News & Features | Fleet Lists | Photos | Events Diary | Tram of the Year | About the Site | Email

Home > Tram of the Year

About the Tram of the Year

Conceived as a bit of fun at the end of the year the British Trams Online Tram of the Year originally sought to find the tramcar which had done something "special" over the previous 12 months. There has never been a full definition of what "special" actually means in this case but over the years tramcars which have won have had a repaint, entered service after a repaint or gone on loan away from their home tramway to name but there examples.

In 2012 the contest was expanded to include two new categories - Event of the Year and Tramway of the Year - and then in 2014 a fourth category was voted for the first time - Light Rail Vehicle of the Year.

At the start of December each year nominations are opened for a week to allow anyone to put forward suggestions for each of the categories before our "expert panel" (which is probably neither expert nor a panel!) convene to make a decision of what should be on the final shortlist, with each category normally having around five items to vote on. Voting takes place for approximately four weeks between December and January and we then name the lucky winners.

British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2022

Tram of the Year: And the winners are...

The winners of the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2022 contest can today be revealed – and its been a good year for the East Anglia Transport Museum who go home with two of the four awards! They received the most votes as both “Tramway of the Year” and Blackpool Standard 159 was the most popular nominee for “Tram (Traditional) of the Year”. The Blackpool Tramway also had a good year in the contest with the Jubilee Tram Parade winning “Event of the Year” and Blackpool Flexity2 011 being named “Tram (Modern) of the Year”.

As with other recent Tram of the Year contests in truth it wasn’t too competitive with the exception of “Tram (Modern) of the Year” which was just separated by six votes. In the end Blackpool Flexity2 011 received 45% of the vote in recognition of its bright and cheerful vinyl wrap livery for Mazuma Mobile unveiled in September. It beat Manchester Metrolink 3147 (the last of the M5000s to be delivered to Manchester) to the title with West Midlands Metro 42 then coming in third.

Blackpool can also celebrate “Event of the Year” with the Jubilee Tram Parade in June receiving 42% of the votes as it came in first ahead of Crich’s Tram Day and the Isle of Man Summer Transport Festival. The Parade saw 13 trams run from Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee – including a debut for Balloon 723 in a new coat of 1990s green and cream fleet livery.

But it’s the East Anglia Transport Museum who can celebrate the “big two” awards. The original category “Tram (Traditional) of the Year went to Blackpool Standard 159 which got 52% of the total votes received in this category. The Standard Car had received works attention over the winter and returned to action at the museum, settling back into regular use and even receiving decorations to commemorate both anniversaries at the museum and then Christmas. Second place in this category went to Blackpool Balloon 715 with London Transport 1622 in third and Blackpool Balloon 700 was fourth.

The ”Tramway of the Year” category was, in truth, never in doubt with the East Anglia Transport receiving 83% of all the votes! 152 of you decided it deserved the accolade with 2022 seeing the museum acquire three more trams (all from Blackpool) as work continued on its expansion with the new tram depot being built – and its even had its first residents move in already! The second place tramway for 2022 was the Seaton Tramway which had seen two new stops added in August 2022. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and well done to all the winners!

Tram of the Year: The Results

Tram (Traditional) of the Year

Blackpool Standard 159 – 72 votes (52.55%)
Blackpool Balloon 715 – 41 votes (29.93%)
London Transport 1622 – 37 votes (27.01%)
Blackpool Balloon 700 - 24 votes (17.52%)

9 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Tram (Modern) of the Year

Blackpool Tramway 011 – 64 votes (45.07%)
Manchester Metrolink 3147 – 58 votes (40.85%)
West Midlands Metro 42 – 20 votes (14.08%)

6 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Tramway of the Year

East Anglia Transport Museum – 152 votes (83.52%)
Seaton Tramway – 30 votes (16.48%)

9 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to ranking)

Event of the Year

Blackpool Tramway: Jubilee Tram Parade - 65 votes (42.21%)
Crich Tramway Village: Tram Day – 51 votes (33.12%)
Isle of Man: Summer Transport Festival – 38 votes (24.68%)

6 votes rejected 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.

Tram of the Year: The Shortlist

Tram (Traditional) of the Year

Blackpool Standard 159
Although 159 operated in 2021, over the winter and early spring period the tram went through the works at the East Anglia Transport Museum and this stalwart of the operating fleet returned to service on 22nd May 2022. It has since seen regular use including the Ride the Lights event in December.

Blackpool Balloon 700
Originally due to have returned to service in September 2021, Balloon 700 was unable to enter service during 2021 in its new coat of wartime green and cream paint. With its issues solved it has run extensively throughout 2022 and a pseudo member of the heritage fleet this B fleet Balloon has provided to be popular on Coastal Tours.

Blackpool Balloon 715
We don’t often feature a tram which is withdrawn from service but we do this year! Popular with many enthusiasts the Fylde Transport Trust’s Balloon 715 was withdrawn from service after a final farewell tour in November 2022 which covered the whole Blackpool Tramway between Starr Gate and Fleetwood. Now requiring significant workshop attention it will be quite some time before it runs again with the FTT having other priorities to return to service. Its now on static display at Tramtown.

London Transport 1622
Not having run in passenger service since 2016, London Passenger Transport Board 1622 returned to action in August 2022. Its been in the workshops for a couple of years being prepared for its return and now featuring external between deck adverts it was a welcome return to the operating fleet. Unfortunately, an incident in September saw it taken out of use again but it did run on several days before succumbing again and hopefully it won’t be too long before its out running again.

Tram (Modern) of the Year

Blackpool Tramway 011
September 2022 saw 011 receive its very first all over advert with a design for Mazuma Mobile unveiled in a special ceremony at North Pier. The brightly coloured advert is one of the more pleasing designs seen not only in Blackpool but elsewhere in the UK and certainly brightens up a dull day on the Fylde Coast!

Manchester Metrolink 3147
The last of 147 M5000s built for Manchester Metrolink by Bombardier (now Alstom), 3147 was delivered to Queens Road Depot on 24th September 2022. With no more trams on the agenda for Metrolink it may end up being the last M5000 to be built but only time will tell on that one. After commissioning it entered service in mid-October.

West Midlands Metro 42
2022 was quite a year for the West Midlands Metro – not all of it necessary good! But Sunday 17th July 2022 was a good day when the extension between Library and Edgbaston Village finally opened to the public. Fortunately, the first public tram was one of the newer Urbos100 trams rather than an Urbos3 (with all the issues the older trams have caused it would have been a bit off for one to be nominated!) with 42 doing the honours.

Tramway of the Year

East Anglia Transport Museum
Nominated for the second year in a row, the East Anglia Transport Museum certainly currently seems to be a museum going places – especially when you look at the tram side of their operations. 2022 has seen work continue on the construction of a new (second) tram depot and although work has not yet been completed it has already become home to some trams. And that’s because they have also become the owners of not one, not two but three more Blackpool trams! Brush Car 290 was first to arrive before November saw the arrival of another Brush in the shape of 625 and then Balloon 726. With work continuing on Glasgow 488 and Lowestoft 14 as well not forgetting plans for an extension to the tramway the museum is looking good for the future.

Seaton Tramway
Also nominated last year, and winning in 2020, the Seaton Tramway makes it to the shortlist again. 2022 has seen the tramway continue to operate its regular services along with their special themed trams and then in August 2022 two brand new halts were opened. Riverside Halt and Seaton Wetlands Halt add two more locations where you can get on and off the tram and gives excellent access to the Seaton Wetlands reserve which should add to tramway visitors in the long-run.

Event of the Year

Blackpool Tramway – Jubilee Tram Parade 2nd June 2022 was part of the extended Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee and to mark the occasion Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours got together with partners in the town to run a special parade of trams from Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham, including a pause at Tower/North Pier. Featuring 13 trams from the operating fleet – including Balloon 723 on its first day back in 1990s green and cream – crowds lined the tramway to see the spectacle.

Crich Tramway Village – Tram Day
The annual Tram Day at the Crich Tramway Village returned again in September. The usual offering of an intensive tram service plus line-ups of trams on the depot fan featured. Included this year was Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 which had only recently returned to service whilst the depot fan saw line-ups of Glasgow and London trams to celebrate significant anniversaries.

Isle of Man – Manx Summer Transport Festival
2022 was back to normal for the Isle of Man with a full blown Transport Festival featuring in July. Whilst the Manx Electric Railway dominated proceedings again the period also saw the return of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway for the first time since 2019. For the MER highlights included rare combinations, special tours, car shed tours and parallel runs and the Snaefell Mountain Railway wasn’t left out either with a special four cars at the summit photography special.

Previous Contests


Tramcar - Manx Electric Railway 2
LRV - Manchester Metrolink 1023
Tramway - Crich Tramway Village
Event - Isle of Man: Winter Heritage Transport Festival


Tramcar - Stockport 5
LRV - Manchester Metrolink 3073
Tramway - Seaton Tramway
Event - Seaton Tramway: 50th anniversary event


Tramcar - Manx Electric Railway 54
LRV - Blackpool Tramway 001 & Manchester Metrolink 3006
Tramway - Heaton Park Tramway
Event - Manx Heritage Transport Festival


Tramcar - Manx Electric Railway 14
LRV - Stagecoach Supertram 399 203
Tramway - Manx Electric Railway
Event - Manx Electric Railway 125th anniversary


Tramcar - Douglas Bay Horse Tramway 36
LRV - Stagecoach Supertram 399 202
Tramway - Statfold Barn Railway
Event - Statfold Barn Railway: Burton & Ashby 14 launch


Tramcar - Blackpool Marton 31
LRV - Manchester Metrolink 3120
Tramway - Douglas Bay Horse Tramway
Event - Douglas Bay Horse Tramway: 140th Anniversary


Tramcar - Liverpool 245
LRV - Manchester Metrolink 3100
Tramway - Blackpool Tramway
Event - Blackpool Tramway: 130th Anniversary


Tramcar - Blackpool Pantograph 167
LRV - Manchester Metrolink 1007
Tramway - Crich Tramway Village
Event - Crich Tramway Village: Electric 50


Tramcar - Blackpool Boat 227
Tramway - Heaton Park Tramway
Event - Rejuvenation of Blackpool Heritage Service


Tramcar - Blackpool Brush 623
Tramway - Blackpool
Event - Glasgow 50 at Crich


Tramcar - Blackpool Marton VAMBAC 11


Tramcar - Liverpool 762


Tramcar - Blackpool Western Train 733+734


Tramcar - Blackpool Balloon 717


Tramcar - Blackpool Brush 623


Tramcar - Leeds 345


Tramcar - Trampower Tram


Tramcar - Blackpool Illuminated Frigate 736 & Nottingham Express Transit 203 (joint winners)


Tramcar - Leeds 602

This page was last updated on Sunday 3rd December 2023

British Trams Online is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. All information contained on these pages is correct to the best of knowledge but mistakes will invetably occasionally appear and if this happens we will correct it as soon as possible. Opinions expressed on these pages are those of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of British Trams Online or any organisations we are associated with. Cookies may be used on this website and if you continue reading the site without changing your settings we assume you are happy to receive these. If you have any comments, suggestions or corrections please email.