Blackpool Corporation "Toastrack" Tram

Blackpool has obviously been a popular tourist destination for many years and thus the town's tram network saw the opportunity to cater for the holiday market, in 1911 the tram corporation ordered twenty four open top trams for tourist travel. Known as the "Toastrack" tram due to their simple form and the resemblance to a toast rack! They were little more than a motorised underframe with wooden bench seats on top of it and a pole for the trolley mast.

Number built: 30
Built: 1911-27
Builder: Blackpool Corporation
Motor: 2 GE52 traction motors (550v DC OHLE)
Power: 54 hp (40 kW)

The Toastrack trams proved very popular during the holiday season and similar trams were also used at other seaside resorts including Southport [1]. A further six were built in 1927 for an expansion of the Blackpool tram network along the South Promenade. The outbreak of the Second World War put an end to most open top tram travel and the original fleet of twenty four trams were scrapped. The six newer cars survived as works cars for a time before they began to also be scrapped.

However a couple were used for broadcasting including the first ever live broadcast from a moving vehicle when the BBC filmed the Blackpool Illuminations in 1951. The cars survived in service until the late 1960s before finally being withdrawn, one car 166 was preserved in 1972.
Blackpool Corporation 166 at Crich Tramway Museum

166 has a very simple design

Another view of 166

[1] R.W. Rush, British Electric Tramcar Design (Oxford Publishing, 1976) p. 92