Progress Twin Cars 675+685 of 1958/1960

675_01 AR

This is one of ten ‘Twin Cars’ created in 1960/1. The power car (275) was rebuilt by Blackpool Corporation from a streamlined English Electric Railcoach of July 1935. It was converted into a flat fronted car in 1957 and was used in 1958-60 as a trailer towed by sister 276 as a prototype conversion. It was refitted with motors in winter 1961. Trailer T5 was the fifth trailer built by Metro Cammell of Birmingham and was delivered on 30 October 1960. T5 entered service at Easter 1961 and was paired with 275 from May 1961.

In April/May 1965 275 and T5 were converted to be permanently coupled with one set of control equipment moved from 275 to T5. This improved their flexibility as they could reverse at crossings, previously they had to reverse at turning circles. The original mainly cream livery was replaced by green and cream with an orange tower.

275/T5 became 672/682 in the 1968 renumbering and continued in use during the summer season – mainly from July to October. 675 was overhauled in 1980 – with its curved roof windows and the former sliding roof retained but unused since it became a twin car removed.

From May-July 1990 the set was repainted into the new green skirt/roof livery with a pantograph fitted to 675. In 2004 675/85 were fitted with heaters and low voltage lighting and had full repaint into a new “Metro Coastlines” livery featuring red and yellow. It retained this until the end of traditional tram operation in November 2011. After three years in store, 675/685 was restored to the half green/cream livery applied in 1965 and was relaunched in September 2015 as part of the Heritage Fleet.