British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2014 – Start Voting!

Voting is now open in all four categories of the British Trams Online Tram of Year 2014 contest following a week of nominations and lots of discussions. We are looking to find the “Tramcar of the Year”, “Light Rail Vehicle of the Year”, “Tramway of the Year” and “Event of the Year” and you can now place your vote (one vote per person per category only please!). Voting will remain open until Saturday 10th January 2015 at 1000 so get your votes in so that your favourite doesn’t miss out! For details of the four shortlists read on…

Tramcar of the Year

Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40

Blackpool Pantograph 167

Blackpool Coronation 304

Manchester 765

Newcastle 114

Light Rail Vehicle of the Year

Edinburgh Trams 275

Manchester Metrolink 1007

Midland Metro 20

Nottingham Express Transit 218

Tramway of the Year

Crich Tramway Village

Edinburgh Trams

Heaton Park Tramway

Manchester Metrolink

Seaton Tramway

Event of the Year

Blackpool – Totally Transport

Blackpool – August Bank Holiday weekend

Crich Tramway Village – Electric 50

Crich Tramway Village – Blackpool Balloon 711’s 80th Birthday

Heaton Park Tramway – Manchester 765 100 Not Out!

There are short profiles of the reasons for each nominee making it onto the shortlist on our Tram of the Year page ( If one of your favourites hasn’t made it onto the final list feel free to contact us and we will attempt to explain the reasons why.

You can place your vote on our Tram of the Year page at and please remember it is one vote per person so please do not attempt to make multiple votes.

Happy voting and may be the best tram, light rail vehicle, tramway and event win!

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17 Responses to British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2014 – Start Voting!

  1. Jim Robinson says:

    many thanks, a good selection apart from 3 out of 5 are Blackpool cars, what about the Sheffield Roberts car, amongst others ???? Your site is really appreciated by me (apart from the apparent bias towards a certain system) A very good job and I am sure hard work for you.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Hi Jim, sorry you feel a bit unhappy with the final ‘Tram of the Year’ nominations. There is definitely no bias here though – Sheffield 510 did not attract sufficient support from our readers during the week-long nominations stage to be included, nor did myself or Gareth feel it had done enough to warrant being included. 2014 has been a very exciting year and there was a lot of competition for the shortlist. Indeed, had we solely followed the public nominations there would have been at least 4 Blackpool trams nominated but we have tried to include a bit more variety to give you all some alternatives. Also note that Blackpool does not feature in two of the categories at all!

    • Paul D says:

      But 3 out of 5 also operated at Crich during the year, and 4 out of 5 have Beamish connections!!

      You can interpret the shortlist in a number of ways and if you are looking for cause to complain, read into it whatever bias you want to see…

    • Christopher Callan says:

      Reality is Blackpool dominates the news agenda (and as such the public conscience) because its not consigned to the past. The unique story continues and if anything potentially a new golden era beckons.

      Some would argue a number of other Blackpool Trams / Events & the system itself were omitted from the various categories. The Tramway itself faced challenges head on this year. Its not been easy but come out of it stronger. With a dynamic new managing director and cross party consensus and the money in place North Station could and should be the first of many extensions. The LRT Fleet continue to silence critics time and time again showing their value. Whilst the Heritage Operation continues to find its voice. So much has been achieved in a relatively short space of time. Loans, Reactivations, Re Acquisitions, Renaming, Repaints and so much more. Blackpool Themed events omitted include “Beamish @ Blackpool” which saw 703, 167, 280, 31 all enjoy themselves. “Easter at Blackpool” which saw the Balloons celebrate the birthday in style with various Balloons on display and operate along with their friends + naming ceremony for 717. May saw the Pantograph Car loan launch along with the Western Train for company amongst others. July saw the very popular and well attended Tram Sunday with trams on static display as well as three car service between North Pier & Fishermens Friend. With Box 40 doings in only passenger working at Blackpool in its centenary year. Enjoying itself with 167 & friends. Not to mention spectacular repaints such as 701. The miraculous rescue of 621. The Trust been formed. The intention to establish a premier transport attraction and so much more.

      Reality is your never going to please everyone. Everyone has their favourites. They can all win.

      • Mark says:

        Excellent choice as usual, what may be worth considering though is that due to the way the scene is growing maybe there is a need to consider splitting it into Service and Preserved. As usual we have a excellent sales pitch for Blackpool – and long may it live, but in terms of resources you cannot compare the work done by Rigby Road on say 701 with the dedicated teams working quietly at their museums such as 765 at Heaton Park.

        • David T says:

          Disappointed and will not be voting as there is always a bias towards Blackpool and Crich

          • Andrew Waddington says:

            Sorry you feel that way but if people who want trams/events from a bigger variety of places to do well, not voting is not going to help their cause! Don’t forget that Blackpool is not included in ‘Tramway of the Year’ on the back of a difficult season; instead we have included the likes of Edinburgh and Seaton, so plenty of variety there, and Heaton Park is also recognised in all four categories. The reason Blackpool & Crich dominate the poll is because they are the two main players in the traditional tramway circles, and our readers on the whole seem to think their nominations are deserved.

          • Gareth Prior says:

            I’m sure David that you are disappointed that Liverpool 245 did not make the final shortlist. If you had asked us earlier in the year than I would thought it was a certainty but as it has not yet entered service it didn’t warrant selection over any of the other trams. We disqualified LUT 159 from the shortlist a couple of years ago when it derailed on its launch and this is a similar situation in that it has not become a full member of an operating fleet yet. I am sure that 245’s day on the shortlist will come in the future but it wasn’t to be this year.

          • Paul D says:

            I’ll put money on 245 being the winner when it does finally enter service, but on current form, I won’t bet on whether that will be 2015 or 16!!

  2. roger woodhead says:

    Tram of the year is a bit of fun. Let’s leave it that way please.

  3. Jim Robinson says:

    Totally agree it is a bit of fun, I should have said “apparent to me a bias” and it was said with tongue firmly pressed to cheek !

  4. NotchArrestor273 says:

    ” nor did myself or Gareth feel it had done enough to warrant being included.”
    It’s not a question of what the tram did, it’s a question of what the tram went through & the engineering efforts that had to be expended. I’m not sure that resilient gearing has ever had to be re-constructed in it’s entirety in the preservation world before. Have you ridden on the car? Did you ride on the car before it was withdrawn?
    In the case of both Sheffield 510 and Leeds 180 the truck overhauls have meant that the cars have been able to properly demonstrate the original design qualities resulting in exceptionally good riding results. Trams are more than just a paint job on some paneling!
    With regard to Tram of the Year maybe desires could be satisfied by having a set of categories that are all prefixed with the word Blackpool. There are many systems that are poorly represented & poorly supported by the majority of preservation organisations and then those with a somewhat broader outlook get crucified in cyberspace for not spending enough rescuing & housing every Blackpool car that has been deemed surplus to requirements by it’s own system!

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Did you nominate Sheffield 510 last week? If you didn’t, then I suggest you stop moaning because I think off the top of my head, only one person did so it clearly doesn’t have much support from the readers of this website. I have obviously ridden on 510 many times, including after its overhaul, and I am impressed by the quality of work, but 510 is not a tram I particularly wanted to see back in service, hence I didn’t nominate it. The fact that hardly anyone else cared enough to nominate it suggests that others felt the same way. It doesn’t feel like a ‘new’ tram in the way that the likes of LUT 159 and Leeds 345 did before it as most of us can remember it running not that many years ago. Incidentally, most of the nominations we received in the traditional tram category were for Blackpool trams, probably because they did the most interesting things this year – and those from Crich are included in that!

      ‘Tram of the Year’ is supposed to be a bit of FUN and some moaning people are really spoiling it this year. It isn’t supposed an opportunity for people to brag about how one restoration is superior or that the workshop team at one organisation are more skilled than others, it’s about which tram enthusiasts feel has contributed the most to the tramway scene and our enjoyment of the hobby this year. Like many people, when I visited Crich this year I was far more interested in the visiting trams, returning favourites and 762 than a tram I have ridden on many, many times before at the museum and will no doubt be able to ride on umpteen times next year.

      • BigG says:

        Andrew, it must be obvious from my past posts that I am a Crich fan, but I agree with you absolutely. Firstly,this IS meant to be fun, let’s all try to keep it that way. There is an inbuilt Blackpool bias, but that arises from the fact that first generation trams in urban areas had disappeared by the early sixties and there are less enthusiasts from that era around now. For the younger enthusiasts for traditional tramways that tends to mean Blackpool. There is nothing wrong with having an enthusiasm for ones favourites and those with a differnt opinion will always describe it as “bias”.

        • Ken Walker says:

          I fully agree. I don’t know how there can be bias when the nominations are based on how many people have voted for each tram, unless all those casting votes have colluded, and there is zero risk of that. Blackpool trams are bound to get a fair majority of votes because there are far more Blackpool survivors than from other systems and for a lot of people (myself included) Blackpool is the only first generation system they have experienced in normal operation. All voices have exactly the same weight in the voting, of that I am certain. My LRV nomination was Metrolink 1001, not 1007, as it was the second generation tramway pioneer and as it has been scrapped this year then this year is the last time it would be valid for nomination. But I’m not going to be threatening to not vote just because other people don’t agree with me. That would be silly and totally against the one rule that Gareth seemed to have forgotten about when he said there are no rules: the one that says the competition is just a bit of FUN. There are enough topics on here that create serious debate: can we not just respect the wishes of our excellent hosts Gareth and Andrew who put so much work into the website, and just keep one thread a year light-hearted? As far as I’m concerned the tram or tramway with the most votes wins, whether it is my personal choice or not! And I will be voting again next year regardless!

  5. Mark I. P. Hughes says:

    I would like to know why Blackpool Balloon 701 did not make it onto the shortlist this year for the tramcar of the year award. I agree with the 5 shortlisted trams on the list as they did a lot to get there and I even nominated those ones myself. So with those 5 and 701, including other nominated trams, it shows how challenging of a year it has been for these trams to gain a slot upon the shortlist.

    • Gareth Prior says:

      We decided – although the final decision is mine I do consult with Andrew before making it – that there were at least five trams which had done more to deserve the shortlist than 701. 701 had operated in 2013 and had “only” received a repaint and in our opinion tram loans (40, 167, 114), the reactivation of 304 and the fact that 765 celebrated its 100th birthday and also visited Manchester City Centre are more worthy of inclusion on the final list.

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