After the two weeks nomination period you can now start to vote in the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2021! We will be looking to crown all four categories: Tram (Traditional), Tram (Modern), Tramway and Event of the Year. Thanks to everyone who took the time to make nominations – and now voting is open! Read on to find out all about the 2021 shortlists!
Tram (Traditional) of the Year
This one may seem a little bit of a strange nomination but is added to the shortlist in recognition of the efforts to increase the trams available for service at the East Anglia Transport Museum during 2021. Joining the operational fleet again during the year Amsterdam 474 has quickly settled back into use often being used alongside Blackpool 159 in service.
Blackpool Balloon 723
November saw the return of the new all over advert on a traditional tram in Blackpool with Balloon 723 receiving a full vinyl wrap for The Magical Express Tour – a new tour running between North Pier and Pleasure Beach in conjunction with the Christmas by the Sea event in the town. Whilst the design of the advert – and the fact that it has been applied over a popular coat of 1980s Green and Cream – has not been popular with some it takes us back to a time not too long ago when we saw various adverts applied to the trams at regular intervals.
Manx Electric Railway 2
The third tram nominated in this category comes from the Isle of Man which has dominated this category in recent years. This time it is a vehicle which is the Guinness Book of Records as one of the oldest trams still to run in the world on its original tramway (an accolade shared with sister car 1) – we are talking about Manx Electric Railway 2. This tram has been nominated having received a repaint into its original 1893 Douglas & Laxey Coast Electric Tramway maroon and ivory livery over the winter with it returning to service in July 2021 looking resplendent in its new old colour scheme!
Tram (Modern) of the Year
Manchester Metrolink 1023
The very first second generation UK tram to go on display at a museum, Manchester Metrolink 1023 may have moved to the Crewe Heritage Centre in March 2020 but with various Covid restrictions in place during 2020 it didn’t actually go on public display until 2021 and thus falls into our qualifying period for this year’s contest. The T68 tram has even undergone some attention by volunteers from the Manchester Transport Museum Society during the year starting to bring it back looking to its best.
Manchester Metrolink 3121
Whilst it may have arrived in Manchester in November 2020, Metrolink M5000 3121 didn’t carry its first passengers until 23rd December 2020 (and was then only used on a couple of occasions until it returned again later in 2021). The first of the new batch of M5000s being built for Metrolink for that fact it deserves its nomination.
Stagecoach Supertram 112
Stagecoach Supertram 112 has been making heads turn since June 2021 when it received a new advert. This advert was applied to tell the world all about the green credentials of the network and has made the tram stand out against the rest of the mainly blue fleet.
Tramway of the Year
Crich Tramway Village
As with all our “Tramway of the Year” nominees, 2021 did not start out as a classic year at Crich with Covid lockdowns and closures but opening as soon as it could and with effective protocols in place to keep everyone safe the year turned out to be another succesful one for the museum. The flexibility of trams made available for service was clear to see with trams such as Blackpool 40 originally down for workshop attention commissioned to give another large capacity car for service during the busier summer months. And the workshop team remained busy throughout the year with the tantalising prospect of several head turners returning to service in the future.
East Anglia Transport Museum
It may just be a small museum but the dedicated volunteers at the East Anglia Transport Museum have shown exactly what can be achieved with the resources they have. With Amsterdam 474 returned to service earlier the year, the volunteers have turned their attention to London Transport 1858 which is now being tested ahead of entering service once more. And if that’s not enough work has started on the planned extension of the tramway. Plus there is a trolleybus route and a railway which have had succesful years too!
2021 was another succesful year at the Seaton Tramway with the Covid protocols introduced last year continued and these were once again a success with many busy days experienced on the tramway. Although there were delays to the opening of new stops on the line we now have those to look forward to in the future. Themed events also proved to be a success once more culmimating in the Polar Express.
Event of the Year
Blackpool Tramway – Anniversary weekend
The weekend of 25th/26th September saw the return of hop-on, hop-off heriatge tours on the Blackpool Tramway for the now annual Anniversary Weekend. This was the first time since March 2020 that it has been possible to hop-on and hop-off trams in service and proved to be popular with visitors (Saturday in particular seeing busy trams). The weekend should also have seen Balloon 700 returned to service in Wartime Green and Cream but a fault with its doors just meant that a brief glimpse of the new look tram on the Prom was possible.
Crich Tramway Village – Tram Day
Having missed out in taking place in 2020, Saturday 18th September saw the return of the enthusiast event Tram Day at the Crich Tramway Village. With all available passenger trams in service over the course of the day plus a few Works Cars on demonstration there was plenty to do out on the mainline. But, as is often the case, the most excitement came from the photo line-ups on the depot fan with current and future Workshop projects showcased – this included the stunning sight of Newcastle 102 outside alongside London County Council 1 whilst later in the day was the unique sight of seeing Blackpool 298 alongside its new underframe!
Isle of Man – Winter Heritage Transport Festival
Although there was a Mini Manx Heritage Transport Festival which took place in the usual summer window it was more low-key than usual and so the end of the season saw a full-blown event taking place over five days between 27th and 31st October (we’ll just ignore the fact that it wasn’t in winter!). With parallel runs, behind the scenes tours of the car sheds, photography tours and an intensive service it proved that it doesn’t matter what time of the year a special event is on the Isle of Man – its still spectacular!
How to Vote
To vote in the contest please visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2YBZN6H where you will be able to vote in any of the categories you want to! (Please note that due to changes on Survey Monkey we aren’t able to embed a voting box on this page this year so the only way to vote will be following this link).
Voting is open from now until Saturday 8th January 2022 at 1000. Please only vote once (multiple votes will be removed) and remember the contest is only for fun!
May the best tram/tramway/event win!
- For more details on the Tram of the Year contest please visit http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear.html