Pleasure Beach - Starr Gate from on 7th September
The section of tramway from Pleasure Beach - Starr Gate closes on Monday 7th September until Easter 2012 to allow for the relaying of track and the building of the new depot at Starr Gate. A final tour has been organised through British Trams Online using Fleetwood 40 on Sunday 6th September. Details can be found on the British Trams Online website. The link can be found here.
Brush Car 636 leaves Blackpool
Having returned to Blackpool for a short period of time this year, 636 has once again left Blackpool. 636 which was used as test vehicle for Stored Energy Technology from Derby had returned to Blackpool to test experimental motors which the company are developing, was recently bought by the company. Following the completion of the tests, 636 departed for Derby again on 28th July to an as yet uncertain future.
Brush 634 to be preserved
Another Brush car with a much rosier future is the long time stored Brush Car 634. 634 has been bought by the Rushden Historical Transport Society and is expected to receive a repaint into a historical livery. The interior will also be painted but will be kept in its current style. There may also be a possibility that the tram may run again occasionally with the use of a generator set.
634 was new to Blackpool in 1937 and operated until 1963 on the North Station route before transferring to Rigby Road depot and the Promenade route. The tram continued to operate the Starr Gate - Fleetwood route until 2004 when it was mothballed and hasnt ran since. 634 is thought to be in a good condition having received an extensive overhaul in 1988/89 which included a new cab end and new OMO hopper windows.
more information on the preservation of 634 and the Rushden Historical Transport Society, visit their website
719 named 'Donna's Dreamhouse'
Balloon 719 has taken over the Donna's Dreamhouse from 723. The former Walls Ice Cream tram which was painted in all over blue but retaining the illuminated sections and mouldings from the Walls advert, has received side adverts for the charity in the illuminated boxes as well as the Donnas Dreamhouse name at both cab ends.
600 withdrawn for overhaul
600 has recently been withdrawn for an overhaul and repaint. The tram is expected to retain its original shape and style, with the absence 720 style platform extensions. Boats 602 and 604 have been reinstated to service to cover for 600's withdrawal.
Tram Sunday Report now online
Ive added my Tram Sunday Report, it can be found here
Trams expected for the Shuttle Service to Tram Sunday
It has been confirmed that the shuttle from North Pier to Ash St will operate this Sunday in addition to the normal timetabled service (although curtailed at Ash St)to ferry Passengers to Tram Sunday. The trams used are expected to be selected from 66, 147, 600, 605, 619, 700, 706 and 717 although it isnt guaranteed that all will be used (there might be different trams replacing if the weather is bad). Hopefully the Western train is stabled at the Ferry. Source: Blackpool Transport and Tramgen yahoo groups.
Has 703 been withdrawn?
There have been a number of rumours going round recently that balloon 703 has allegedly been withdrawn with a number of defects including a badly leaky roof and possible structural / underframe defects. Although this hasnt been confirmed by Blackpool Transport, the fact that 712 has received the same T Side adverts as 703 has been carrying for the last season for West Coast Builders Supplies surely adds fuel to the flames. If true the withdrawal of 703 would see the number of unrefurbished balloon cars in service to 6 (701, 702(part of the reserve fleet), 712, 715, 721, 726) 703 is said to contain the most original features carried by any of the remaining unrefurbished balloon cars. It was originally earmarked for withdrawal back in 2004 along with balloon 715. However 708 was deemed to be in a worse condition and was withdrawn instead. Of the remaining servicable balloons, 700, 717 and 719 have seen very little use recently, 701 has seen no use in passenger service so far this year nor has 702, whilst 715 and 726, although havent seen passenger service, have been used extensively on driver training. 703 has seen no use since mid June, 712 saw some use as a driver training tram before being added to the main service pool and has seen use on almost a daily basis since mid June. 721 has seen extensive use since Easter and this use has continued into the summer. 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 723, 724, 761 and 762 have seen a large amount of use on service since the timetable change in May.
New advert for 647
It has been reported on the blackpool transport yahoo group that 647 is to receive advert vynals for B&M bargains.
News in Short
Starr Gate Depot Plans finally approved
Planning Permission has finally been granted for the building of the new tram depot at Starr Gate. Following a number of objections by local residents, the permission was granted after a vote by councillors on the planning committee.
Tram Sunday next week.
Next Sunday sees the annual Tram Sunday being held in Fleetwood. It is expected that there will be the usual tram service from North Pier to Fishermans Walk made up of vintage and trams of interest. It is hoped that the Western Train will make an appearance at the event in what could be the tram's last run to Fleetwood prior to the relaying of the tram lines.
I will be there for the weekend from the Friday - Monday. Hopefully there should be news from the weekend and some photos on Monday night or Tuesday.
Last Weekend event planned.
With the closure of the Ash St - Fleetwood Ferry and Starr Gate - Pleasure Beach sections of the tramway for renewal from November and lasting for 3 years, some special tours are organised for the final Weekend of service on these stretches of line 8.11.09 and 9.11.09. That weekend will be your very last chance to catch a normal service tram from the current fleet on these stretches of line. The tours are organised by the LTT and details on the Blackpool Transport Yahoo Group and the TramGen message board state that in all, there will be 6 tours over the weekend over the full system using the following trams.
See the Blackpool Transport messageboard for further details.
Brush 636 sold
Trams Magazine (Number 45)reports that Brush Car 636 has been sold to Stored Energy Technology from Derby. 636 had been on loan to them to allow for testing of a new bogie. the tram had been at Derby from November 2006, and had returned to the Tramway for testing in January this year. 636 is thought to be the Brush Car which has the most original features and until 2003 was the only tram of its type to retain roof windows. (These are now pannelled over but the glass remains in situ). Hopefully the sale of 636 will secure its long term future and allow it to be preserved in the future.
Western Train relaunched
Forgot to mention in the last update that the Western Train has now been officially launched and has operated some tours. It is also expected that the train will see use at Totally Transport next Sunday and at Tram Sunday in ?July before seeing daily use during the illuminations.
Bumper news update.
Firstly I'd like to apologise for the lack of updates recently, this is due to computer problems (my broadband wasnt working). There has been quite a bit happening recently but the main piece of news is the funding recently being confirmed from the Government to complete the upgrade and buy the new trams.
Further to the news that the section of tramway north of Ash St (Fisherman's Walk) is closing for 2 years from November, it has also been confirmed that the section from Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate will also close to allow work to commence on relaying the track and building the new depot at Starr Gate.
The early summer service has started and as expected the Fleetwood - Starr Gate service is in the hands of the double deckers taking the pressure off the already depleted pool of single deckers. 700, 703, 707, 709, 711, 713, 717, 719, 721, 723, 724, 761 and 762 have been noted on this service in day time (7 required daily) with 5 single deckers required for the Cleveleys service which has been extended to Starr Gate. As in the previous 2 summers there has been early evening changeovers, however this year the 5 single deckers from the Cleveleys service are joined by a further 2 single deckers from depot whilst all doubles return to depot with only the basic 20 minute Starr Gate - Fleetwood and any specials remaining in service. Single deckers seeing use have been the Centenaries, 630, 631 and 737. 712 and 726 have seen use as Driver Training vehicles whilst 701, 702, 715 and 718 have seen no use as yet this year.
724 has been repainted receiving and all over blue advert for the Lyndene Hotel. 723 has been named 'Donna's Dreamhouse'.
623 and 643 return to service
Due to a chronic shortage of single deckers which has seen trams such as the warship and standard 147 operate on service duties, Blackpool Transport has finally returned Brush 623 to service. 643 which has barely run for a number of weeks has also returned minus it's G-Casino vynals, leaving the tram with black sides and white ends with metro coastline branding. The shortage could so easily be eased by returning either one or both trams from 626 and 680. Even the return of 680 coupled with the return of 623 would free up either 630 or 631 to operate on the Fleetwood service. It remains to be seen whether this will happen, more likely they will try to struggle on as they are until the timetable change at the end of the month which may see the service converted to double decker operation.
Ash St to Fleetwood section of tramway closing for 2 years
The section of tramway from Ash Street to Fleetwood is closing in November for 2 years to allow for the relaying and repositioning of the tracks for the new fleet. This means that this year is the last year of regular services on the street section for the old fleet as when it reopens the new trams will be running the service. It was also reported that a loop is to be built at Thornton Gate replacing the present turnback and P.W. sidings
It was reported at the FTS depot tour that it is hoped that 720 would be back in service in time for the illuminations. At the moment the pod and the new style doors are only a trial for operation and if successful 10 balloons / millenium cars will be modified in this way, it was known which cars would be converted however it was expected that 707, 709, 713, 718, 720 and 724 would be amongst them. If successful 720 will operate in service, however it wont be able to operate south of Pleasure Beach for the time being. It is expected that after 2012 the balloons will be able to operate with only 1 conductor due to the installation of CCTV and power operated doors.
Heritage fleet to keep original shape.
Another piece of good news is that heritage cars 700, 706 and 717 and the boats will not be modified with pods, however this will limit them to heitage tours and mean that they will only be able to stop at Pleasure Beach, Tower and Bispham.
News in brief
As many of you will already know, Yahoo are closing their Geocities web hosting service down later on this year. As this site is part of Geocities, I'm currently looking into a new domain to host this site with. hopefully I should have some news on this soon. If I have time i will also tidy up the site a bit.
Photo Update coming soon!!
I'm off to Blackpool from Friday - Monday and going on the FTS Depot Tour on Saturday, I hope to have a number of photos and a report on the weekend which I hope to add to this site and the fotopics site on either Monday or Tuesday Night.
721 receives new advert whilst 701 and 719 lose theirs
Balloon 721 has received a new black and gold advert for the Pleasure Beach replacing the previous all over white based Hot Ice advert, and by all accounts looks really smart. Whilst 721 has gained a new advert 701 and 719 have lost their adverts. 719 is in all over light blue replacing the Infusion advert carried previously whilst 701 loses the Palm Beach Hotel advert which was one of the most over the top all over adverts in the history of the tramway for a base coat of all over yellow.
Plans in place for a new depot for the heritage fleet
It has been reported by the Blackpool Gazzette that Blackpool transport have lodged a planning application for a new depot / visitor centre for the Heritage fleet next to what will become the new depot at Starr Gate. It is expected that the depot will be able to hold a fleet of 22 trams. It is difficult to predict which 22 cars this will be and if this is also including the LTT fleet as well. It is expected that it may be many years before this depot is built meaning Rigby Road will remain in use for a while to come. Speaking of Rigby Road, this weekend is the FTS events weekend. Saturday morining is the depot tour, followed by a special to Fleetwood. Twin Cars 672+682 and 675+685 are doing a system tour on Sunday whilst boat 600 and replica vanguard 619 are doing prom tours on Monday. Tickets for these events may still be availiable, visit the FTS website for more details.
Western Train out on Test
Last Wednesday saw the Western Train out on test for the first time, it ran from depot to Little Bispham and back again and from the photos I've seen of it, it looks superb.
Cleveleys Service and Specials return and proposed new depot
With the start of Easter now on us, and the amount of visitors apparently double last years numbers, the Cleveleys service and specials have returned as well as the full length service. With the reduction in the amount of single deckers availiable following the withdrawal of 626 and 680, there has been a mixed bag on the main service. Illuminated Trawler 737 has been on the Fleetwood service and that isnt really a viable option considering if it gets turned short all the passengers would be facing backwards, 736 would be even worse as it would have to run out of service if it had to turn short as it only has doors on one side. 622 has also seen use on the Cleveleys service along with 630 and 631. Specials have seen 700,707, 709, 711, 713, 717 ,724, 147, 600 and 605 seeing use so far.
It is reported on the Blackpool Gazzette website that a £20 million new depot will be built at Starr Gate for the new fleet of trams. I'm not sure about the location being all that suitable but the upside is that the existing depot at Rigby Road will remain and this is good new for the current fleet at their will not be the same rush to get rid of the old cars now and maybe even more will be kept.
Line to Fleetwood reopens
The full tramway reopened yesterday with 7 trams operating during the day and 5 at night. There was a mixture of centenaries and jubilee trams operating the service.
645 gains new advert
645 has been outshopped in a new advert for Jet2.com. The advert is mainly red with some contravision on the windows. 719 has also had its Pleasure Beach advert removed and is currently in all over blue. It is not known if the tram will receive a new all advert or if it will be painted into a Metro Livery. I think an all over advert is more likely.
Further withdrawals confirmed
Trams Magazine (issue 44) reports that as well as 671+681 and 680 being withdrawn, Brush Car 626 and boat cars 602 and 604 have also been withdrawn. The withdrawal of 626 (and 680) seems a bizarre choice considering Blackpool Transport are planning to operate the main service using single deckers on most days until July and are already short of single deckers with both 642 and 647 expected to be held in reserve. 626 would be well suited to the Fleetwood route as it has Heaters and Halogen headlamps. Of the single deckers availiable for service 641, 643, 644, 645, 646, 648, 630 and 631 can operate to Fleetwood after dark, 622 cannot as it doesnt have Halogen Headlights, 623 is a reserve car and also doesnt have Halogen Headlights and cant opeerate to fleetwood after dark, 642 and 647 are also reserve cars meaning that 9 cars are availiable for Fleetwood service with 7 required, one cant operate after dark and if the Centenary cars break down again as per usual, double deckers will have to be used in their place. 602 and 604 being withdrawn is also bizarre as the boats are the most popular trams in Blackpool and the withdrawal of 2 of these trams means that less people can enjoy a run along the prom on a warm sunny day on an open top tram. It is reported that the main pool this year will consist of 37 trams with 14 in reserve. Unsurprisingly the main pool is mainly made up of Balloon and Millenium Cars. Balloon 702 remains in reserve for another year.
Twin 671+681 and Railcoach 680 mothballed
It has been reported that 671+681 and 680 have been mothballed. 671+681 saw no use at all in service last year so it was really no surprise that this set didnt re-appear especially as the other 4 serviceable sets only really saw extensive use on the last week of the season. The withdrawal of 680 came as a surprise as it is a popular tram, in good condition and saw regular use last year, this will be the first year since 1932 that there has been no railcoaches in service as 678 was withdrawn in 2006 and 679 in 2004. The lack of an advert could have been a major factor in this decision. Brush car 626, which spent most of last year as a reserve car will probably see more use this year in its place.
Another surprising piece of news is that 710 will now receive a major overhaul following the completion of 720. It was expected that 708 was next to be done. Surely this decision puts the future of 708 in some doubt.
New advert for 762
762 has been outshopped in a new advert for Re:Blackpool. The advert is mainly green with a large contravision photograph on each side with photographs of the work being done on the prom.
636 is also being tested on the Pleasure Beach - Starr Gate section and trackwork is continuing on the Orion Curve near Cleveleys meaning the service is still operating between Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham
The service is currently operating between Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham using only 4 trams to maintain the 20 minute headway. This is being operated mainly by Centenary Cars but also the occasional Jubilee Car.
722 trials widened entrances.
Withdrawn Balloon 722 has recently been used as a trial vehicle for a widened centre entrance which is expected to be implemented into the current fleet (that will survive past 2012) Source: FTN magazine December issue
722 stripped for spares
Withdrawn Balloon car 722 has also had a number of mechanical parts removed as well as a number of windows for use on other balloons. Source: Blackpooltrams.info
Overall it doesnt look too good for 722. Now that a number of parts are starting to be removed, it is likely to end up similar to 704 and 716 in that they have been almost completely stripped of useful parts or used as a store for seats and other parts. The future for 704, 710, 716 and 722 is looking bleak.
636 returns to Blackpool
Tramgen newsgroup reports that Brush 636 has returned to Blackpool for testing of a new type of bogie. Other than the new bogie, the tram remains the same as it was when it was in passenger service. It is expected that 636 will be tested between Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate.
Trackwork commences on Monday
The tramway will be closed north of Little Bispham from Monday up until Easter to allow for track replacement to take place on the Orion Curve at Cleveleys. Also there is no tram service between Pleasure Beach and Starr Gate to allow for testing of 636 (see story above), however it is not known whether this section will be closed until Easter as well or will reopen earlier. There will be a service operating between Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham during this time.
Helmut Gieramm has sent me a link to a video he has taken at Blackpool between 1987 and 1996. This video was taken at Various locations over the system and features a number of the OMO trams (including 2 of them being scrapped, possibly 6 and 9) the centenary trams when new, many balloon cars including 709, 718 and 724 before their rebuilds, 633 when it was still a Brush car, the rocket, western train, hover tram and warship. The video has been added to the Deutsche Bahn railway archives and can be found in their archives on their website. Hope you all enjoy viewing it as much as I did!!!
717 operated on the LTT tour on Saturday. Other than this there is very little to report. The service is currently being operated by centenary and jubilee cars. There have been no reports of any brush cars or balloon / millenium cars deputising on the service, there is no additional Cleveleys service or specials operating until at least Easter 09 there isnt even any reports of repaints (however if you know different please let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
679's farewell tour (in it's current guise) took place yesterday. Unfortunately I couldnt make it but I'm looking forward to its launch in original guise (as series 2 railcoach 279) in 2010. Both 679 and 304 operated between Tower and Thornton Gate for much of the day before 679 operated a full system tour. 304 was supposed to join 679 on this final tour but broke down near Bispham on the last run.
Summer season over - winter season begins
Yet another summer season is over for the tramway. The final week saw use from a number of reserve trams with 702, 626, 304, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684 and 675+685 finally making it into service. 671+681 was the only tram in the operational fleet not to see any use at all this year.
The winter service has now started with the basic 20 minute end to end service in operation (30 minutes in the evening) using 7 trams and in a change from usual, 5 trams at night. It is expected that the Centenary Trams will dominate with use also expected from the Jubilee cars too. If as usual a number of breakdowns occur with the Centenary and Jubilee cars, Brush Cars 626, 630 and 631 will be the most likely candidates to run in service.
This season has been good in some respects and bad in others, firstly the good points
There was also a downside as well
Railcoach 679 to be restored.
The LTT website has reported some excellent news. They have secured ex towing railcoach 679 for restoration back to its original guise of a series 2 railcoach with pointed ends and roof windows. 679 was one of the many railcoaches which were withdrawn in 2004 although 679 remains in excellent condition and is still in operational condition. The fact that 679 is still in good condition will mean that not as much work will have to be carried out on the tram as a tram such as 678 would need (although more of 678's interior appears to be original) It has also been reported that a farewell tour to 679 in it's current guise will operate at some point during November, with work starting in December. The tram is expected to be ready for the 125th anniversary celebrations in 2010.
New advert vynals fitted to 641.
641 has been fitted with brand new advert for Orion bingo. The advert is in dark blue and is similar in style to the orange advert previously carried by both 641 and 648. The new advert replaces the colourful advert for the same advertiser which was becoming increasingly tatty. This move should see 641 return to regular service having been the least used of the 6 advert liveried centenary cars in recent months.
Report from the weekend now online, it can be found here
Selection of photos can be found here
A weekend in Blackpool
Ive just returned from a long weekend in Blackpool (all sun burned and with more colour than I got on my holiday in Portugal during the summer!!!!!). Photos are currently being uploaded to Fotopic. A full report on an excellent weekend will follow in the next couple of days. Photo's include
Another Balloon bites the dust
Its official, balloon 710 has been withdrawn. 710, which was the first double decker tram to receive Metro livery in 2004, became famous in 1989 for 'knocking down and killing' Coronation Street baddie Alan Bradley, was originally placed in the reserve pool for the early season and then the main pool for the summer season. The Metro Line 7 liveried tram was due to receive a T-side advert as per the other Metro Liveried double deckers. However it has been reported that when the car was being prepared for service, a number of faults came to light including wheel faults and also replacement floors were needed in at least one of the saloons. It was decided with the reduction in the number of trams required and the probability that the tram will not see further use after 2012 that the tram would be withdrawn. 724 was stepped up from the reserve pool into the main pool earlier than planned to replace 710. 702 remains in the reserve pool for the time being having seen use in service on one day so far this year.
Photo update on the way
Im off to Blackpool from Friday - Monday 26th - 29th, so look out for some more photos from the weekend.
Railgrinder to be preserved.
Works tram Railgrinder 752 is to be preserved at the Heaton Park tramway in Manchester. This move will see the tram being restored back to original condition and see some use following its lack of use over recent years in Blackpool.
Operational fleet revised
Following a really poor summer for the tramway, the operational fleets have been revised once again to take into account that less trams than ever are now needed. The free / reduced price travel for pensioners on the buses is really hitting the tramway hard with few / no specials seeing use on most days. The main / reserve pools are now as follows
Of the reserve fleet, at least 623, 660, 642 702 and 724 have seen some use recently. 710 remains the only balloon in the operational fleet yet to see some use. 619 has been used quite frequently since its return to service at the start of the illuminations.
718 and Vanguard 619 return to service
Blackpool transport newsgroup report that Millennuim Car 718 has now returned to service in Line 3 Blue and Yellow Metro livery. it has now returned to the main operating pool.
In a surprise move, Vanguard 619, which has not ran in service since 2004 is being prepared for a shock return to service as a feature car during the illuminations. The former OMO car no 7's return was certainly unexpected but will make welcome addition to the fleet.
The new 15 minute saturday time table was in operation with 8 trams on fleetwood and 6 on Cleveleys giving a 7 minute headway on the prom. Saturdays dont have the changeover of trams in the evening so it was a fully refurbished set on Fleetwoods and unrefurbished on Cleveleys. 4 cars appeared on specials in the afternoon.
Fleetwood - 700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 719, 723, 724
Cleveleys - 701, 703, 712, 715, 721, 726
Specials - 643, 644, 648, 66
Onto tram Sunday and the service began to have a familiar feel i.e. the 14 deckers from the previous day were to feature heavily at some point on each day I was here. 630 operated on specials in the prom, whilst the procession to Fleetwood contained 717 on it's debut (an absolutely stunning tram which is a credit to all who have worked on her), 706, 736 (HMS Blackpool on an exceptionally rare journey in daylight), 737, 600 and 700. 736 and 737 were on Display at Fishermans walk whilst 66, 147, 660, 600 700, 706 and 717 operated on a special service between the event and North Pier, 660 broke down early on and was replaced by 602 (660 managing to avoid my camera yet again!!!) 66 and 717 also had to get fitters attention during the day. 717 and 706 managed to remain out quite late on specials whilst 700 found its way on to Fleetwood service in place of 721 later on at night. 707 was also a late evening replacement for 703.
In service - 701, 703 ,707, 712, 715, 721, 726, 719, 709, 711, 723, 724, 713, 630, 66, 147, 660, 600, 602, 700, 706, 717
Into Monday and no specials operated only the basic service of 11 cars plus 737 on driver training were out nothing spectacular happened and no break downs either. In service - 700, 701, 703, 707, 709, 711, 712, 713, 715, 719, 721, 723, 726.
So to the last day of my report and with it being a market Tuesday I was hopeful of a few specials, but none were forthcoming, 724 broke down and blew the section breakers somewhere north of Cabin and had to be towed back leaving the service in disarray for the rest of the morning, good news in that twin sets 673+683 and 675+685 operated on 2 of the extra Tuesday routes breaking up the monotony of the same deckers being out constantly. 675+685 oddly enough appeared to work on Cleveleys to Pleasure Beach journeys for the entire morning. There were no specials and the timetable was in tatters with 711, 713, 715, 673+683 and 707 all arriving at north pier within 5 minutes of each other when they should have been 10 minutes apart. Then of course there was a huge gap in trams, and by that point it was time for me to head home as Im off on my other holidays on Thursday. In service - 700, 701, 703, 707, 711, 712, 713, 715, 719, 721, 723, 724, 726, 673+683, 675+685
Ive just returned from Blackpool and my photos should appear on the fotopics site (Im just uploading them just now), a report on the weekend will follow soon, photo highlights include 717's return to service and 715's new livery.
737 returns to service
After a period of use as a driver training car, illuminated trawler 737 (old 633) has been used on both the Fleetwood and Cleveleys services recently. Its use on the Cleveleys Service is a strange choice as it means that a number of the journeys are operated with all passegers facing backwards.
Tram Sunday this weekend
Just a reminder that Tram Sunday takes place in Fleetwood this Sunday between Ash St and the Ferry there is lots to see and do with vintage cars and buses, fairground rides, stalls and much much more, also there will be the vintage tram service from North Pier to Ash St. Im heading to Blackpool today until Tuesday and hope to see a number of trams in service including the illusive 660 also 715 in its new livery and 717 following its restoration could it make its long awaited return to service or be a static exhibit? Will there be the chance for a 710 / 713 shot (old / new line 7 metro livery)? Time will tell. If your going I hope you enjoy the day.
I will add my photos from the weekend and any news from the weekend on either Tuesday night or on Wednesday. Keep watching for updates. PS I have a new memory card for my camera which allows for even more photos to be taken!!!!!
600 returns to service
600 has returned to service following its repaint and has also been renamed Duchess of Cornwall. 703 has returned to service following a few months use as a Driver training tram, 703 along with 711, 712 and 713 have received T side adverts. 715 has also returned to service in its new Line 16 livery.
The peak summertime service will be starting in the next couple of weeks and will mean that the service will be fully operated by double decker trams / twin cars. On Saturdays the service will be every 15 minutes Starr Gate - Fleetwood and 15 minutes Pleasure Beach - Cleveleys as per last year.
717 should hopefully be ready for launching at Tram Sunday. To date all servicable deckers bar 702, 710 and 717 have operated this year. 626 and 718 have been mothballed temporarily pending repaints.
News round up
Boat 600 is currently in the paintshop for a repaint where it will retain its current livery of 30's Green and Cream.
Balloon 715 has returned to service with its new livery of line 16 Light Blue and Yellow Metro livery.
Work has started on the rebuild of Balloon 720. 720 has been out of service since September 2006 following its withdrawal and subsequent stripping for overhaul. 720 has now received a new underframe and new trucks and wheels. 720 will be overhauled as per 713 although I think that all rebuilds from now on in should be heritage overhauls. The tram is expected to return to service in 2009/10.
It has also been confirmed that 708 will be the next Balloon to be overhauled. 708 has been out of service since January 2005. It had initially received a reprieve from the Mass Mothballing of November 2004, however it was swapped with 703 which was thought to be in far better condition and was returned to service in it's place. 708 continues to see use as a snowplough car during the winter, however its use in this guise has been extremely limited. 708 has even been mooted for a return to service in its current condition. 708 is one of only 3 unrefurbished balloons to have fixed upper deck seating (702 and 722 are the others). 704 (stripped interior and roof problems), 716(in need of overhaul/ new underframe also used as a store) and 722 (accident damaged) remain stored.
713 and 724 fitted with GPS / radios
Balloon 713 and Millenium 724 appear to have been fitted with Global Positioning Software and Cab radios, this will allow the location of these trams to be tracked also for drivers to radio in for assistance. It could be that other trams have also been fitted with this equipment or will be fitted in the future. 713 has had a small white dome fitted to the roof at one end similar and looks similar to what was fitted to the driving trailers on the ECML National Express sets. Both cabs have small radios fitted on the left hand side of the cabs as well as microphones on the left hand side of the cab also. If you look at this picture of 713, you will see the small white dome fitted on the roof at the front of the tram.
Line reopen to Starr Gate and New Timetable starts
the line has reopened to Starr Gate following the replacement of some rails on the Starr Gate loop.
The new timetable has started with the Cleveleys Service now operating into the evening giving a 10 minute headway along the prom at night. It is thought that the changeover of trams will occur between the Cleveleys and Fleetwood service as per last year. My weekend report is now online, it can be viewed here. Dont forget to view my photos
Links to photographs
Tramway closed between Harrowside and Starr Gate
The tramway is closed for the next 2 weeks between Harrowside and Starr Gate to allow for the replacement of some rails on the Starr Gate loop. Trams are currently terminating at Harrowside crossover (approximately 1/2 way between Starr Gate and Pleasure Beach).
I will be in Blackpool from 23rd - 26th May, look out for some news from the weekend and more photos on my fotopic site on 26th May.
Trams to return to Fleetwood
The official Blackpool Transport website reports that Trams will make their long awaited return to the line north of the Cabin from 26th April having been confined to the Starr Gate - Cabin since the tams restarted in March. A 20 minute service will operate from Starr Gate - Fleetwood using 7 trams (expected to be centenary cars, if they dont break down that is!!!) Meanwhile the 20 minute intermediate service starts from Starr Gate once more, this service from Starr Gate - Cleveleys will return using 5 trams (expected to be Brush Cars / railcoaches during the week and deckers at the weekend). Specials will also run when required. This service will run until the end of May when the Peak summer service will start.
I spent the day in Blackpool today. The service is still in operation between Cabin and Starr Gate only. The cars in service were 707, 709 (646), 713, 718, 719 and 724. 641 and 645 were on specials. By mid afternoon, the service was in chaos with 718 and 724 following each other practically nose to tail up and down the prom creating a large gap in the service. At about 3.30, 709 broke down at South Pier and a queue of trams built up with 645, 713, 718, 724 and 641 stuck behind it. A temporary repair was made on 709 and it made its way back to depot, 645 ran to Cabin, 713 and 718 ran to North Pier and 724 and 641 ran to Cabin within 5 minutes of each other. 646 came out and took over from 709 and ran in service with 2 conductors, (surely another decker could have been found especially with 700, 701, 702, 703, 710, 711, 712, 721, 723, 726, 761 and 762 sitting in the sheds).
713 looks magnificent in its new livery of Line 7 Purple and Yellow, (far better than the plain white livery of last year).
Below are the links to my photos taken today.
754 in depot
641 near central pier
645 near central pier
709 at south pier
718 at Cabin 1
718 at Cabin 2
718 at Cabin 3
718 at Cabin 4
724 near tower
717 in depot
Norbeck Crossover lifted
The Norbeck Crossover has been lifted and replaced with plain track, also the Little Bispham Loop has had its track removed in preparation for the track being renewed here. Hopefully the trackwork north of Cabin is almost complete and the full service will be reinstated soon (hopefully before next Saturday as Im hoping to spend the day in Blackpool).
713 returns to service
713 has returned to service following completion of its repaint into Line 7 Purple and yellow Metro livery, it has been operating on the main service over the past couple of days.
647 is in for a repaint into all over yellow metro livery as its current livery for Tiffany's hotel has now expired. The completion of this repaint will probably see the tram return to service as there appears to be a shortage of Centenary cars for service as all 5 servicable Brush Cars have seen use on the Starr Gate - Cabin at some point recently. 623 saw use on Easter Monday, 630 saw use last Thursday, 622 replaced 641 and 630 also saw use last Friday. On Wednesday 626, 630 and 631 all saw use on Wednesday.
Ive attached a list of the new pictures added from yesterdays visit. Included are new photos of 711's new advert, 723's new advert, 622, 680 which is in plain blue livery, 642 and 644.
Looking at the picture of 622 shown here it looks as if it is drooping at one end, also look at the cab nearest the photo, it looks as if the cab is lower down nearest the camera than the other side of the cab.
711 pic 1
711 pic 2
711 pic 3
723 pic 1
723 pic 2
622 pic 1
622 pic 2
626 pic 1
626 pic 2
680 pic 1
642 pic 1
644 pic 1
644 pic 2
I had another short visit to Blackpool today and again the 10 minute Starr Gate - Cabin service was in operation. Todays output was 622, 630, 643, 644 (642), 645 and 646. 723 and 626 were out on driver training. 680 was in depot in all over blue with its vynals removed. It was shunting 648 back into the depot. 711 was out on the depot fan so I got some photos of it. There must have been a shortage of Centenary cars as 641 was supposedly replaced by 622 during the morning and 644 was swapped over for 642. There was no sign of 647 anywhere and 648 appeared to be getting towed back from one of the fitting shops
I had a short visit to Blackpool today. A 10 minute Starr Gate - Cabin service was still in operation with 5 Centenaries and 1 Brush Car in service.
Trams in service were 630, 641, 642, 643, 645 and 646. All cars were crew operated. It is not known whether 630 was deputising due to a shortage of centenary cars or if a Brush Car is actually allocated to the service. 711 and 723 were both out on driver training duties however 711 returned to depot early and just as I pressed the button on the camera to photograph the tram, somebody walked out in front of my camera when 711 was passing me at North Pier meaning I only got one photo of the tram from a distance. 723 was coming out of the depot when I got there and headed on to the prom and turned at Foxhall and headed south. I would have got more photos but had to go for the train home. (Just my luck the train was over 1 hour late from Preston back to Scotland and I could have hung about a wee bit longer to get some more photos!!!)
I did get some photos of 717 which is prominent in the depot but still without the curved upper deck windows, curved cab windows and trolly pole. It looks amazing and I cannot wait to see the tram on the prom. I have attached links to my photos from today below.
Good news, I finally managed to get some photos of 641, however, the advert is a mess, there is parts of the vynals which have peeled off and are missing from various points on the tram and there is alot of orange from the previous advert showing at various points on the tram. See the evidence here
630 Pic 1
630 Pic 2
630 Pic 3
630 Pic 4
630 Pic 5
630 Pic 6
711 Pic 1
717 Pic 1
717 Pic 2
717 Pic 3
717 Pic 4
723 Pic 1
723 Pic 2
723 Pic 3
641 Pic 1
641 Pic 2
641 Pic 3
641 Pic 4
641 Pic 5
641 Pic 6
642 Pic 1
642 Pic 2
643 Pic 1
643 Pic 2
643 Pic 3
645 Pic 1
645 Pic 2
645 Pic 3
646 Pic 1
646 Pic 2
754 Pic 1
Tram Gen reports that 700, 707, 709, 719, 723 and 724 are out in service today.
Unfortunately Ive had to cancel my visit to Blackpool today, it has been snowing where I stay overnight and its bitterly cold, however I have a few other visits planned during the year.
Thinking about what I said yesterday about the trams which are quite elusive when looking to get a photograph of them, does anyone else find this as well?
I find that when Im trying to get a photo of a certain tram, I never see it for a few visits in a row and then after that it out everytime Im there. An example of this is when 713 came back into service, I tried for a while to get a photograph of this tram and never had any luck at all following its return during 2005 and then suddenly from every visit from 2006 onwards, it has been in service practically every day!!!
Ive included my list of elusive trams that never seem to appear when Im looking for a photo.
cars which are always out when Im there
Tram Service finally returns
After 5 long months of no tram service, the trams have finally returned to the prom this morning. At the moment they are only operating between Starr Gate and Cabin with 6 trams operating on a 10 minute headway as work is still continuing north of Cabin, but hopefully it shouldnt be too long before a journey to Fleetwood can once more be enjoyed.
Tram Gen are reporting that the service is currently consisting of 700, 707, 709, 718, 723 and 724. 723 was the first tram out this morning. As also stated last week the supposed tram pools were not worth bothering with as they wouldnt last, well they havent even lasted one hour as 718 and 724 which werent even supposed to be in service until the summer at least are both on the main service this morning!!!!!
A number of specials have seen use today also, not surprisingly it has been a day for heater fitted cars given the weather which, has unfortunately limited the choice of cars availiable. 630, 641, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647 (another car not due in service till the summer according to the supposed tram pools), 648 and 762 all seeing use in service on specials during the day. 711 has also seen its first use in service this year replacing 723 in service during the early evening.
Weather permitting, I am hoping to visit Blackpool tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours to get some photos. Im hoping that 623, 630, 709, 717, 723 and 711 are out in service. Also I hope that 761 and 641 as I have been trying to photograph these 2 cars in their current livery since 2006 (although I did get 1 photo of 641 but have had no luck in getting any more since then)
Trams finally return to the prom
The first tram has run on the prom since the end of the illuminations with 626, 641, 646 and 648 testing the track and overhead alignment between Starr Gate and North Pier including new cross over at Foxhall and the new Pleasure Beach loops. The brand new Crossover at Cabin is also currently receiving a new cross over wire. This will also happen at Bispham when allowed. One of the online Blackpool newspapers reports that the line will only be open between Cabin and Starr Gate at Easter although round the clock working is currently taking place to allow the trackwork to be completed and there is still a possibility for the trams to be running to Fleetwood by Good Friday. As yet a timetable has not been released to allow time for the trackwork to be completed.
710 has not been withdrawn. Various sources had reported that it had been earlier in the year and this has been confirmed as not being the case. Sorry for any inconvience this error may have caused.
A number of repaints will take place during 2008. This will make the tramway a colourful place with a number of repaints taking place. As reported earlier, plain all over white trams will become a thing of the past this year. Repaints confirmed (some already completed) include
Im now really looking forward to my next visit to Blackpool to see the new liveries. 715 and 718 will be carrying metro liveries not yet seen on a tram, 717 will be the star attraction this year like 623 was last year, I think this year, there will be a clamour to photograph 717 and 706 or 600 together.
The fleet has been confirmed (as expected really) to be the same trams except for 717 replacing 722 in the operational fleet. Again the fleet is split into three pools. Last year the pools didnt last too long as many tram which were placed in the summer pool, appearing at Easter and trams which werent expected till October appeared in June!!!! thus they werent really worth paying too much notice to and this year will probably be the same.
This year there will be in service
It's only 3 weeks to go to Easter and the reopening of the tramway following the major trackworks taking place this winter. Rapid Progress appears to have been made in the past few weeks, the track is now in place at the Pleasure Beach and the top cover is almost complete at this area. New track has also been laid between Manchester Square and Central Pier including a new layout at Foxhall. Two crossovers and access to Blundell Street from both North and South has been installed, this track is still to receive it's top cover. The track has been laid between Gynn Square and Cabin with a new crossover placed further north than the old one. The track between Cabin and Norbeck is still being replaced. At Little Bispham the track on the main line is complete with the loop still to be replaced. Various sources report that the line is supposed to be handed back to Blackpool Transport on 17th March to allow for Driver Training / Route Familiarisation to take place prior to reopening on Good Friday.
Blackpool Transport Yahoo Group report that 717 is essentially complete having received its 30's Green and Cream livery, the only things needed to complete the job are the curved upper deck end windows and curved windows for the driver cab doors, hopefully it should be ready for launch on Good Friday. Also reported is that 723 is currently receiving 80's green and cream livery as part of an advertising scheme??? , 713 is to receive Line 7 Metro Livery, this surely indicates that 710 has been withdrawn as reported by various sources earlier this year. 715 has still expected to receive an all over advert / metro livery. I would like to see a tram receive Line 6 Metro Livery, but I'm biased as Line 6 colours, (Maroon and Yellow) are very similar to the Colours of the Football team I support!!!!!!! There appears to have been a shift in policy with regards to repaints with no trams being repainted in all over white or all over yellow (unless they have an all over advert) as many trams were unsightly with pantograph grease stains down the body sides.
As yet, no timetables or a list of availiable trams have been released for this year, however I expect that it will be along the same lines of last year minus 710 and 722 but with 717 returning and possibly another Brush car in the long awaited Tigerrific advert
Blackpool has been given ï¿½85 million for 16 brand new low floor trams. These trams will be used to provide the main Starr Gate to Fleetwood service and some specials. This will provide the tramway with a much needed boost. However it will probably mean the end of a large proportion of the current fleet with around 25 of the current fleet being kept for service on the prom section between Pleasure Beach and Bispham. This is likely to be the best of the balloon cars, millenium cars, jubilee cars, the boats, vintage and illuminated fleet and refurbished brush cars.
From this, I reckon that the cars from the current fleet that will be kept will be from the following list 700, 706, 707, 709, 711, 713, 717, 718, 719, 720, 723, 724, 761, 762, 600, 602, 604, 605, 40, 66, 143, 147, 304, 660, 733+734, 736, 737(633), 626, 630, 631, 680, a centenary car and a twin set.
Most likely to be withdrawn are the unrefurbished balloons, the unrefurbished brush cars, twin cars, centenary cars and the remaining railcoaches. It is hoped that none of these trams will be scrapped and hopefully go to museums or preserved lines.
Any new trams are not likely to appear for at least the next 2-3 years as there will have to be the tendering process and design and build process, also, track replacement will need to be completed and many tram stops will need upgrading and a possible new depot will need to be built for the new trams.
For the next few year's it will be a case of photograph the current fleet while you still can.
Progress in some areas seems to be moving fast. At Little Bispham, the main line track and pointwork has been laid, however the loop has still to be replaced. Track has been laid out between Gynn Square and Cabin the concrete base has been laid. At Pleasure Beach, the track on the main line has been replaced and work has started on the loop.
633 (The Trawler) has been renumbered as 737 to keep it in line with the other illuminated trams.
Most of the old track which is being replaced this winter has now been lifted and the concrete base for the new track is beginning to be laid at certain locations on the system.
Its now official, 722 has been withdrawn. 710 also looks to have been withdrawn due to underframe defects, this means that the number of unrefurbished balloons availiable for service is now down to 7 (701, 702, 703, 712, 715, 721, 726). 711 has been painted into the Line 14 Metro livery which was carried by Brush 636 during 2004. 723 looks to be receiving 710's Line 7 Metro livery, replacing its all over red base coat. All over white balloons 713 and 715 are also expected to receive new all over adverts / liveries during the next few months. Work has started on the painting of 717's 30's livery. 712 has also received work to its panelling following last months collision with 643 at North Pier.
End of the season now upon us
Well, like all good things, the season has come to an end, I cant believe that it will be a full 5 months before we see a tram (any tram) gracing the prom or anywhere for that matter. The season ended with another collision, although it was minor compared to last week with 712 having a side swipe at 643 at North Pier and causing minor damage to both trams, with 643 receiving a broken window and a huge dent on the corner whilst 712's handrails were buckled and a huge scrape was seen down the side of the tram, hopefully not enough damage to rule 712 out of a return to service next year. The final few journeys from Starr Gate northwards, used the soon to be removed south spur to reach the outer loop at Pleasure Beach.
Tram Gen messageboard reports that 722 has now been withdrawn following the accident last week, to be honest, if true, this is no surprise as although it has had roof repairs in the past 2 years and has already escaped mothballing once (only being reinstated due to advertising commitments), 722 had sprung a leak at one end near the dome / side panels and also the windows leaked too with water marks evident all down the sides of the walls. Also it is not known how serious the damage is to the tram and if it is beyond economic repair. With 717 returning to service next year, the number of servicable balloons would be maintained at the same level. From the other withdrawn balloons, only 708 would possibly be suitable for reinstatement, however it is also in a poor state too. Also it is not known how serious the damage is to the tram and if it is beyond economic repair. I wonder which tram if any, 722's advertising contract will be transferred to (711, 713, 715, 723 ?????) or even a single decker (642 or a brush car/ railcoach ?????)
Blackpooltrams.info report that Work has already started on dismantling the old track around Little Bispham and the fencing off of track at Cabin and Pleasure Beach.
End of Season approaches, derailment and a collision.
Tram Gen message board reports that there was a minor derailment involving 622 at Bispham and a more serious collision involving 711 and 722 at Admiral's Point near Bispham. Reports suggest that 722 had stopped to collect Passengers and 711 ran into the back causing underframe and panel damage to 722. 711 escaped with minor damage and has since returned to service. Sunday sees the last day of trams running until Easter due to track work, with the full fleet going into hibernation. However there is alot to look forward to in 2008, including the return of 717, possibly the Western Train, hopefully 623 will be back out in Wartime livery again, and the Tigerrific Brush Car advert makes a long avaited appearance and following a massive relaying programme ahead this winter, a much smoother ride over most of the system will be good. What trams will be back in 2008? I reckon that the trams to reappear will be:
713 Advert removed
713 became the tram with the shortest ever advert livery when after only 2 weeks in service carrying the Conservative Party all over advert, it was removed and 713 now carries all over white again.
I was in Blackpool over the Glasgow September Weekend. I arrived at 5.30 pm after being stuck in a 10 mile traffic jam on the A74(M) from before Gretna Services through to the A74.
In service on Friday was
718 was also noted going back to depot possibly with a fault.
Onto the Saturday and the 15 minute Fleetwood and Cleveleys service operated. I visited the depot and 718 was being shunted into the fitting shop, where it was to remain all weekend. 641 and 724 were in the Electrical Compound although 724 was out on specials later on that day, 641 wasnt out at all during the weekend.
During the day 38 trams were out in service including 19 specials including 600 and 602 in the morning and 304 and 706 in the evening. 671+681 was noted on a late special to Fleetwood about 11.30pm and 147 on a late special to Cabin at 12.10am. Also noted was a few of the Cleveleys deckers seemed to end up on Specials with at least 622 and 623 operating on their routes to Cleveleys late evening.
On to the Sunday and a healthy 21 trams in service.
644 took over from 711 on the Fleetwood service in early evening, the trams were running late with many Fleetwood trams turning at Pleasure Beach.
Into Monday and the weather was attrocious.
Fleet round up
From Monday 5th November the full tramway will be closed to allow major trackworks on large parts of the system. Work will include
The line should hopefully be complete for Easter 2008.
702, 711, 719, 723 return to service
702 which was originally allocated as a reserve car has seen some use in service recently. 711 and 723 have returned to service in yellow and red base coats respectively. 719 returned to service in its infusion advert during August.
I spent the day in what was a wet and rather quiet day visitor and tramwise in Blackpool. I would go as far to say that I have never seen Blackpool as quiet or so few trams in service during the peak summer holiday time although the torrential rain and freezing temperatures may have had something to do with it. Although it was quiet, there didnt appear to be enough trams in service as a number of journeys (especially from Fleetwood in the morning) were full and passing tram queues at least until Cleveleys was reached.
Had my first journey in 710 for a long time and I reckon that its interior is in the best condition of all unrefurbished balloons. In comparison 726 (especially with its leaky windows, faded moquette and patches of liner at the curved end windows missing) looks tired, Also 726 appears to have a rocking motion at speed.
Sightings (all Double Deckers)
710, 713, 718, 721, 722, 726, 762
700, 707, 709, 724 (would have swapped with 710, 721, 722 and 726 early evening)
701, 703, 712, 715
Also visited the depot and noted that 733 (front part of the Western Train) was in the body shop and work was being carried out on a set of bogies, 711 and 723 were in the Electrical Compound (minus advert vynals) as was a twin set (possibly 674+684), 676+686 was being stored up against the far away wall in the depot and was looking in a terrible state minus various fittings such as windows. Former works car 259 was behind it and has had its lower side panels removed. 626 had its driver training boards on and was parked in front of the electrical compound.
677 to be scrapped.
Twin car motor vehicle is in the process of being scrapped to provide parts for the Western Train. Part of the body and the trucks andthe underframe will be used to replace the original frame work on the 'engine' for the train as the existing frame is now in poor condition. 687 will survive for now as a store room for original parts for the Western Train, although its future beyond this is unclear.
735 leaves Blackpool
735 has now left Blackpool for the Busworld museum at Beith in Ayrshire.
726 receives new advert
Balloon Car 726 in its new advert for HM coastguard on its first day in service on 10th June 2007
726 has received a new advert for HM Coastguard and made its debut in passenger service this morning. Photos of this new livery can be found here
Fleetwood service - 641, 642(646), 643, 644, 646, 647, 626, 631
Cleveleys Service - 707, 718, 721, 723
Fleetwood Service - 701*, 707, 711*, 713, 718, 721*, 722*,
Cleveleys Service - 709*, 723*, 724*, 762*
* = swapped over From Cleveleys - Fleetwood service or vice versa at night
Specials - 40, 147, 602, 605, 645, 646, 647 (304 out on a tour)
the tramway seemed busy during the day, however it took a while for any specials to appear and they werent out for long especially 602, 605 and 147 which were only out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and all of the specials only travelled between North Pier and Pleasure Beach for much of the day with only a couple of journey further north to Cabin or Bispham, I got a ride on 602, 605 147 and 40 and it was my first time on all 4 of these trams.
700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 721, 722, 723, 726, 762, 645, 646, 605, 701
The trams seemed to keep to time during the the weekend one complaint I did have is that on some of the double deckers the hopper windows dont let in enough air making them like furnaces.
713 has lost its advert for Asda in Fleetwood, it is now all over white with a Metro Coastline sticker above the centre doors.
721 has received an advert for Hot Ice.
I will be in Blackpool this weekend, so watch out for some new pictures on Sunday or Monday Night.
I paid a flying visit to Blackpool today, and here are my sightings.
Fleetwood Service - 700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 724 (723)
Cleveleys Service - 622, 623, 631, 680
Specials - 40, 147, 641, 643, 648
The service was in total chaos. I spotted 50 minutes worth of trams passing north within 10 minutes with large gaps in between and not enough trams out to cater for demand.
see my new Photo's from May added here
Hovertram on the move
The Blackpool transport yahoo group report that the Hovertram (735) is on its way to Scotland for preservation in a new museum being opened in Beith in Ayrshire.
It has been reported that the long awaited overhaul to the Western Train has finally started with 733 (the engine) being stipped in the fitting shop, work is progressing on 717 and the tram should be back in service for the illuminations. 720 has been stripped and is stored in depot awaiting overhaul.
Blackpool Trams.info reported that boat 604 was used on Cleveleys Service for a couple of journeys a couple of weeks ago due to a shortage on single decker trams until 626 was prepared and took over the route, surely this must persuade Blackpool Transport to reinstate another 1 or 2 Brush Cars / railcoaches to service, as if it had been raining on that particular day, they would have had to put out a top deck closed balloon / millenium car. At present only 622, 623, 626, 630, 631, 641-648 and 680 are availiable for use on the Fleetwood / Cleveleys service, with 11 of these cars being used daily and with the centenary car's notorious for breakdowns, any choice from 627, 632, 634, 637 or 679 being returned to service would make a big difference.
It's Tigerriffic News !!!!!!!!!!
The LTT website reports that they are in discussions with Blackpool Transport about recreating the Tigerrific tram advert that was carried by Brush Car 622 between 1975 and 1980, as a memorial to Bryan Hamer who painted over 150 all-over advertising trams. They hope to have the tram painted and ready for operation for the Totally Transport event in June.
This good news should see another Brush Car return to service, last year Trams Magazine stated that it would most likely to be 627 which would be chosen, below are listed the current state of each Brush Car and their likeleness to return to service / carry the advert.
The above shows that 627, 632, 634 or 637 might return to service in with the Tigeriffic advert.
Had hoped to get to Blackpool over Easter to get some photos of 623 in wartime livery however circumstances dictated differently. Hopefully I will make it in a few weeks.
On the tramway front the line was open fully again with new trackwork between Pleasure Beach and Manchester Square with 7 trams on the Fleetwood Service (2 brush and 5 centenaries) and 4 on the Cleveleys Service (4 brush / railcoach)and a number of specials.
The pools of trams seemed to have gone out the window (see below) with 604 and Bolton 66 seeing use on specials along with 602 and 605.
623 also made its long awaited return to service in it's new wartime livery and from the photo's I have seen so far, it looks amazing.
Was in Blackpool today, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646 and 648 were in service and all seemed to be running late. The trackwork which was supposed to finish this weekend now wont be completed until 5th April 2007. I also visited the depot and saw 726 which has lost it's Thwaites livery which has been replaced by an all over yellow livery, 703 has been used on driver training. Also Stockport 5 and Bolton 66 were being shunted around the depot.
Have just noticed on the list given for the trams that will operate this year that 678 has not been included. It looks like 678 has now been mothballed.
More info on 678 can be found here
Brush Car 623 is to return to service this year in wartime livery. It has been announced that most services in the off peak times will be operated by single deck trams and more are required. Hopefully this will mean a return to service of some more Brush Cars / Railcoaches at a later date.
Blackpooltrams.info have reported that Blackpool Transport have decided which trams will operate this year and when.
early season (April - June)
602, 605, 622, 623, 626, 630, 631, 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 680, 700, 701, 707, 709, 711, 712, 713, 718, 719, 722, 723, 724, 761, 762, 40, 147
summer (July - October)
all the above plus 604, 706, 726, 671+681, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684, 675+685
illuminations (from October - November)
all the above plus 703, 715, 717, 721, 66, 633, 736
600, 702, 660, 304, 513
There hasnï¿½t been too much going on in Blackpool recently!!!!!!
Only another threatened fleet reduction which would probably see the Twin Cars, the remaining Brush Railcoaches and EE Railcoaches, the vintage trams and the boat trams withdrawn. However most would be re instated when the busy season and the good weather comes. (at least I hope so as it will be quite boring seeing the same trams out day in day out.),
Tram Power 611 catching fire and burning out
on the Prom, major track relays and track work meaning trams only running between Thornton Gate and Fleetwood, until Easter.
Balloon 720 has been withdrawn for a refurbishment 713 style, work is progressing on 717 and 719 is being refitted with front windows on the upper deck and more seats, which is good as you donï¿½t have to stare at a solid wall on every journey.
Also Brush 636 has gone to Derby for tests on itï¿½s experimental motors.
WESTERN TRAIN GIVEN FUNDING
Following a long campaign for funding, the Western Train (733+734) is to be restored to its original 1962 condition. The two trams which make up the Western Train will be rewired, their underframes and body work strengthened and the interiors restored. 734 (the trailer) will be restored (inside) to its 1928 condition from its previous life as Pantograph 174. Work is about to start and will be completed by 2008.
News Round up
MAJOR TRACK RELAY
Following a severe deterioration in the track south of Manchester Square, funding was secured for a complete relay of the track between Manchester Square and Pleasure Beach this winter. Work is expected to start this January and be completed for Easter. The line south of Manchester square is to remain closed during this time with a replacement bus service in operation.
The fotopic site has been updated. New photos include 600 - night shot, 604 on prom and going into service, 622 in new pontins livery, 630, 680 in Merrie England Bar Advert, 671+681 and 674+684 night shot, 700 front shot, 706, 709, 711, 718, 719, 723 McDonalds advert, 726, 762, 66, 633 and 736, 641, 642 and 648. To view these pictures click here
View my weekend report here: September Weekend Report
Railcoach 680 has received a new all over advert for the North Pier, replacing its previous, much more colourful advert for the Central Pier. 712 has finally made its debut in service for 2006 having been sidelined for works attention since before Easter. Trampower 611 (the experimental tram) derailed at Starr Gate in May causing chaos to the tram service.
Standard 147 has been mothballed temporarily due to the condition of the track south of Manchester Square, Boat 604 has been reinstated to service in it's place. Balloon 723 has received a new advert, it now has an advert for McDonalds, replacing the advert for Pasaje De Terror / Ripleys which it had worn since 1998. The Summer service has started, it is the same as last year with 7 trams on Fleetwood Service and 5 on the Cleveleys service. My report from the May Bank Holiday Weekend is now availiable here
Following the Withdrawal of the Pleasure Beach advertising contract, Cars 721, 715, 723 and possibly 720 have had their adverts removed for Pleasure Beach attractions. In fact Rumours are circulating that 720 will be mothballed due to flooring problems. 604 has been mothballed also there is the possibility that 680 will also be mothballed following the expiry of its contract. 622 has remerged for another season and will shortly be receiving a new advert for Pontins.
Firstly, I would like to apologise for the lack of recent updates, this has been due to some computer problems.
I was in Blackpool for the Scottish September weekend on the Sunday and Monday. Here are my sightings
700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 719
723 replaced 707 on service in the afternoon.
701, 712, 715, 720, 721
66, 147, 626, 630, 631, 641, 644, 646, 647, 660, 680, 710, 722, 726
This was the first time I have been to Blackpool and seen and even been on 660, I must admit it is a brilliant car and well kept inside and out. I also saw Balloon 713 for the first time since it's overhaul and I think it looks no worse than any of the other modernised balloons.
713 seems to be quite elusive as it seemed to be in the 'wrong' place for me to get a photo of it. I always seemed to miss it. Never mind, always next time.
The only major complaint about this day was that all the specials seemed to dissapear by 9 pm apart from 647 which only ran between Pleasure Beach and Cabin. This meant that the trams were busy and running late on service and leaving people behind on the prom.
700, 713, 718, 719, 723, 672+682, 674+684
701, 710, 712, 721, 722
626, 631, 644, 646, 647
600 returned to service during the summer
Heater fitted Brush Car 627 and Railcoach 679 are in line for a return to service during the winter due to a shortage of availiable railcoaches to operate the Saturday only Cleveleys service
713 has returned to service in an all over white livery and is now the same shape as 701, 711, 719 and 723.
717 is the next balloon car to be overhauled
641 has taken over the Orion Bingo advert carried by 648 as the latter is now being overhauled. 648 will be restored to original condition (hopefully wihout all the breakdowns)
As there has been a large number of repaints in the fleet this year, I have listed them below
Trams 626 and 711 have returned to service following their recent repaints. 701 has been seen in the paint shop being repainted yellow for an all over advert. 722 has been moved to the paint shop and is currently receiving grey primer. 762 has been out on test in an all yellow base coat following a refurbishment.
The Blackpool Trams Yahoo Group reports that balloon 722 has been in the Fitting Shop for attention recently, meaning a possible return to service (in a limited capacity). It has also been reported that Brush 625 could be in line for a return to service.
sightings 700, 702, 703, 709, 710, 715, 718, 719, 720, 721, 723, 724, 726, 672+682
driver training 622, 623
Trams 622 and 623 have been used as Driver training trams
711 and 626 are in the paint shop for a repaint. I have uploaded a photo's page photo page
Mothballed tram 623 has seen use in service due to a shortage of single deckers. I was in Blackpool on Monday and Tuesday this week. Here are my sightings.
I took some photos, these will be posted soon.
Mothballed tram 622 has been returned to service. This is because the tram is carrying a valid advert for Glyngarry Windows. It has been out on specials and is expected remain in service for the rest of the year.
Latest news update
From May till June the Starr Gate - Fleetwood is to be operated by railcoaches 678, 680, 626, 630, 631, trawler 633, and vintage trams such as 660, 147 and Fleetwood 40.
all boat cars and Sheffield 513 have been added to the reserve pool meaning a chance of some use this year.
Latest News Update
Latest News Update
Millenium Tram 707 is in the paint shop receiving a white undercoat to allow it to receive an all over advert.
Last Sunday there was 4 trams used for a shuttle service on the Foxhall / Blundell Street Tracks. The 4 trams used were 66, 147, 700 and 678.
Also cars 700, 630 and 631 have been noted out and about on the tramway, it is not known whether they were on test or driver training.
Finally OMO 10 which is located at a Conference Centre in Reading is to be scrapped. However the LTT group are going to remove any parts that can be reused on the restoration of OMO8.
Latest news update
FTS have put in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for funds to restore the Western Train to working order. Given the Historic Importance of this tram, it will be a restoration and not a rebuild.
762 is on course for a return to service at Easter with the tram now receiving most of it's exterior panelling.
Work is also progressing on 660 and 713 which should return to service soon (hopefully)
It looks like Balloon 708 has bitten the dust. It is reported that either 703 or 722 will be reinstated in its place.
The tramway is closed between Starr Gate and Tower until Easter, to allow track replacement between the Pleasure Beach and Manchester Square.
636 is set to become a test tram to test new equipment.
OMO 10 to be scrapped
The Former OMO tram which is now at a Conference Centre in Reading is to be scrapped because the company no longer has a use for it and it is to big to leave the buildng so by the end of this month, it will be no more
Withdrawn Brush Car adverts transferred.
Trams Magazine reports that 4 adverts will be transferred from withdrawn Brush Cars to Double Deckers. The following cars are expected to receive all over adverts.
721 in for a repaint
721 is curently in the paint shop for a repaint. It will be another advert but it is not known whether it is still going to be an advert for Michellins or a different company.
25 cars withdrawn
25 trams have been withdrawn due to being surplus to requirements.
These trams are