Posted by: SB Websites | December 2, 2014

02/12/14 News Update

As there hasn’t been a news update for some considerable time, here is a round up of news from 2013:

LTT Trams Return Home

One of the most significant developments during 2013 was many of the LTT collection returning to Rigby Road for eventual use on the tramway. This process began on the 11th June 2013 with cars 8 and 304 loaded from their outdoor storage yards and returned to Rigby Road. Moving onto the 7th October and it was the turn for Standard 143, followed by Railcoach 279 later that day.

622 and 761 back at Rigby Road

Although not part of the retained heritage fleet, Brush 622 moved back to Rigby Road on the 7th November having had the base livery of its Tigerrific livery applied. This tram is still destined for use as a static classroom at Anchorsholme Primary School and is expected to make this move at some point during 2014. 761 is also not being retained, but has moved back for storage after the removal of trams from its storage yard. It still does not appear that the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust have moved much further forward with their plans so is likely to remain in storage for the foreseeable future.

648 Returns to Service

Equally pleasing was the return of Centenary 648 after its heritage overhaul and repaint into green and cream. This represented the first chance to ride on a Centenary car since 2011 after upgraded tramway commenced. The first day of use for 648 occurred on the 20th July when it was used alongside open top Balloon 706 ‘Princess Alice’ as part of a Fylde Tramway Society Tour.

2013 Heritage Service

The 2013 heritage service may have been operated on a reduced scale compared to the ambitious service during 2012 by only being operated on bank holiday weekends compared to every weekend and daily through holidays, although pleasingly loadings appeared to be very strong throughout the course of the 15 operating dates. Usually four trams were employed in traffic each day, being dispatched from Pleasure Beach to various destinations (usually between North Pier and Little Bispham) in contrast to the 2012 service where a 30 minute frequency timetable was operated. Three Fleetwood journeys were timetabled during the running days and proved to be very popular resulting in many duplicate journeys being operated, particularly during the August Bank Holiday weekend.  However, despite the popularity of the tours these will infact be decreased again for 2014 as will be described in the next post.

Modified Balloons in Service

Blackpool Transport made use of 2 of the elusive modified Balloons over the October half term period, albeit on a very limited basis. These specials ran for just two days, on October 26th and 27th which saw 700 and 711 in use.

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