Replica Vanguard 619

Replica Vanguard 619 is a tram with a long and colourful history. 619 started life back in 1935 as Series 2 railcoach 282. The early years were similar to all other railcoaches, i.e. operating on either the Starr Gate - Fleetwood, North Station - Fleetwood, The Marton Route or the Squires Gate Route. 282 survived the mass withdrawal of railcoaches which took place following the closure of all routes except the Starr Gate - Fleetwood service. 282 was renumbered 619 in 1968 and continued to operate on the main service until 1972, when the tram was withdrawn for a rebuild. 619 re-emerged as OMO7 in 1973 operating in this guise until withdrawal in 1987. Following withdrawal, OMO 7 was transferred to Mode Wheel Workshops who were to rebuild the tram. The tram re-emerged later that year as a replica of the Vanguard tram which used to operate on the old tram road, but with a few concessions.

Key features of the tram included

  • open sides, fitted with perspex sheeting along the bottom to prevent draughts
  • wooden swingover seats
  • a centre isle to allow easy access and fare collection
  • a 2 toned tounge and groove ceiling
  • roof side advertising boards

    The tram retained a railcoach trolley tower and pantograph giving the tram a rather odd look, However the tram was a popular addition to the fleet with the public.

    In the late 1990's, 619 was fitted with wraught iron railings giving the tram a more authentic look than the perspex sides did. Following the reduction in the fleet, 619 was withdrawn in 2004 and stored. With the future uncertain, rumours were abound that 619 would be going to Heaton Park on loan in 2010. Then in 2008 right out of the blue, 619 made a return to service in time for the illuminations. The tram once again became a popular member of the fleet again

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