Brush Railcoach 631 of 1937

631_01

This tram was built in August 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 21st August 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. During the 1970’s, thirteen Brush cars were overhauled to a simplified specification, whilst further overhauls during the 1980’s and 1990’s saw a number of the type substantially modernised.

Despite a steady reduction in their numbers the type remained in use until the Blackpool tramway was fully upgraded in 2012, and Blackpool Transport Services Ltd. have retained tram 631 as part of their Heritage fleet to recognise the service these trams have provided over 75 years.