British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2014

It may seem like it was only five minutes since we were crowning Blackpool Boat 227, the Heaton Park Tramway and the Rejuvenation of the Blackpool Heritage Service with awards in the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2013 contest but with December rapidly approaching it is time for us to once again turn our thoughts to just what deserves the accolade for the past 12 months. This year as well as the original “Tramcar of the Year” category we will also be looking for “Tramway of the Year”, “Event of the Year” and for the first time “Light Rail Vehicle of the Year”.

If you are new to the contest you are probably asking what on earth is “Tram of the Year”?! Well for the uninitiated we started the contest back in 2003 as a bit of fun at the end of the year to see just which tram enthusiasts thought had done the most special thing over the previous 12 months. That first contest saw Leeds 602 walk away with the accolade (interestingly one of only three trams to have won which has never operated in Blackpool!) with other notable recent winners including Liverpool 762 in 2010 (when the contest even made the pages of the Blackpool Gazette website!), Blackpool Marton VAMBAC 11 in 2011 and Blackpool Brush 623 in 2012 (the only tram to have ever won twice). In 2012 we added two extra categories with Tramway of the Year (Blackpool in 2012) and Event of the Year (2012’s winner being the Glasgow 50 event at Crich).

The nomination period is open from today until Saturday 29th November and you are invited to submit your nominations for all four categories by either commenting on this article, emailing us at or by leaving a comment on the announcement on Facebook ( Once all nominations are in our “expert panel” will convene to decide on a shortlist which, for each category, will be between three and five nominees and voting should then commence on Sunday 30th November, lasting until early January. Further details on this will be revealed once voting has opened.

As a reminder we are looking for nominations for the following four categories:

* Tramcar of the Year – you can nominate any tram which you think has done something “special” over the past 12 months. It is up to you why you think it is special but it would be handy if you could say why you are nominating it (some will probably be more obvious than others!) As a word of warning saying you have nominated something because it is your favourite tram is not likely to persuade us to include it!

* Tramway of the Year – any tramway in the UK is eligible for this category whether that be an operating line or a museum line. Please give your reasons for the nomination to help us realise just what you have mentioned it! We aren’t necessarily looking for the tramway which has operated the best but this will be considered when deciding on the shortlist.

* Event of the Year – we are not only considering those specific events at museums but it can also include line and system openings. Last year we allowed the rejuvenation of the Blackpool Tramway, but please note that this time around it will need to be a specific Blackpool event for it to be considered (weekend or single day of operation).

* Light Rail Vehicle of the Year – a new category for 2014. The Tramcar of the Year category is always dominated by traditional trams and so with the past 12 months seeing an upsurge in interest in light rail systems we have introduced this category. We are looking for a LRV which has done something special over the past 12 months and again it is up to you what constitutes something special but when making the nomination please give reasons why you think it should be on the shortlist.

You can make as many nominations as you like over the next week or so (it doesn’t mean we will include all of them!) and remember the qualifying period is 1st December 2013 until 30th November 2014 (so there could be a late contender this week!). Details of all winners of the contest can be found on the dedicated Tram of the Year page (which still holds details of last years contest and will be updated ahead of the start of voting) at

Don’t forget you can nominate by either commenting below, by email to or on our Facebook page at and please remember it is just for fun!

Winner of the Tramcar of the Year category in 2013 was Blackpool Boat 227 following its reactivation and repaint into this red and white what might have been livery. This photo shows the tram at North Pier on 23rd August 2014. (Photo: Ian Nightingale)

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39 Responses to British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2014

  1. Alan Kirkman says:

    Well my Nomination for Tram of the year has to be Blackpool 304 for its triumphal return to Heritage service, the first Blackpool Coronation and retaining Vambac control back on the Promemade and to Fleetwood. Not to mention giving me and Harold a superb joint 65th Birthday day.

  2. Ash Tomlinson says:

    I would like to nominate Blackpool Pantograph Car 167 as tram of the year as it has run successfully at three different tramways during 2014 – Beamish, Blackpool and Crich as well as being the first tram “loan” to Blackpool on the new tramway. Tramway of the year I would like to nominate is Crich for putting on a fantastic “Electric 50” event in September and having a birthday for Balloon 711 in October. The event of the year I think I should nominate would be the “Electric 50” event at Crich in September for a massive tram cavalcade and the launch of 762 even though it failed on its first run and I never got to ride on it. Happy nominating!

  3. Christopher Callan says:

    Tram of the Year:
    Coronation 304. The fact crews volunteered in their own time to learn to drive it. The massive amount work behind the scenes to allow it to operate. Not the mention its miraculous rescue and up turn in fortunes from sitting outside with its future so bleak to returning. Think its also fitting in the year that another Vambac Tram Leeds 602 was denied its chance to shine once again by the higher echelons at the Tramway Museum Society that a Vambac equipped tram wins. Everything about 304 launch was so special. Then Alan Kirkmans hire just was the icing on the cake for 304. So so special. Enjoyed every second.

    Light Rail Vehicle of the Year:
    Metrolink T68 1007. When from a far it felt like the chances of T68 been preserved seemed unlikely thankfully Heaton Park Tramway were able to save one. A fabulous result that certainly enhanced the reputation of the MTMS. For me further emphasizing the need to move away from national model and the importance of local artefacts in a contextualised environment.

    Event of the Year:
    Personally August Bank Holiday was a personal favourite. The news of the Trust & intention to establish a visitor attraction. 167 bow for now on Blackpool Tramway. 602 returning. 648 venturing out as a surprise. Not to mention 304 starring.

    Tramway of the Year:
    Its been a turbulent year for Blackpool with budget cuts, concessionary arrangements, manager less for much of it. But at the same time so much has been achieved both on and off the track. Positive Decision made on North Station. Sintropher only just recently been given funding to examine and report back on the South Fylde Extension viability. An exciting Managing Director brought who already making changes for the better. Despite the doom and gloom about the concessionary decision the figures suggest the tramway even more profitable and as busy as before. Heritage operation continues to make strides forward. So much to look forward to. Adversity sometimes can be a good thing.

  4. Stephen McCulley says:

    Tram Of The Year:

    701 – looking fabulous in its Routemaster Livery from the early 90s and doing well during the last month or so of Illumination Tours.

    Event Of The Year:

    Electric 50 – Fantastic event and although the cavalcades didn’t always go to plan, it was just great having so many trams around and so many photo opportunities. Favoured location was definitely Wakebridge – setting there was superb for the photos.

    Tramway Of The Year – Blackpool. Best of Heritage and Light Rail together on the same rails and the tramway never ceases to surprise and on most occasions delight.

  5. My nomination for “Event of the Year” has to be the opening of the Edinburgh Tram system, 31 May 2014. After all the trials and tribulations of alternative routes, mismanaged finance, building set backs, for the tramway to open was in itself something of a miracle. Edinburgh may now have a truncated system but five years after the “mock up” tram was displayed in Princes Street local residents are now quite proud of their system !

  6. Monopodmansdad says:

    I would have nominated 167, Crich 50 and 1007 but these have already been nominated. However I would like to nominate Manchester Metrolink for tramway of the year for the full opening of the Oldham/Rochdale and Airport Lines. Mark

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      That’s fine – the more people nominate a tram/event/tramway, the better chance it has of making the final shortlist!

  7. Ken Walker says:

    My votes are: Tram of the year, Manchester 765 at Heaton Park, 100 years old this year and still looking marvellous as ever. Tramway of the year: Seaton Tramway for their fantastic teamwork and the amazingly quick recovery from their mini – Dawlish incident in February, also moving trams by road to Colyton to operate what service they could for the school holidays to avoid disappointment, when they could have just filed the problem in the ‘too-difficult’ tray until repairs were complete. Event of the year, Blackpool August bank holiday heritage operation. LRV of the year, Metrolink 1001, the pioneer 2nd generation tram in the UK, now sadly no more.

  8. Nathan says:

    Tram of the Year Nominations:
    Blackpool 304 – for it’s unexpected reactivation.
    Burton & Ashby 14 – for being rescued! The only non-Blackpool tram on this list, too.
    Blackpool 701 – for it’s repaint and subsequent use on Illuminations tours.
    Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 – For visiting Crich, celebrating it’s 100th birthday and receiving a full overhaul.
    Blackpool 621 – For it’s dramatic and somewhat surprising sale to Beamish.
    Blackpool 711 – For visiting Crich and representing the upgraded Blackpool system at Electric 50.

    Tramway of the Year Nominations:
    Crich – for the spectacular Electric 50 event.
    Blackpool – for obvious reasons.
    Metrolink – for opening an extension ahead of schedule, which is a substantial achievement.
    Edinburgh – For opening!

    Event of the Year Nomination(s):
    Their can only be one here and that is the superb Electric 50 at Crich. Visiting trams, cavalcades, the (albeit aborted) launch of 762 and much, much more.

    LRV of the Year Nomination(s):
    Again, there is only one contender and that is Manchester Metrolink 1007 for becoming the first ever LRV to be officially preserved in the UK.

  9. Paul D says:

    This year there are many worthy candidates to choose from, but I’d narrow it down to three in particular. Two cars, Manchester 765 and Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40, both celebrated their 100th birthday which is reason enough for their nomination, but both also had high profile excursions from their usual homes – 765 having a day out in the City Centre and 40 returning to Crich for 3 months.
    For me however they are both eclipsed by my third candidate, the wandering Blackpool Pantograph 167 which became I believe only the second tram ever to operate on 3 different systems in a year with loans to Beamish and Blackpool before returning to Crich. A particular highlight of the year for me was the evening ‘farewell’ Special including visits to Fleetwood and Starr Gate on the August Bank holiday Saturday.

    I’ll nominate Totally Transport 2014 for exceeding all expectations. The triumphant return of Heritage trams to the heart of the event and the first opportunity to ride heritage cars to Starr Gate in public service since 2009, followed by the icing on the cake of 167’s special to Fleetwood to round off the day.
    Likewise, Blackpool Day at Crich deserves a mention for exceeding expectations. It showed that well thought smaller scale events can be almost as attractive and interesting as the big spectaculars for a much smaller input.

    A beginning and an end make this a two way fight between Metrolink T68 1007 which operated on the ‘farewell tour’ for the class and then became the first preserved second generation vehicle, and Edinburgh 275, the first second generation Tram in passenger service in Scotland.

    Of the Heritage lines, Heaton Park continues to develop. The new Depot being readied for use meaning that all the fleet can now be stored undercover, while contrasting vehicles Metrolink 1007 and Oldham 43 joined the collection.
    On the Modern front, I’ll put forward Edinburgh. After all the trials and tribulations it all finally came together and services started.

  10. Ralph Oakes-Garnett says:

    I would like to nominate Metrolink 1007.

  11. Steve Ellis says:

    Tram of the year to mix things up Blackpool 762 return to service as the last built (rebuilt) uk double deck tram and with out 761 and 762’s operations over winters there may not be a Blackpool tramway to enjoy. For puritans I am sure it will be 304 which wins!

    Tramway crich for the events this year which have been excellent and also the quick thinking and organisation of events like the Blackpool weekend. New tramways Edinburgh for opening.

    Event of the year electric 50.

    Lrv tram 1007 for being preserved and a huge congratulations to heaton park for securing what is an important part of modern tramway history which the national museum seems to have overlooked. The main issue with this category is how to nominate an individual Lrv. Best for comfort and facilities are the Edinburgh trams, pick a number between 251 and 277. Worst Lrvs by far Birmingham 01 to 16.

  12. David Mee says:

    Two votes for tram of the year – Pantograph 167 and Manchester 765, both have been great roving ambassadors for their respective homes this year.

    Event – vote must go to Crich for Electric 50.

    LRV – Manchester T68 1007 in memory of a great fleet of pioneer new generation trams.

    Tramway- Manchester again for continued expansion of the system and successful implementation of the new vehicle fleet.

  13. Peter Norris says:

    I nominate 765 for its 100th birhday
    1007 as lrv of the year, because its the first second generation tram to be preserved
    Heaton park tramway for there new tram shed
    And crich tramway village for electric 50

  14. Dave G says:

    Tram – the two centenarians Manchester 765 and Box 40

    Tramway – Blackpool struggled and did nothnig new really so please give it a rest this year. Instead Heaton Park for continued development or Crich for 50 years service.

    Event – Crich Blackpool day. Personally, I preferred it to the Electric 50.

    LRV – Metrolink 1007 farewell toor and first 2nd gen prerserved.

  15. David Butterworth says:

    My nomination for tram of the year is Coronation 304.
    When I observed it out in open storage at Fleetwood last year, I thought ‘that’s it, then’ we shall not see it again on the Blackpool rails any more. Worse still its future looked bleak, and with another winter’s outside storage, its gradual deterioration seemed more than likely.

  16. Peter Narramore says:

    My nomination for Event of the Year must go to “The Best of Sheffield” . The opportunity to ride on trams representing three ages of the traditional system at Sheffield, from horse to 1950’s streamlined was one not to be missed. The setting of the turn round of the horse car, just short of the Bowes Lyon Bridges, came straight out of 1900 – tree lined cobbled street with no motor traffic in sight. It was a credit to all involved.
    For Tram of the year I would like to nominate Brush Car 634. Its transfer to secure under cover storage in the North East gives hope of it running again one day. Living near its previous base in Rushden meant that I had plenty of opportunity to see the high standard of restoration work put into it over the last few years by its owner.
    Finally, for System of the Year the prize must go to the Seaton Tramway for the efforts the staff and management put in to getting the line up and running again after the floods early in the year. Their resilience in the face of adversity is an example to many larger transort organisations

    • Ken Walker says:

      And in the face of the imminent loss of their Chairman Trevor Shears who weeks before his untimely death from cancer insisted on travelling all the way from Newcastle to see for himself the damage and the restoration work. That’s commitment.

  17. Nigel says:

    Light Rail Vehicle of the year has to go to that pallet that became a YouTube sensation as it can travel on an LRV system!

  18. Nathan says:

    Looks like 1007 has won the LRV category already!

    • Nigel says:

      Well then there is more reason to shortlist the pallet so 1007 at least has some competition.

      Think I know which will win though.

  19. Chris says:

    My votes
    tram Blackpool 167 for running on three tramways
    tramway Blackpool for more briliant Bank holidays
    Event Totally Transport for heritage service to Starr Gate
    LRV Blackpool 016 as first of the type in an advert livery.

  20. JOHN says:

    Tram of the year Blackpool 167 – 3 Tramways in a year? A winner surely!
    Tramway of the year – Edinburgh, because it actually opened! Though Crich deserves mention equally for 50 years.
    Event – Crich Blackpool weekend (Electric 50 misses out because of the ludicrous wait for the processions)
    LRV – 1007 for officially being the first second generation tram preserved.


  21. David Maxwell says:

    Tramcar of the year: Blackpool 167 for having given pleasure on 3 different tramways in the course of the year.
    Event of the year: Although I did not attend, for sheer spectacle it has to be Electric 50
    Tramway of the year: Beamish. All year operation, variety of trams in service, ongoing restoration and refurbishments, and particularly for the enthusiasm shown in hosting visiting trams, lending trams to other tramways so that they could be enjoyed by a wider audience and the spirit of co-operation with other groups that he made these things possible.
    Light Rail vehicle of the year: Manchester 1007 as it marks the first new generation vehicle in preservation.

  22. stuart cooke says:

    Tram of the year Sheffield 510 and event of the year Best of Sheffield at Crich in May .

  23. Eddy Jones says:

    It is quite a difficult choice.

    For tram of the year, Blackpool 167 because of it’s wandering.
    For tramway I think Blackpool for its continued successes
    Event has to be Electric 50 at Crich

    LRV I spent ages thinking about until I saw the nomination above for the pallet tram from that video, I think it was Bratislava. The amount of publicity this has got tramways it should definitely be a candidate for LRV of year.

    So therefore, the Bratislava Pallet tram for LRV of the year.

    • JOHN says:

      er BRITISH Trams online>??>?

      • Andrew Waddington says:

        Exactly! I think we should forget about this pallet thing now as it isn’t British and is therefore not eligible for the award, making it a waste of a nomination!

        • John Terly says:

          Where does it say in the award rules that it has to be British?

          This appears to be a change in the rules which makes the whole thing look suspect and rigged.

          • Gareth Prior says:

            No it doesn’t say anything in the “rules” (which are actually non-existent!) about it having to be British. However I would have thought it was blindingly obvious that a website called British Trams Online was looking for trams which at the very least operate in Britain! If you think it is suspect and rigged you don’t have to vote but I can assure you it is anything but and please remember it is only a bit of fun at the end of the year – it is not a general election!

  24. Phil Hart says:

    Tram Of The Year: Blackpool Pantograph 167
    This beautiful tram has been all over the country this year and been so reliable.

    Tramway Of The Year: Manchester Metrolink
    Now the largest second generation tramway in the country, and with the Airport line opening a year ahead of schedule. It is still expanding with the second city crossing in 2016 and the Trafford line in 2019.

    Event Of The Year: Tram Sunday, Fleetwood:
    As always a brilliant event and a great day out.

    Light Rail Vehicle Of The Year: Manchester Metrolink T68 – 1007
    This is the first second generation to be withdrawn and for preservation. Thanks to Heaton Park Tramway Manchester for this gesture when we thought all was lost for any of the first second generation trams.

  25. John Terly says:

    Hadn’t even thought of the ‘pallet tram’ that gave so many people hours of amusement until I read the comments above. As Eddy said this must have raised the profile of tramways around the world when it went ‘viral’. I’ll give it another nomination for LRV of the year.

  26. Phill says:

    Tram: Southampton 45, having ran it’s final years service for what is likely to be a long time.

    Event: Electric 50. The planning and the build up behind the scenes were unbelievable, congratulations to those who made it happen.

    LRV: Pallet tram. In fact I think pallet tram needs saving, now!

  27. roger woodhead says:

    Tram of the year – Liverpool 245 a wonderful restoration moving under its own power for the first time in 50Years plus it don’t come from a seaside resort!
    The event of the year for me were the celebrations on the Manx Electric Railway/Tramway few of you will have been so I know I am onto a loser here but try and visit it is well worth the effort.
    Tramway of the year- well there are quite a few that deserve this accolade. I was hard pressed on this but Metrolink came out on top, not just because of the new lines but also the obtaining of finance for the Trafford Park line. Also there are small things, for example indicating on the PID that a journey is being operated by a double unit. The provision of Football Specials is another. As I said small things but they improve the journey for passengers.
    2nd generation tram – no contest 1007 for me it has history attached to it. From the start of the system to the T68 final rites, long may it be seen at Heaton Park.

  28. Joe Savage says:

    Tram of the year Oldham 43 as she’s just come out off hiding.
    Event Electric 50 Crich.
    LRV 1007 off course.
    cant possibly comment on the tramway lol

  29. Mark I. P. Hughes says:

    My nominations for tramcar, tramway, event & light rail vehicle of the year 2014 are:

    Tramcar of the Year 2014:
    a) Blackpool Balloon 701 – My core choice this year as it has been restored into its unique Routemaster red & white livery & its future in Blackpool has been secured indefinitely.
    b) Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40 – It is 100 years old this year & has operated on 2 tramway systems this year (Blackpool & Crich).
    c) Blackpool Pantograph 167 – It has operated on 3 tramway systems this year (Beamish, Blackpool & Crich), as well as temporarily being decorated with lights for the Starlight Specials at Crich.
    d) Blackpool Ex Towing Railcoach 280 – It became the first of its class to be used in service in preservation at Beamish.
    e) Blackpool Brush Railcoach 290 – It was repainted into a more attractive green & cream livery this year. The information displays in the land side saloon windows also offer something different.
    f) Blackpool Coronation 304 – It was treated to a clean & had the silver beading restored to the previously plain cab end. It was also reactivated & became the first of its class to be used on the heritage service.
    g) Blackpool Brush Railcoach 621 – It was re-preserved by Beamish.
    h) Blackpool Porch Balloon 711 – It was used on loan at Crich throughout 2014 & a Blackpool themed event was held to celebrate its 80th birthday.
    i) Blackpool Illuminated Hovertram 735 – This unique tram was re-preserved by the North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust.
    j) Blackpool Jubilee 762 – It became the first of its class to be used in service in preservation at Crich.
    k) Burton & Ashby 14 – This only preserved tram from Burton & Ashby was secured for re-preservation in the United Kingdom.
    l) Dundee 24 – This last known surviving Dundee horse tram was preserved by the Dundee Museum of Transport.
    m) Oldham 43 – This last known surviving Oldham tram was preserved by the Manchester Transport Museum Society.
    n) Newcastle 114 – It has operated on 2 tramway systems this year (Beamish & Crich) & became the first tram to be loaned to Crich from another tramway museum.
    o) Liverpool 245 – Despite not having operated in service in preservation yet, its overhaul has been completed & it looks great.
    p) Sheffield 510 – This tram has been overhauled & returned to service this year after last operating 8 years ago.
    q) Manchester 765 – It is 100 years old this year & also visited Manchester city centre & was placed upon temporary tracks whilst also having its lights on (I guess powered by the use of batteries?) to make it look like it was in service in the city centre.

    Tramway of the Year 2014:
    a) Heaton Park Tramway – My core choice this year as the new Lakeside Depot was officially opened this year which has allowed more trams to be stored securely undercover & allows the fleet to expand considerably, with newly preserved trams like Oldham 43 & Manchester Metrolink 1007 joining the collection of trams at Heaton Park Tramway.
    b) Manchester Metrolink – More extensions have been opened this year including the airport line ahead of schedule & more M5000 trams have been delivered & put into service.
    c) Edinburgh Tramway – The first second generation tramway system to have opened in the UK in 10 years & the very first in Scotland.

    Event of the Year 2014:
    a) Electric 50 Crich – My core choice this year as it was a massive & fantastic event organised to celebrate 50 years of electric tramcar operation at Crich. There was the 27 tramcar cavalcade organised over 2 days with trams differently arranged over those 2 days, a 28th tram, the Blackpool Locomotive, also used during the event & there was lots of photograph opportunities available.
    b) Blackpool August Bank Holiday 2014 – There was great weather in Blackpool again like last year over this period, Balloon 700 was used in service on heritage tours, Balloon 701 was relaunched & it was interesting to be able to ride Pantograph 167 from Rigby Road Depot.

    Light Rail Vehicle of the Year 2014:
    a) Manchester Metrolink T68 1007 – My core choice this year as it became the first light rail vehicle/ second generation tramcar to be officially preserved by the Manchester Transport Museum Society. It was also one of two T68 trams to be used in the farewell tour on Manchester Metrolink.
    b) West Midlands/ Midland Metro Urbos 3 20 – It became the first of its class to enter service on the Midland Metro system.
    c) Nottingham Citadis 302 218 – It became the first of its class to enter service on the Nottingham Express Transit system.
    d) Edinburgh 275 – It became the first light rail vehicle/ second generation tram to enter service on the Edinburgh tramway & in Scotland.

  30. Fylde man says:

    I would like to nominate Liverpool 245,to the restoration work Birkenhead Tram Museum have done,and also testing the Tram as well.
    I give them full marks to what they have achieved.

    • Dave in Derby says:

      Much as I agree they have done a fine job cosmetically on 245, because it hasnt entered service yet, I think it shoud not be on this years shortlist, but is should be a red hot favorite for the title next year.

      My nomination is Blackpool and Fleetwood Box 40. 100 years old, overhauled and returned to Crich.
      My Event is Crich Blackpool Day.
      My Tramway is Heaton Park for taking Metrolink 1007.

  31. Joe N says:

    My nomination the wonderful Sheffield Roberts Car 510.

    Event nomination Electric 50 at Crich.

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