Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,295 pages of information and 230,176 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Blackpool Electric Tramway

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The first tramway in Britain operated by electricity, carried in a conduit between the tracks, based on the design of Michael Holroyd Smith

1884 Plans were produced for an electric tramway that would connect North and South Shore in Blackpool. The Corporation paid for and maintained the infrastructure, whilst the Blackpool Electric Tramway Company, formed in January 1885, provided the electrical equipment, depot and tramcars.

1885 The tramway opened on the 29th September. The trams collected electrical current from a slot in the centre of the track but the operation was somewhat haphazard due to salt water and sand regularly filling the slot. Nevertheless the system was a commercial success.

1892 the Corporation took over the running of the tramway - see Blackpool, St Annes and Lytham Tramways

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