenting below, sending an email to gareth@britishtramsonline.co.uk or through Facebook. If nominating please give reasons for your nomination as although for most of your nominations it will be obvious some may be a bit more “left field”! Every year during the nomination process there is at least one tram, tramway or event I haven’t even considered so please take this chance to get your favourites onto the shortlist!

As usual we are looking for a tram/tramway/event which has done something special – or been special! – over the past 12 months and for the purposes of Tram of the Year the year goes from 1st December 2018 to 30th November 2019. It would probably be fair to say the year hasn’t gone completely as we would have expected and what you may have expected to be nominating you won’t be but there has still be plenty of action over the past year. It is entirely up to you as to what you consider special but to give you an idea previous tram winners have either returned to service after restoration/overhaul, received a new livery or gone on loan away from their usual tramway. Tramway wise its not the system or museum which has operated the best service which necessary walks away with the award but one which has seen something out of the norm happen (extensions opening etc.) And as for Event of the Year – its just an event which has been the most enjoyable!

If you want to know more about the Tram of the Year and to see all the previous winners – to help you get some ideas for what could be nominated this time around – please visit the dedicated page.

Nominations are open from now until Saturday 30th November 2019 and voting then opens on Sunday 1st December 2019 and will remain open until Saturday 11th January 2020.

Don’t forget you can nominate one of three ways:

1. Comment below

2. Email gareth@britishtramsonline.co.uk

3. Comment on Facebook

Any old excuse to show this tram again! The Manx Electric Railway’s stunning “Ratchet” car 14 was winner of the Tram (Traditional) of the Year in 2018 by a landslide and is seen here on 4th September 2018 alongside fellow Crossbench 16. (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

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10 Responses to It’s back! Tram of the Year returns – nominations now open!

  1. John1 says:

    I’d like to nominate:
    Tram (Traditional); Blackpool 143. Whilst it experienced a hiccup in returning to service it represents a type not previously seen in preservation.
    Tram (modern); Blackpool 001 for its advert, bringing some much needed colour and it being a nice hark back to the adverts of old.
    Event; BHTT open day in August.
    Tramway; Heaton Park for sheer resilience and managing to bring together enthusiasts and businesses in a sense of community and support when the wire was stolen.

  2. Chris Callan says:

    Traditional Tram: Modified Balloon Car 711 for finally been deployed as a “B Fleet” member and performing with distinction. Hopefully it paves the way for full roll out over the winter and much more ambitious deployment 2020 onwards. For me it showed once and for all the modified Fleet can and should be deployed as originally intended.

    Modern Tram: Agree with “John1″ for me 001 has been breath of fresh air just a shame its not seen a flurry of other designs emerge as some had hoped.

    Event of the Year: Lightopia – Heaton Park. Whilst didnt attend the pictures online look absolutely stunning against backdrop of what was clearly a challenging year (overhead wire stolen most notably). 623 Illuminated with a simple fully working rope light (something Frigate & Trawler still not seemingly managed at pool…) shows what can be achieved. Maybe next year Trawler could visit? (despite my serious misgivings about the heap that has been created post “makeover” its the logical visitor if Lightopia returns next year (as its after lights) in terms of Illuminated Fleet (indeed might be only one that can be moved as properly dual ended and not as big..)

  3. Paul D says:

    Traditional Tram: A choice between 711 as per Chris’s reasoning above and B&F Box 40 for it’s travels and operation on three tramways in the year (hopefully despite rumours, it won’t be it’s last year for the foreseeable future…)

    LRV: Midland Metro 28 being named “Jasper Carrot” and at the same time, the first to carry passengers on the City Extension.

    Event: Blackpool Heritage Rigby Road open day – providing new interest and refreshed variation to the Gold Weekends.

    Tramway: Heaton Park as acknowledgement and thanks to all those who came together to get the tramway running after the wire was stolen.

  4. David M says:

    Some great nominations from John, Chris and Paul and broadly agree with their choices.

    Traditional tram: Off to Blackpool for either 711 or 143 for the reasons outlined previously.

    LRV: Midland Metro 28, great name and association with the new extension. Plus smart new livery.

    Event: Wirral Bus and Tram Show. Great event, nice selection of cars in service and vast selection of vehicles to admire and in the case of the trams and buses ride on.

    Tramway: Heaton Park for weathering a potentially catastrophic theft

  5. John1 says:

    If I can play Devils advocate its not fair to includr Lightopia as an event here as its not a Tramway event. Trams are running to support it, just like Blackpool’s Illumination Tours do.

  6. peter narramore says:

    My nominations are:-
    Traditional tram – “Bluebird” as it gets ever nearer completion. Seeing it outside at Crich60 made me realise what a great tram ride we can look forward to
    LRV – Midland Metro 28. Aside from the naming ceremony it represents a step forward with the first battery powered line in the UK
    Event – Crich 60. The TMS pulled out all the stops for the 60th anniversary. I talked to some visitors who had thought it was going to be a normal weekend. They were completely blown away by what was on offer
    Tramway – Although I have yet to visit Heaton Park, They deserve an award for their determination to keep going in spite of the theft of the wiring

    • Paul D says:

      Similarly to Liverpool 245 which someone nominated before it was complete a few years ago; I personally would exclude ‘Bluebird’ for this year but agree it will be a very worthy candidate and would probably get more support when it does run (indeed 245 won the following year).
      Blackpool 143 is borderline as it did make it’s launch night but hasn’t run since…

  7. Martin Bryan says:

    I’d like to nominate Manchester 765 for tram of the year due to the hard work by a small team to get it tidied up for its Beamish holiday and then by the same small team to get it ready to run at Heaton Parks Tramtastic event after its return was held up after the Low Loader broke down on its return.

    Event for me has to be the Wirral bus and tram show, a largely unnoticed event by some but the sheer variety in the fleet and managing the vast numbers of people is expertly handled and this year saw a greater depth of teamwork due to MTMS crew working alongside their tramway neighbours.

  8. BigG says:

    I am one of Bluebird’s greatest fans, but agree that we should wait to see her in service before granting ‘Tram of the Year’. Similarly, I don’t think that 143 warrants the accolade. There is not much that does qualify in my book, Box 40 is a possibility as it did get about (again).
    Modern trams? Jasper Carrot?
    Event: Crich 60.
    Tramway of the year? No contest! Heaton Park for their resilience, and in honour of all those people and organisations who helped out. This really does show the tram/light rail fraternity at their very best. If I could put all my four votes into one category it would go here.

  9. Andrew Waddington says:

    My nominations:

    Tram of the Year
    Fleetwood Box 40 – for running on three different tramways in the year including its first time at Beamish where it fitted in superbly
    Blackpool Balloon 711 – for reviving the practice of B Fleet specials and thus becoming the only double-deck tram to run on normal stage carriage duties in the UK in 2019 (and extra points for doing some stints as the shop tram with a snowplough fitted!)
    MER Trailer 54 – for a superb restoration enabling it to run for the first time since 1971.

    Event of the Year
    Crich 60 – A generally very enjoyable event with the Leeds lineup being a particular highlight
    Birkenhead Bus & Tram Show – for breaking their record by having 5 trams in service at once on top of an already very good event
    Blackpool Rigby Road Depot Open Day – for adding a bit of fresh interest to a rather stagnant events calender with some great ideas, and that awesome illuminated car lineup!

    Tramway of the Year
    Heaton Park – for fighting back after the theft of overhead wires and the incredibly touching support the tramway received showing how well thought of it is
    Beamish – for a bit of an upturn on the tramway front, in particular having two visiting trams providing extra interest for enthusiasts
    Manx Electric Railway – for yet more top notch events and more tram reactivations

    I don’t have any strong feelings about the Modern Tram of the Year.

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