Bolton 66 of 1901

66_01

Car 66 was built in 1901 for Bolton Corporation by Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works of Preston. Originally an open topper it was later fitted with a top deck cover and later still enclosed top deck ends – though windscreens were never fitted.

It was withdrawn towards the end of the Bolton system in 1946 and the lower deck became a summer house and later a chicken coop. It was rescued for preservation in 1963 and fully restored with a new top deck built. It arrived in Blackpool for a six month loan on 23 June 1981 and has never left! It proved the concept of museum car operation prior to 1985 Centenary celebrations. 66 made its first service runs on 5 July 1981.

66 is owned by the Bolton Tramcar Trust and has operated at Blackpool every season except 2011 during its loan period. It was repainted in 1989 and was fitted with air brakes in 1992. For the 1995 season it was cosmetically modified to its World War 2 condition as car 366 to commemorate 50 years since the end of the war. A full repaint took place the following year with the car emerging again as 66. A truck overhaul took place in 1997. From 2001 to 2009 illuminated decals were fitted each autumn.

66 joined the Heritage Fleet on 6 April 2012 – the sole representative from another tram system in the fleet – though as its now in its fourth decade here, it feels very much at home.