Back to the past as the tracks of time collide

Tram tracks have been uncovered on Talbot Road outside the Town Hall
Tram tracks have been uncovered on Talbot Road outside the Town Hall
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Part of Blackpool’s tramway history came back to life during the on-going £22m extension work to link up with Blackpool North Station.

As Talbot Road was dug up, in preparation for the laying of new tram tracks on the road, a section of the old tracks which used to be there many decades was uncovered.

It was an unexpected reminder of how things used to be in the resort – and provided a taste of how things will be again.

Our pictures show how the old tracks used to look and how they look now, exhumed for the first time in decades.

Preparation work began at the end of last year for the ambitious and controversial project, which will see the track being extended from North Pier to North Station, re-establishing a link which ceased operation in 1936.

A new tram terminal will also be built on the site of the Wilko’s store, which is moving to Tower Street as part of the second phase of the Houndshill Centre.

And two new trams are also being purchased by Blackpool Transport to brings its Flexity fleet to 18 in total.

The tramway extension is being funded through the Lancashire Growth Deal.

Back in the 1930s, Talbot Road looked very different than it does today, with shops of yesteryear now lone gone, and even some of the street names were different.

How many readers can remember May Bell Avenue today?

It has since been designated as the north end of Abingdon Street.

So with the work that is currently under way, it’s not so much a case of back to the future – it’s back to the past.

‘It’s a shame we can’t use them!’

Blackpool Council member for highways, Coun Fred Jackson, said: “I didn’t expect the old tram tracks to still be there.

“It’s a shame we can’t use them now , it would have saved us a lot of money!

“Seriously, I’m 80 years old now and I remember travelling on some of the old tram routes that aren’t there today - roads like Dickson Road and Marton Drive.

“I’m looking forward to trying out the new track and I hope it’s as successful as the old one.”