Twin Car 675+685 (with 685 leading) heading through Cabin Towards Bispham 28th May 2006
675 started life as a Series 2 English Electric railcoach (number 275), it was built in 1935 and operated on all the town routes and the Fleetwood service. In 1958, the new manager of Blackpool Corporation Transport, Joseph Franklin was interested in looking at trailer operation of trams and following trips to various tramways in Germany to see how trailer operation worked, he commisioned a prototype twin set.
Initially 2 railcoaches were withdrawn from service, these being 276 and 275 and were rebuilt, losing their distinctive pointed front ends for a flat front. 276 became the motor car whilst 275 became a trailer. The trams were launched in 1958 and became confined to working between the loops at Starr Gate, Pleasure Beach, Little Bispham and Fleetwood.
Meanwhile an order had been placed with Metro Cammell for 10 trailers, and once sufficient trailers had arrived at Blackpool, 275 was converted to a motor car, 275 was usually paired with trailer T5. In 1968, 275 was renumbered 675 and T5 was renumbered 685. In the 70's seven of the trailer sets were permanantley coupled, including 675+685, and one of the driving ends from the motor car was relocated to the trailer, allowing the tram to be driven from either end. In 1980, 675 had its roof windows pannelled over and became the only twin car vehicle to be treated as such. The tram spent more than 40 years working on promenade and Fleetwood specials until 2002 when double deck trams were banned from Fleetwood for approximately 2 years.
The tram has became a fixture on the Fleetwood Service since 2002 and is now painted in its destinctive Red and yellow line 5 Metro colours.
Next month Balloon 713