Thornton Gate

National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire:  Blackpool locomotive 717

National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire: Blackpool locomotive 717

Alongside their sleek new LRT vehicles, Blackpool Tramways has retained some of its previous fleet – a few double-deckers adapted to fit the new disability-compliant boarding platforms and some authentic heritage trams surreptitiously fitted with transponders to operate the new traffic signalling.

In order to rescue some of the others, the Lancastrian Transport Trust is planning a retirement home for superannuated Blackpool trams at Thornton Gate, on the way to Fleetwood:

This location was last used by the contractors upgrading the line to light rapid-transit standards.  Before that it was used as the permanent-way yard for the tramway.  Originally it was a coal-delivery yard.

Apparently, to forestall a 1919 plan to build a railway line from Thornton to Cleveleys, Blackpool Corporation Tramways agreed to run railway wagons of coal along the Fleetwood tramway, and acquired an electric locomotive for the purpose.

The coal deliveries started in 1927 but were ultimately unprofitable and ended in 1949.

The locomotive was useful and survived, and now serves as a shunter at the National Tramway Museum at Crich, Derbyshire:


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