Twin Set 647 & 648

background neettBuilt : Towing Car rebuilt by Blackpool in 1962

Trailer built by Metro-Cammell in 1960

Operated in Blackpool from 1960 until 2008

Trailer operation was rare in Britain although much more commonplace on tramways in continental Europe. A few experiments with unpowered trailers took place in the early years of the twentieth century and Blackpool briefly experimented with this type of operation when its tramway first opened but most attempts to run coupled trams ended in failure. However, in 1958, Blackpool produced a prototype Twin Set designed to reduce crew costs, and, following its
success, subsequently created ten sets by purchasing brand new trailers and rebuilding existing Railcoaches to tow them.

The last set to be created was formed from 274, a 1935 Railcoach heavily rebuilt and adapted for its new role in 1962 and Trailer T4 which was built two years previously. Originally, the Trailer lacked electrical equipment but after only three years in service it was rebuilt with controls to make the Twin Cars more flexible in operation.

The pair were renumbered 674+684 in 1968 and survived in service with very few further alterations for more than half a century. In that time they starred in two significant anniversary procession; in 1985 they were chosen to participate in the Grand Cavalcade organised to celebrated the tramway’s Centenary and then again in 1998 they ran in a parade to mark the Fleetwood line’s 100th birthday.

They were also the last of the Twin Sets to run with a traditional trolley pole before a pantograph was fitted in 1992.

The Twin Set ran in green and cream until 2003 when it was repainted into a vibrant purple and yellow scheme. However, it was withdrawn from service in 2008 due to declining passenger numbers and subsequently acquired for preservation by NEETT in 2012.  It is intended to ultimately repaint the trams into their 1990s style green and cream fleet livery when their turns comes for attention by our volunteers.