Brush Railcoach 287 of 1937

Brush 287 was partially stripped a few years ago to assess its condition for eventual restoration to original 1937 condition. The trolley tower in the foreground is from Coronation 663

Brush 287 was built in July 1937 as one of 20 single deck streamlined ‘Railcoaches’ (284 – 303) supplied by the Brush Electrical Engineering Co., Loughborough. They formed part of General Manager Walter Luff’s five year modernisation plan which saw 116 new trams supplied during the 1930’s, and followed on from 45 similar trams built by English Electric. Officially titled ‘Railcoaches’ due their handsome looks, luxurious interior fittings and sliding sunshine roofs, which compared favourably with luxury motor coaches of the day, this final class of 20 were more commonly known as the ‘Brush cars’.

This tram entered service on 28th July 1937, and the type were initially used on the Lytham Road, Promenade and Fleetwood services. However, following the outbreak of war all 20 Brush cars were transferred to Bispham depot in 1940 and put to use on the North Station to Fleetwood service. Here they remained until closure of the North Station route in 1963, when they returned to Rigby Road depot to work the surviving Starr Gate to Fleetwood route.

The Brush cars survived the contraction of the tramway in the 1960’s largely intact, and in 1968 the surviving eighteen were renumbered 621 – 638 with 287 becoming 624. Five more Brush cars were withdrawn in the 1970s including 624 which was stood down in 1971 to become the Permanent Way Track Gang car which towed replacement rails to/from work sites – from 1973 using the underframe of sister 628 as a crane/carrier. The car ran until 2003 and joined the LTT collection in 2006. It is now part of the BHT collection representing the original condition Brush car. It retains its twin indicators and sliding doors and is stripped for restoration which will take place when funding is available.