The British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2009 was Blackpool Western Train 733+734 - the third Blackpool tram in a row to win the accolade. The tram was the runaway leader throughout (in the end gaining more than 50% of the vote) beating Manchester Metrolink 3001 and Cardiff 131 into second and, a suprisingly, third place respectively.
British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2009
Blackpool Western Train 733+734
Manchester Metrolink 3001
291 votes total
Tram of the Year 2009: The Shortlisted Trams
The three trams shortlisted for the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2009 have now been selected and brief details are given below as to why they have been added to the shortlist. Thanks to all those who nominated trams this year and apologies if your chosen trams hasn't made it.
Blackpool Illuminated Western Train 733+734
Why is it nominated? A return to service after a major restoration
One of the most hotly anticipated return to the rails of recent years Blackpool Illuminated Western Train 733+734 has been turning heads throughout the 2009 Blackpool Illuminations having undergone a major restoration funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The trams last ran at the end of the 1999 Illuminations and during that 10 year hiatus they had been much missed and there was even a campaign by the Blackpool Gazette to get the Train back onto the rails. Following its restoration 733+734 first ran on the Prom on Wednesday 15th April on test with the first passenger journey undertaken on Tuesday 12th May followed two days later by the official launch. Another notable outing was at Totally Transport during June when they ran a couple of special tours from Harrowside to Little Bispham, Starr Gate and back to Harrowside before they settled into a regular patten of Illumination Tours in September, October and early November. Despite a few teething problems the tram has proved popular with enthusiasts and general public alike.
Why is it nominated? Completion of restoration to help celebrate 50 years of Crich
For the first time a works car is on the shortlist for the award with Cardiff 131. 131 was restored in the Workshops at Crich as it was the very first tram on the site back in 1959 and it was decided to help celebrate the 50th anniversary it would return to working order. Looking resplendent in the maroon and cream colours of Cardiff Corporation Tramways the Water Car was restored in Crich's own workshops and played a starring role at the Crich50 celebrations over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in late May and was the first tram in the major cavalcade on the Sunday of this event. The tram is now being used at the Crich Tramway Village on a fairly regular basis as part of the Works fleet.
Manchester Metrolink 3001
Why is it nominated? The first of 40 new M5000 LRVs
3001 became the first of the M5000 class of LRVs to arrive in Manchester on Monday 13th July 2009. 40 of these vehicles have been ordered to operate the new Metrolink routes due to start opening from 2011 and also to help relieve overcrowding on the current routes. The first of M5000s have now started daytime testing and are expected to enter service by the end of the year.
Although these three trams have been added to the shortlist a number of other trams were nominated including: Blackpool Brush 622, Blackpool Brush 627 and Blackpool Balloon 722.
British Trams Online is an enthusiast run website for enthusiasts. It should be able to be viewed at all screen resolutions but I do advise you that it is probably best at 1024x768. The site is owned, maintained (and in the main written) by Gareth Prior. Any comments or suggestions please email.