In Pictures: Blackpool Towing Car 281 at St Helens

It was November 2022 that we last featured photos of the Fylde Transport Trust’s Blackpool Towing Car 281 at which point it was making good progress in being painted cream and losing its long standing Metro Coastlines colour scheme. We then reported on the tram in January when its repaint was very nearly completed and now we head to its new home in St Helens where it is on display looking every bit like the Towing Car it was before being permanently coupled to its trailer.

281 started off life as a Second Series English Electric Railcoach (built 1935) before it became the eighth tram to be converted to a Twin Motor Car, entering service in this condition in late 1960. Originally able to operate either as towing car solo or with a trailer it was in fact the first to be permanently coupled to its partner trailer (October 1962). It is that 1960-1962 period that the tram is representing with it having been repainted to original cream livery.

The tram is now on loan to North West Museum of Road Transport in St Helens (where it has been since April 2021) and is on display alongside many buses.

281 and its all cream livery seen on display in St Helens.

Another shot of the tram. It has authentic numbers and Corporation crests on the paintwork too.

A close-up of the Corporation crest.

The tram was also open to allow visitors to inspect the saloon. This is the rear saloon looking towards what was the inner end when it lost its second cab after permanent coupling.

And this is the other saloon with the driver’s cab seen.

Inside the cab.

And the final shot shows another view of the cab. (All Photographs by Ken Jones, 5th March 2023)

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3 Responses to In Pictures: Blackpool Towing Car 281 at St Helens

  1. mac says:

    Where’s the other half?

    • Fylde Transport Trust says:

      The trailer car from this set is at Rigby Road and owned by Blackpool Transport. The FTT secured 281 to have an example of the trams when they were run as single cars rather than as a twin set.

      • Andy says:

        Excellent repaint, but are there any plans to return the correct period features, including removing the wiper and modifying the above windscreen window, rebuilding the driving cab at the other end and adding the jumper cables to the dash pannels together with the ‘limited stop’ list of stops that I seem to remember was on the dash panels when the twins carried this livery?

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