And the winners are! Isle of Man and Edinburgh victorious in Tram of the Year 2023

Five categories and two winners, that is the story of the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2023. After four weeks of voting the Manx Electric Railway can celebrate wins in three categories whilst the other two categories see Edinburgh Trams walk away with the accolade, in what was a positive year for both.

The original category – “Tram of the Year (Heritage)” – saw the most closely fought battle with eventually the Manx Electric Railway’s trailer 19 receiving the most votes. The trailer returned to service during the Heritage Transport Event which took place in the summer – for the first time in 50 years! The culmination of hard work from volunteers and paid staff from Isle of Man Railways the return of the trailer was one of the highlights of the event (which is also rewarded – more on that later!).

Usually in this category it is a case of we have a runaway winner and almost as soon as voting opens it is clear what will be the winner, but that was not the case this year with this being the closest of all categories. Indeed for some time it looked as if the award would be won by Seaton 9 which ended up in second place just 47 votes behind. This tram had been nominated after receiving work to make its accessible lower deck section more weather proof with the addition of doors, its first significant change since it originally entered service over 20 years ago.

Also in this category, Manx Electric Railway Freight Trailer 26 (59 votes) pipped Heaton Park Tramway’s Blackpool Replica Vanguard 619 into third place by just a solitary vote.

This was not the only category that the Manx Electric Railway and the Isle of Man has won though as it also received the most votes in the other two categories it was nominated in. “Tramway/Museum of the Year” saw the MER receive just over half of all valid votes received with 394 of you thinking that in its 130th anniversary year it deserved the award. The Seaton Tramway (313 votes) and East Anglia Transport Museum (77 votes) completed this category with both of these having continued to consolidate their positions and to go from strength to strength for the future.

“Event of the Year” (the only “joint” category between heritage and modern) also saw the Isle of Man victorious. The Summer Year of the Railway Heritage Transport Festival – expanded to eight days for 2023 – received a staggering 477 votes (82% of the total votes!) in a landslide victory. The event helped to not only celebrate 130 years of the MER but also 150 years of the Isle of Man Steam Railway seeing the two trailers nominated in the main category return to service amongst many highlights. The opening of extensions on two modern tramways – Edinburgh Trams (12%) and West Midlands Metro (6%) – completed this category.

And those two modern systems would do battle in the remaining categories and in both cases Edinburgh Trams have cause for celebration! “Tram of the Year (Modern)” saw two trams nominated which had run the first public services on new lines on their respective systems. Ultimately Edinburgh Trams 258 got more votes (244) as it defeated West Midlands Metro 31 (144).

“Tramway (Modern) of the Year” also saw Edinburgh Trams beat West Midlands Metro. With both systems expanding during the year they had both had a good year but in the end 248 thought that it was the Scottish system which had done the most to win the award – West Midlands Metro coming in with 136 votes.

That’s the end of the contest for another year! Congratulations to all of the winners and commiserations to the runners-up in all categories. 2024 could be a year which sees another extension opening and more trams entering service so it may be a year in which there’s lots more to nominate and vote on! The contest will be back in December 2024!

Voting details

Tram of the Year (Heritage)

Manx Electric Railway 19 – 371 votes (45.69%)

Seaton 9 – 324 votes (39.90%)

Manx Electric Railway Freight Trailer 26 – 59 votes (7.27%)

Blackpool Replica Vanguard 619 – 58 votes (7.14%)

78 votes removed due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Tram of the Year (Modern)

Edinburgh Trams 258 – 244 votes (62.89%)

West Midlands Metro 31 – 144 votes (37.11%)

47 votes removed due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Tramway/Museum of the Year

Manx Electric Railway – 394 votes (50.26%)

Seaton Tramway – 313 votes (39.92%)

East Anglia Transport Museum – 77 votes (9.82%)

76 votes removed due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Tramway of the Year (Modern)

Edinburgh Trams – 248 votes (64.58%)

West Midlands Metro – 136 votes (35.42%)

47 votes removed due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Event of the Year

Isle of Man: Year of the Railways Transport Festival – 477 votes (81.96%)

Edinburgh Trams: Opening of Newhaven extension – 69 votes (11.86%)

West Midlands Metro: Opening of Wolverhampton Station extension – 36 votes (6.19%)

72 votes removed due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Votes received from the same IP address are considered a multiple vote. In these cases the first set of votes are accepted with all subsequent votes removed from the final rankings.

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1 Response to And the winners are! Isle of Man and Edinburgh victorious in Tram of the Year 2023

  1. Andrew Twynham says:

    Nice to see pictures of the old and new tram of Sheffield trams on the header.
    The Manx Electric Railway will always be my favourite Tramway.

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