Fylde Transport Trust
Fylde Transport Trust

Brush Railcoach 624 (287)

During the 1930s Blackpool Corporation spent thousands updating the tram fleet with over a hundred streamlined centre entrance tramcars. This investment helped the tramway survive to the present day and many of the trams introduced during the 1930s are still in service at Blackpool today. 
Included in the modernisation programme were 20 'Railcoaches' built by the Brush Company in Loughborough incorporating art-deco features of the period. Fleet numbers 284-303 entered service during1937 and from 1941 the cars were allocated to Bispham depot (now occupied by the Sainsburys superstore) and were the mainstay of the North Station to Fleetwood service that operated along Dickson Road. They stayed at Bispham until the closure of the Dickson Road route in October 1963 when the cars were transferred back to Rigby Road depot.

During the 1960s and 1970s the cars were refurbished and lost many of the streamlined art-deco features. The double end destination screens were also replaced on many cars by fibreglass moulded single screens which considerably updated their appearance. Our No.287 had been renumbered car 624 by this time and in 1971 the tram was assigned to the track gang 'Permanent Way' department, replacing an older Railcoach that was then rebuilt into an one man operated tram like our No.8. 624 thus escaped further modernisation, retaining its original style destination screens and sliding doors.

By 1973, 624 had been repainted in a drab unflattering all-green livery and survived in occasional use towing the rail crane on track relaying duties until 2003. Negotiations began with Blackpool Council to preserve the tram, with ownership transferred to the LTT in June 2006. 

The tram is in need of some underframe repairs before it can operate again. Work started during winter 2009/10 and it is expected that this will represent the first phase of the car's restoration to original art-deco style appearance as car 287.

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