Blackpool has the oldest electric street tramway in the world with records dating back to 1884 when track plans were produced for an electric tramway that would connect North and South Shore. Blackpool Corporation paid for and maintained the infrastructure, whilst the Blackpool Electric Tramway Company, formed in January 1885 provided the electrical equipment, depot and tramcars. The tramway opened on the 29th September 1885. Originally picking up its electrical current from a grooved slot in the centre of the track, the system operated somewhat haphazardly during its early years due to difficulties with this method of current collection in a seaside location. Salt water and sand regularly filled the slot causing terrible difficulties.
On regular occasions, trams had to be pulled by horses, which must have been very embarrassing! The system was however a commercial success and in 1892 the Corporation took over the running of the tramway and the first of many extensions began in 1895. By the late 1890's the difficulties with the Conduit system led to the conversion of the tramway to the overhead wire system. In 1898, the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company opened a rival line between Gynn Square and Fleetwood Ferry. The two tramways were not connected until the Fleetwood line was taken over by Blackpool Corporation in 1920 and for the first time, through running was introduced between South Shore and Fleetwood.
By this time Blackpool enjoyed an extensive network of street tramways to Layton, to Squires Gate, along Central Drive and round Marton, as well as along the Promenade. In the 1920's Blackpool also began the first of its bus operations. General Manager Walter Luff's arrival in 1933 heralded a golden age of Transport in Blackpool with the introduction of a luxury tram fleet and a matching fleet of streamlined buses and during this decade, some tram routes were replaced by buses.
Detailed Business Information
- Company Number
- SIC Code
- 49390 - Other passenger land transport
- Date of Incorporation
- Company Type
- Private Limited Company
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