Posted by: SB Websites | October 1, 2012

01/10/12 News Update

Return of the Twin Car

The long awaited return of Twin Set 672+682 finally occurred on the 14th of September where the set was due to be launched at Pleasure Beach at 18:00. During a depot shunt a few days earlier, it was revealed that the set had been repainted into original cream livery which is something that has never been seen on the Blackpool Seafront for many of years, unless of course Heaton Park’s Railcoach 680 is counted which was repainted cream earlier this year. Unfortunately, due to a problem with the trailer car refusing to take power, the tram had to run up to Little Bispham in order to turn around and arrived at Pleasure Beach for around 18:30. To add further authenticity to the tram, the fleet number was unveiled at the launch that the tram was once again its original number of 272+T2. Since then, the twin has been a regular performer on illumination tours which will hopefully continue for the remainder of the season.

Photo Thanks to John Eyres

Rocket Receives Sponsorship

The appearance of Rocket 732 at Gynn Squre has been boosted by the addition of adverts for MPM North West on one side and FTS on the other side, which is in fact Future Technology Services rather than the Fylde Tramway Society. An illuminated astronaut has also been added which further improves the exhibit of the tram and has became a popular addition to the illuminations.

LTT Trams Leave for Storage

The Lancastrian Transport Trust’s trams have now left Rigby Road depot for temporary outdoor storage on Burton Road. Before these moves took place, the LTT issued a statement regarding the poor treatment of their trams by BTS which included some of Coronation 304’s seat cushions slashed, 632 suffering side panel damage during shunting and 715 had a cab end damaged. Although Blackpool Transport subsequently repaired the trams, it is a shame to see they have been treated with such little care after storage fees have cost the LTT £1,200 per month. The tram moves began with Brush 624 which was first taken to Brinwell road though after the tram was unable to be placed within the depot due to a larger low loader being used, a day later it was taken to be stored at Burton Road. These moves were then followed by Brush 632 on the 5th of September and Balloon 704, 715 and OMO 8 all departing on the 6th of September. The final tram to move was Coronation 304 on the 7th of September, though this tram is due to move again for a months loan at Beamish Museum to take place on the November 4/5th enhanced transport weekend. Initially it was hoped to launch the tram into service for the 6th of October, though as this move has yet to take place it seems increasingly unlikely.

Flexity 001 Receives Adverts

Flexity 001 has became the most recent tram to receive adverts, which is for the Sands venue as was previously seen on Balloon 723.  After returning to service last month, 001 has settled down into regular operation leaving just 002 to return which was recently presented by Bombardier at the InnoTrans 2012 trade fair in Berlin.

Driver Training on Historic Trams

Late September and early October has seen driver training resume on the heritage fleet which will hopefully overcome the issue of driver shortages. With the October half term traditionally the busiest time for the trams, this should ensure that enough historic trams are out to cope with demand. Presently Brush 631 and Balloon 717 are being used for training duties, with this also enabling more drivers to use the modified Balloons.

Modified Balloon Update

Although 2012 has so far being a disappointing year for the modified Balloon cars, finally some good news comes with Managing Director Trevor Roberts announcing they will be used over the October half term to cope with what is usually the busiest week in the season. Hopefully this plan goes ahead, and should seem some usage for 700, 707, 709, 713, 718 and 724 which are all fully serviceable while 720 is still awaiting repair work after suffering a smashed window during shunting. It is also possible that 719 will be used having been recently transferred to Starr Gate for repaint into new livery, while the final Balloon to be modified is 711 which has also transferred to Starr Gate though is not yet fully complete.

711 and 719 are seen in their previous identities with 719 at North Pier  and 711 at Waterloo Road on the 23rd of April 2011, both should be in the new purple and white livery by the end of the year.


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