Blackpool Jubilee Cars

Technical Information

Built: 1979 (761) and 1982 (762)
Built by: Blackpool Corporation
Trucks: Blackpool Transport 5ft 6in wheelbase and metalistic suspension
Motors: EE 305 Horsepower 57 x2
Controllers: Brush Chopper Controls
Braking: Chopper controls, air braking, hand wheel
Current Collection: Pantograph

By the mid 1970's, the OMO project ( the conversion of 13 English Electric Railcoaches for one person operation) was complete.   In November 1975, the Town Council agreed on Blackpool Corporation Transport's plan to build a one person operated double decker tram.  

Stored in Blundell Street at the time were Balloons 714 and 725.   Both trams had been withdrawn at the end of the 1971 season as they were both retained their original interiors and were in a very poor condition.  

Balloon 725 was selected to be the prototype for this new type of tram.   725 was stripped to a shell and had its unique streamlined ends removed.    725 had its underframe extended, strengthened and straightened.   The body frame was extended, load bearing windows fitted, front entrances on the left hand sides at either end were built, the staircases were relocated to just behind the drivers cabs at either end, the former centre entrance was filled in and new flat fronted ends installed.

As 725 was rebuilt out of all recognition, she was renumbered to 761 and fitted with a pantograph.   761 made its debut on test unpainted, then once a few bugs were ironed out, she was painted Green and Cream and made her passenger carrying debut during 1979.   The tram was said to look similar to the Aleantean buses that saw use at the time.   761 soon settled in and found use all year round on service and specials.

Balloon 714 was selected to be the second balloon to be rebuilt.   714 was built almost identically to 761 except that the central doors were retained as exits for better passenger flow.   714 re-entered service in 1982 as 762.   Both Trams became know as Jubilee cars as the rebuild of 725 was taking place during 1977, Her Majesty the Queen's 25th Anniversary on the throne.   

Both trams saw regular use on both service and specials throughout the year and received mid life refurbishments between 2000 and 2002.   The major change made to both trams was the reupholstering of the seating moquette and the destination blind displays were enlarged as the originals were small.   762's sides were extended upwards to stop the pantograph grease running down the side of the tram.

The Jubilee trams were mainly used on the Fleetwood service and during the summer and on specials when spare. In 2008, 762 was named Stuart Pillar after the designer of the Jubilee cars.    Both 761 and 762 were withdrawn in November 2011.   762 joined the fleet of the National Tramway Museum at Crich wearing the Nickelodeon advert that it wore in it's final year in service.     762 entered service at Crich in 2014.    761 was bought by the Friends of Fleetwood group and stored in a bus yard in Fleetwood and then at Fleetwood docks.   761 was moved to undercover storage in Rigby Road depot in 2014 and ownership was handed from Friends of Fleetwood to Blackpool Heritage Trams Trust in 2017, a move which should see 761 join the heritage fleet in the future.

Original Number Current Number Built Status livery Notes
725 761 1979 Preserved Wynsors world of shoes modernised, now owned by Blackpool Heritage Trams Trust
714 762 1982 Preserved Nickelodeon advert
Named Stuart Pillar.   Moved to Crich November 2011.