ITV soap opera Coronation Street has featured trams in storylines several times over the years – ranging from a Metrolink tram crashing onto the street itself to Blackpool Balloon car 710 hitting and killing the villainous Alan Bradley. Now, long-running Australian soap Neighbours has gone one better – by making a tram a part of the permanent set!
Last year 134 of Melbourne’s classic W and Z class tramcars were offered up for sale, and it seems that the producers of Neighbours couldn’t resist offering a home to one of them! Tram 907 was seen being delivered to its new home in the episode broadcast in the UK on Friday 3rd May, and is expected to play a prominent role in the next edition, to be shown on Monday 6th May as part of a current storyline. In the story, Dr Karl Kennedy was surprised to hear that he was being sent an unsual gift by his eccentric and wealthy sister – a full-size tram! After his wife Susan made it quite clear that the tram would not be welcome in their back garden (a discussion a few people in this country may well have had in real life when Blackpool sold off many of its historic fleet about a decade ago!), Karl has made arrangements for it to be placed nearby as a point of interest, with the aim of regenerating the area as part of the major Robinson Pines redevelopment scheme. Future episodes will see the local residents help to refurbish the tram for local community use, although as it is a grounded body without trucks it will be a static exhibit rather than a means of transportation for the residents of Ramsey Street!
Often celebrated for its light-hearted plots, Neighbours has been running some darker stories of late and this is a nice throwback to the show’s roots – and of course it is always good to see a tram on TV!
Neighbours airs on Channel 5 on weekdays at 1:45pm and 5:30pm.