Blackpool Towing Car 671 finds its new home

The first of the trams asked to leave Rigby Road Depot has found a new home with the Fylde Transport Trust announcing that Twin Towing Car 671 will be moving to the North West Museum of Road Transport in St Helens. It will go on display – which also houses a couple of buses from the FTT collection – and will receive a repaint into the cream livery the towing cars were originally painted in.

671 last ran in Blackpool during 2010 along with its matching towing car 681 but since then the two have split and as with 681 remaining in Blackpool Transport ownership their splitting will remain. Of all the trams which were sold off following the closure of the traditional Blackpool Tramway and its upgrade, 671 possibly has the most complex history of all going through several different owners – including some twice! Originally acquired by Merseytravel the tram moved to Knowsley in 2011 but was back in Blackpool in 2012 when ownership passed to the Lancastrian Transport Trust. After several years in outside storage it was reported that it had been acquired by the Tyne Tees Transport Trust although its not clear if this transfer of ownership ever happened as in 2015 it returned to Rigby Road for storage.

Now six years later and the tram is set to hit the open road again and be transferred to St Helen’s. It is hoped that it will be able to be moved and prepared for display before the North West Museum of Road Transport reopens later this year although that will be dependent on Covid-19 restrictions. It will be displayed in as near original towing car condition – to show when they did occasionally run without trailers – with a repaint into all cream and the reinstatement of hoses at both ends of the tram.

Eric Berry, Fylde Transport Trust trustee, said: “We are pleased that 671 will be going on display to the public at St Helens, joining two FTT buses which are already there. We look forward to working with the North West Museum of Road Transport Board to make an interesting and appropriate display around the tram.”

Keith Naylor, Chairman of the museum, said: “The addition of a Blackpool tram will be an added attraction for the museum and we extend an invitation to al tram enthusiasts and members of the public to come and see it. It will also enhance the educational offering to the many school parties which visit us.”

The North West Museum of Road Transport is within the old Hall Street tram depot in St Helens and has previously been the home of Blackpool Coronations 304 and 663 so will be no stranger to seeing Blackpool trams within its walls! More details of the museum can be found at https://www.nwmort.co.uk/.

25th September 2010 and 671+681 sit at Pleasure Beach whilst on break. (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

This entry was posted in Blackpool Tramway, Fylde Transport Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Blackpool Towing Car 671 finds its new home

  1. Chris Callan says:

    Good to see the FTT trustees have secured a role for it elsewhere having been given notice to remove it. At least the motor car can now fill a gap all be it elsewhere showing how the tram operated during the winter months without said trailer. I remember watching as its trailer (681/T1) was unloaded and well known individual within BTS wandered out grinning declaring that 671+681 return was part of a “commercial project” involving it becoming a dedicated dinning tram. Like most things didn’t come to pass and as time went on wondered what would happen to Set 1.

  2. John1 says:

    I’m quite glad the dining experience didn’t come to pass. A dedicated chippy Tram yes, dining not really Blackpool’s thing – just imagine soup on Gynn!!

  3. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    This is excellent news and will ensure that the interest in Blackpool Heritage trams once more receives a wider audience. Good to know too that it is to appear in an historic livery. I doubt that the idea of a dining tram would ever take off in a place like Blackpool and it has been considered before using 663, which also came to nothing. I think the Fish and Chips Tram is a far more suitable idea for the resort and appears to have enjoyed a certain amount of success, especially as it normally involves a Balloon with an option to ride up top.

    I wonder how 681 could now be utilised. Maybe as spares to keep any other twin cars in service, although one twin tram should be quite enough for the Heritage Service and 675/85 is a very good example as it includes the former trailer from the prototype 1958 twin car with its attractive internal décor. For similar reasons, should a further example be desired then 676/86 would be ideal, rather than trying to resurrect the fire damaged set 2 (with its incorrect inner off side end window in the trailer). Most likely it would be better use of resources to return another Balloon to service, which would provide passengers with the opportunity for a ride up top. Before that though, it is important that 143 and 706 are returned to traffic and possibly OMO 8.

  4. Andrew Waddington says:

    Excellent news that 671 is going to a new home, and one that won’t take a space away from another preserved tramcar. It should look good in the cream livery and it’ll be nice to have that represented again following 272+T2’s unfortunate incident.

Leave a Reply