Blackpool trams both attract the tourists and serve local residents. The trams run from Starr Gate in the south to Fleetwood some 12 miles away in the north.
The Blackpool trams started in September 1885, this was the first electric trams in Britain. Blackpool is the only British Town to maintain its tramways from the first opening in 1885 to the present day. Blackpool has some very modern trams but also still uses the historic trams of yester year during holiday periods and the Illuminations. These trams are an iconic feature of Blackpool, they have appeared on TV quite a few times from the recent rebuild of a historic tram for Channel4's program Salvage Squad to one of the trams being responsible for the death of Coronation Street's nasty Alan Bradley.
On the 3rd of December 1884 Blackpool Council (then Blackpool Corporation) agreed to Holroyd Smith's plan for a Tramway. The plan was that tram cars took their power from a slot in the ground, it was later known as a conduit system.
It didn't take long for the first rails to be laid, in fact the first test run was carried out on the 29th June 1885.
Britain's first electric tramway officially opened on the 29th September 1885. Unfortunately due to the tramway being located on the promenade, the sand and sea caused many problems for the conduit system. On many occasions horses had to be called in to assist the stranded electric trams.
The tramway was very popular and it expanded at a rate. By 1892 the line ran from Cocker Street (North Pier) to the South Pier (then called the Victoria Pier). This was mostly just a single track with passing places.
The trams were so successful that by 1998 the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad Company had constructed a tramway from Fleetwood to Blackpool North station. During this year the Blackpool trams were converted to operate from an overhead electrical system.
In 1920 the two tramways were purchased by Blackpool Corporation and physically joined for the first time.
In the late 1920's the tram lines where extended past the Pleasure Beach along the South Promenade to Starr Gate and even joined to the Lytham promenade line.
During the Blackpool Illuminations a number of trams are specially lit up. One tram is in the shape of a Trawler and another in the shape of a traditional American Train. The Western train tram has undergon restoration and is back in service.