Throwback Thursday: First Practical Public Electric Tramway Is Opened In Blackpool, England

29 September 1885 – First practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England

It is the second-oldest electric tramway in the United Kingdom, the first being Volk’s Electric Railway in Brighton, which opened two years earlier and similarly runs on a reserved track along the seafront.

The Blackpool Tramway runs from Blackpool to Fleetwood on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, England. The line dates back to 1885 and is one of the oldest electric tramways in the world.

It is operated by Blackpool Transport (BT) and runs for 18 km (11 miles).

It carried 4.8 million passengers in 2019/20.

It is the second-oldest electric tramway in the United Kingdom, the first being Volk’s Electric Railway in Brighton, which opened two years earlier and similarly runs on a reserved track along the seafront.

These are also the two surviving first-generation town tramways in the UK, though the majority of services on the line have since 2012 been operated by a fleet of modern Bombardier Flexity 2 trams.

A ‘heritage service’ using the traditional trams operates year-round on weekends, certain weekdays and bank holidays, as well as during the Blackpool Illuminations.

Excluding museums, it is one of only a few tramways in the world to still use double-deck trams, the others including the Hong Kong Tramways and the Trams in Alexandria, Egypt.

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