To be fair it was always likely to be a case of how big the win would be in the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2018 and so it turned out with the Manx Electric Railway winning three of four categories (indeed the only categories it qualified for!) whilst the other award saw a retention of sorts with a second Stagecoach Supertram Tram-Train securing the most votes.
On the traditional side of things 2018 was a year which was dominated by the Manx Electric Railway and so it turned out in the voting for Tram of the Year. Ratchet Car 14 – which only returned to action in September after a three-and-a-half-year restoration, a restoration which was completed not only be staff from Isle of Man Railways but also a team of dedicated volunteers, was far and away the most popular tram with voters with its winning margin being one of the largest we have seen since the contest began. Birkenhead 20 came in a distant second place whilst the list was completed by two Blackpool cars – Standard 147 and Rack 2, an incredibly rare position for Blackpool which has traditionally dominated this category in one form or another over the years.
The Modern Tram of the Year was Stagecoach Supertram 399 203 which won almost 64% of the total votes, thanks to it starting off the Tram-Train services to Rotherham Parkgate in October. This was a retention of sorts as 2017 has seen sister Citylink vehicle 399 202 walk away with the accolade. The second tram in the list was the first battery fitted tram on West Midlands Metro, no, 18.
The other two categories were also dominated by the Manx Electric Railway with both of them seeing big victories. On the Tramway of the Year front almost 82% of voters thought the MER had the best ahead of Stagecoach Supertram and first time nominee Luas whilst Event of the Year was the Manx Electric Railway 125th Anniversary week. This now means that for five of the six years of this category the event which has won has been linked to an anniversary! With over 77% of you voting for this incredible week of events it meant that Crich’s Simply Trams event came into second with the Doors Open event at Gogar Depot in Edinburgh taking the bronze.
And so another Tram of the Year is over – the fifteenth! – and we are sure you agree that they are all worthy winners. The symbolic trophy of the main Tram (Traditional) of the Year award remains on the Isle of Man for the second year in a row – will anything elsewhere in the British Isles see it heading off the island in 2019? We’ve got a lot of time to think about that and with plans for a number of trams to return to service at various places this year there are bound to be plenty of trams, tramways and events vying for the honours once again. Nominations will open again towards the end of November 2019 – don’t forget to keep a note of anything you think may be suitable for the shortlist!
Tram (Traditional) of the Year
1. Manx Electric Railway 14 – 288 votes (67.45%)
2. Birkenhead 20 – 76 votes (14.05%)
3. Blackpool Standard 147 – 53 votes (12.41%)
4. Blackpool & Fleetwood Rack 2 – 26 votes (6.09%)
106 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to overall ranking)
Tram (Modern) of the Year
1. Stagecoach Supertram 399 203 – 203 votes (63.64%)
2. West Midlands Metro 18 – 116 votes (36.36%)
61 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to overall ranking)
Tramway of the Year
1. Manx Electric Railway – 338 votes (81.84%)
2. Stagecoach Supertram – 52 votes (12.59%)
3. Luas – 23 votes (5.57%)
103 votes rejected due to multiple votes (caused no change to overall ranking)
Event of the Year
1. Manx Electric Railway 125th Anniversary – 325 votes (77.38%)
2. Crich Tramway Village: Simply Trams – 65 votes (15.48%)
3. Edinburgh Trams: Doors Open at Gogar Depot – 30 votes (7.14%)
104 votes rejected due to multiple votes