Picture in Time: Blackpool Engineering Car 753 & Railgrinder 752

As with last week’s archive Blackpool tram image we are down at Rigby Road Depot for this latest edition of “Picture in Time”.

This image was captured in early September 1976 at a time when there were no restrictions for where enthusiasts – or anyone for that matter! – could go allowing the chance to capture images of all manner of trams in the depot. This included this view just in front of the Electrical Compound where two of the Works Cars were stabled on this occasion – both cars which remain in existence today.

At the front is Engineering Car 753 which, as I’m sure most of you reading this will be aware, started off life as Standard Car 143 and has returned to that guise today even if it isn’t currently operational. It had been converted to a Works Car in 1958 and would remain in use like this until a fire in 1990. Preserved by the Fylde Transport Trust an extensive restoration followed and hopefully as 2021 progresses it may finally enter full service. Just behind 753 is 752 which as a Railgrinder was purpose built in 1920 and would remain serviceable until the early years of the 21st century. It has now been preserved at the Heaton Park Tramway but is currently out of service.

Photograph by Donald Brooks

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3 Responses to Picture in Time: Blackpool Engineering Car 753 & Railgrinder 752

  1. geoffcurrie says:

    753, My all time favourite works car. But even I cannot argue with what has been achieved by Fylde Transport Trust, I just wish 753 could have been cloned as was!

  2. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    The presence of 753 on the northern turn-out of the Little Bispham loop to me always signified the Illuminations season. I do agree that it would have been excellent had it been possible to clone it. However with 3D printing now possible and much to be achieved in the future, nothing can be ruled out. Other trams to re-create would be VAMBAC 208, ‘Plastic’ tram 264/611, Coffin car 618 and Brush OMO 638. Maybe with the latter, supposedly largely redundant Railcoaches such as 678 and 625 could be converted to replicas. After all, 619 has been generally well received as a replica ‘Vanguard’ and conversions to the likes of 611 and 618 could be even more authentic in appearance. Ultimately, cost would be the main issue, although in theory all of these conversions would be feasible in time. This aside, it is great to have 143 restored to near original condition and this tram hopefully will play a significant role in any cavalcade arranged for the 150th Anniversary in 2035.

  3. John1 says:

    I think recreating 611 and 618 to be a bit pointless in all honesty. Now 638 as the first OPO car I could like.
    678 should be kept really as its now the only originalish condition ex towing car.
    143 should be the car to open the North Station branch really.

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