An opening ceremony was held with Member of Parliament Norman Baker, also parliamentary under-secretary of state for Transport, presiding.
Blackpool has upgraded its tram system through funding by Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) and Blackpool and Lancashire County Councils. Blackpool will operate 16 new FLEXITY 2 vehicles on the Blackpool and Fleetwood tramway, alongside the city's popular heritage fleet.
Bombardier notes that Blackpool in 2010 celebrated its 125th year of operation of the longest operating tram system in the United Kingdom. Though the heritage trams operating in Blackpool remain popular Blackpool and Lancashire County Council began an extensive program to identify a supplier for a new fleet of vehicles to enable ease of access and comfort for all passengers, and Bombardier was selected.
Paul Grocott, program manager, Tramway Upgrade, Blackpool Council, said: "Today, which sees our tram system reborn after 125 years, has been keenly anticipated by all in Blackpool. We traveled to every part of Europe to find the best solution available to modernize our tram system. The Bombardier FLEXITY 2 trams bring the world's latest and best technology to our town and we appreciate Bombardier's professional support throughout the delivery of this project. Five years ago, we committed to providing this new service and modern vehicles to our passengers and today we are immensely proud to deliver on our promise."
Bombardier Transportation President Light Rail Vehicles Germar Wacker said, "This marks the dawn of an exciting new era in urban transportation."