Blackpool Trams

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BestWestern

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711 and 719 are in purple and white as well...
It's particualrly unfortunate with 700 though, as she had been restored into full heritage condition complete with many original features put back. Conversely 717, which now is the 'heritage' Balloon, has LED lights, extended underskirts and so on, and would have been a far better and more obvious choice for 'wide door' conversion. Instead, the tramway has essentially lost one of its most significant heritage assets. Sad, and frankly rather bizarre.
 

43167

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Keighley
It's particualrly unfortunate with 700 though, as she had been restored into full heritage condition complete with many original features put back. Conversely 717, which now is the 'heritage' Balloon, has LED lights, extended underskirts and so on, and would have been a far better and more obvious choice for 'wide door' conversion. Instead, the tramway has essentially lost one of its most significant heritage assets. Sad, and frankly rather bizarre.
Apart from the doors and the livery, 700 is still very much in heritage condition.
 

BestWestern

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Apart from the doors and the livery, 700 is still very much in heritage condition.
It's largely irrelevant, though! Although if would be nice to think it might be put back as it was someday. I wonder if it's plausible, or if the door conversion has taken big chunks of the framing out.
 

bluegoblin7

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JB
Time and money permitting - and permission from the DfT's forthcoming - the modifications to 700 are easily reversible.

There's a few more changes than just paint and doors (it's lost swinger seats and also has audiovisual information inside) but 700 was never as 'original' as many claimed. 717 is a much more accurate refurbishment, and the skirts are easily removable if time and money is available. The halogen (Not LED) headlights were a requirement of the tramway at the time.
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
Does anybody know if:
A, the plans for the extention to North station and the related redevelopment of the concourse and adjasent wilkinsons building has got the final rubber stamp and
B, if so if any work will be done on this during tje NR blockade in the winter?
 

snowball

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Does anybody know if:
A, the plans for the extention to North station and the related redevelopment of the concourse and adjasent wilkinsons building has got the final rubber stamp and
B, if so if any work will be done on this during tje NR blockade in the winter?
On the first half of A, I think ministerial approval is still awaited for the Transport and Works Order. There seems to be quite a queue of them waiting to be decided.
 
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They are still awaiting the go ahead for the TWO. It should have been given the go by the end of May, but I guess we are awaiting until after 8th June.

The planning application for the changes to Wikko's site is in Neighbour Consultation until 1st June.

Some early preliminary work is currently going ahead and if things go to plan work on the extension will start in earnest at the end of the 2018 season.
 
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Blackpool is quite lucky in as much as they do have a defined start/end of season. Thanks for the replies
You may think that but Blackpool's non-season is a lot shorter than you think. After the lights go out in early November, it's pretty quiet until the lead up to Christmas but gets pretty busy over Christmas and New Year, then you have pigeon weekend in January which is packed and normally a week or so later the Pleasure Beach is back open and weekends start getting busier and busier.
 

Tramfan

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The old fleet have been replaced on mainstream timetabled services by modern articulated single deckers, but the old fleet still run on heritage tours very regularly throughout the main season.

On bank holidays there are often 6, somtimes 7, heritage trams out, so more chance of double deckers out then.
 
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Does anyone know the arrangements for crewing the heritage fleet on the Blackpool Tramway?

1) Are some of the drivers & conductors who operate Flexitys year-round on the main line also qualified to operate the heritage fleet in summer? Do crews work a regular mix of "old" and "new", or is there a separate roster who drive heritage trams only?

2) Is driving the heritage fleet maybe a "seniority" thing? i.e. after you've been driving the modern, work-a-day Fleetwood route for two, three (or whatever) years, you get a crack at training on the Balloons, Boats, Western Train etc.

3) With modern operating regulations, do drivers need to "sign" each type of heritage tram individually? Or is training requirement less demanding on trams than trains (more in line with bus driving?)

Given Blackpool's heritage fleet is still reasonably varied, it runs for a long-ish season (including autumn Illuminations, with some busy peak and gala days thrown in) and the drivers and conductors need to be employed on a commercial basis, not as museum volunteers, are there any challenges in maintaining adequate numbers of trained staff for heritage operations?
 
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Does anyone know the arrangements for crewing the heritage fleet on the Blackpool Tramway?

1) Are some of the drivers & conductors who operate Flexitys year-round on the main line also qualified to operate the heritage fleet in summer? Do crews work a regular mix of "old" and "new", or is there a separate roster who drive heritage trams only?

2) Is driving the heritage fleet maybe a "seniority" thing? i.e. after you've been driving the modern, work-a-day Fleetwood route for two, three (or whatever) years, you get a crack at training on the Balloons, Boats, Western Train etc.

3) With modern operating regulations, do drivers need to "sign" each type of heritage tram individually? Or is training requirement less demanding on trams than trains (more in line with bus driving?)

Given Blackpool's heritage fleet is still reasonably varied, it runs for a long-ish season (including autumn Illuminations, with some busy peak and gala days thrown in) and the drivers and conductors need to be employed on a commercial basis, not as museum volunteers, are there any challenges in maintaining adequate numbers of trained staff for heritage operations?
Some of the Flexity drivers are passed on the heritage fleet, but not a lot. It is mainly the ones that pre-date the conversion, but some newer ones have been trained up. The same applies to conductors. In daily service the heritage fleet are mainly crewed by volunteers not employees. they are all completely safety trained, before anyone gets bolshie about that, but they are unpaid volunteers. Without that I very much doubt they could run the service they do. The drivers sign the heritage fleet, however they are not allowed to drive all trams immediately. Some of the much older ones, for instance Fleetwood Box 40, they have to take out for a run separately.
 

HA25322

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The Moon
Just spent a couple of days in Blackpool. It was a tad windy. I have tried to upload a couple of photos but they are too large and therefore it will not let me. On Monday evening, the steam train and trailer was the illumination special and on Tuesday it was the Trawler. Good couple of days. Would be so much better if I could have got there in the summer for the heritage but hay ho. I have also tried to find the miles and chains for the tramway but it just comes up on this website as img many times but nothing else. Can anyone help me please?
 

Peter Mugridge

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Their PR department has a route map with the full distances on it; it's given out to those who hire trams so it's almost certainly also available on request. It's just a bit of A4 paper really.
 

HA25322

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Unfortunately they do not have this information. I have contacted them today and this is what they have come back with.
"Many thanks for your enquiry which has been forwarded for my attention. All private hires are handled by my department. Regrettably we don’t hold this information. The entire tramway is 11.2 miles from end to end. Distances between stops has never been relevant or requested by anyone hiring our trams."
So can anyone help on the upgraded tramway with distances please?
Regards.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Epsom
Unfortunately they do not have this information. I have contacted them today and this is what they have come back with.
"Many thanks for your enquiry which has been forwarded for my attention. All private hires are handled by my department. Regrettably we don’t hold this information. The entire tramway is 11.2 miles from end to end. Distances between stops has never been relevant or requested by anyone hiring our trams."
Regards.
Well, that's a surprise because I certainly got such a sheet without even having to ask for it when I hired Bolton 66 in August 2016...
 

Sankey Wire

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I’m thinking of heading up to Blackpool on Friday and getting the tram to Fleetwood, for lunch in the timeless Ferry Cafe. How likely is it that the Balloon cars will be in operation? Thanks.
 

bluegoblin7

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I’m thinking of heading up to Blackpool on Friday and getting the tram to Fleetwood, for lunch in the timeless Ferry Cafe. How likely is it that the Balloon cars will be in operation? Thanks.
Practically zero, I'm afraid. There's no daytime heritage service in operation, with just the Illuminations tours in the evening. Even if there was a heritage service in operation, it doesn't run past Cabin on 'ordinary' days.

The evening Illuminations tours will be running from around 1845 (switch on) through to roughly 2200. The first three cars will be the Illuminated fleet - Western Train, Frigate and Trawler - and on Friday there are occasionally additional cars running, but this depends on demand, crew availability and the weather! This is the most likely chance of there being a Balloon out, if it does happen. The tours operate as a round trip from the Pleasure Beach to Little Bispham, setting down only on the way back.
 

Chrism20

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Heritage trams are operating daily during the day again at the moment due to half term but only between Pleasure Beach and North Pier with the exception of two services which extend to the cabin.

@BplHeritageTram on twitter normally tells you what’s running each day as well.
 

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