Blackpool Trams

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TrainBoy98

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Hi, Iwas wondering whether anyone knew what trams would be running on Saturday and what heritage trams Blackpool still run? Thanks.
 
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bluegoblin7

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Impossible to say at the moment, although first choice car at the moment seems to be Brush 631(!). Will likely depend on the whether, and gen often does leak out a day or so in advance.

As for what heritage trams still run...
*Blackpool & Fleetwood 'Box' 40
*Bolton 66 (Presently out of service)
*Standard 147
*Boat 230
*Boat 600
*Brush 631
*Centenary 648
*Open-top Balloon 706 'Princess Alice'
*Balloon 717
*Illuminated Western Train 733+734
*Illuminated Frigate 736
*Illuminated Trawler 737

Twin Set 672+682 is expected to enter service in the next few months, as is Coronation 660.

Brush 631 and Centenary 648 retain their (expired) all-over adverts from last season.

HTH.
 
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A very small pool of operational heritage trams left in Blackpool. :(
Good news is, I believe, only 1 so far has been scrapped.
Bad news is too many are now gathering dust/ rust in a museum.
Heritage Tours, the concept could be very much improved, with more, and better signed pick-up points. Some could have a small ramp where a wheelchair user could board a boat tram etc.
 

bluegoblin7

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A very small pool of operational heritage trams left in Blackpool. :(
See above for the pool which I've already posted. To say again:
*Blackpool & Fleetwood 'Box' 40
*Bolton 66 (Presently out of service)
*Standard 147
*Boat 230 (604)
*Boat 600
*Brush 631 (Advert livery)
*Centenary 648 (Advert livery)
*Open-top Balloon 706 'Princess Alice'
*Balloon 717
*Illuminated Western Train 733+734
*Illuminated Frigate 736
*Illuminated Trawler 737

Good news is, I believe, only 1 so far has been scrapped.
So far, yes, this is correct, but more will undoubtably follow. Do you honestly think there is the money to restore 60+ trams to working order?!

Bad news is too many are now gathering dust/ rust in a museum.

There are actually very few in museums gathering dust or rust - many are, indeed, fairing better than they were in service:
*Crich
**Boat 236 (607) - Operational (When in Blackpool it was mothballed and unlikely to ever run again)
**Brush 630 - Operational (Full repaint and repanelling)
**Balloon 249 (712) - Static display
**Jubilee 762 - Commissioning for operation at a later date (This will be a lengthy process)

*Beamish
**Boat 233 (605) - Operational (When in Blackpool was the first Boat withdrawn)
**Sunderland 101 (Balloon 703) - Operational (Was condemned in Blackpool and doubted to ever turn another wheel)

Heaton Park
**Heaton Park 7 (Replica Vanguard 619) - Currently out of service, but fully operational (Rarely used in Blackpool)
**Brush 623 - Operational (Unrefurbished, would have been withdrawn or refurbished before long)
**Stockport 5 - Operational (Rarely used in Blackpool)

Carlton Colville
**Sheffield 513 - Operational (Rarely used in Blackpool)

Additionally, many trams are receiving work for static display, including Brush 627 and the Rocket.

Yes, many are currently stored outdoors and many are unlikely to ever operate again, but I return to my previous point.

I should also point out the success and rise of passenger numbers on the new trams. Out with the old and in with the new.

Heritage Tours, the concept could be very much improved, with more, and better signed pick-up points. Some could have a small ramp where a wheelchair user could board a boat tram etc.

Sadly, it's not that simple. The tram stops and trams used have had to have special dispensation from the DDA regulations. The pick-up points are well signed with unique tram stop 'polos' that differentiate from the core service.

Introducing ramps is also not going to happen - many of the heritage cars are thinner than the Flexities, creating clearance issues, and additionally even amongst the fleet they differ in height and width. There are also safety issues with storing wheelchairs on centre platforms, and there is definitely no space on cars such as 40, 66 or 147, or even the Illuminated fleet - although the Western Train, of course, does have a built-in lift in the Train.

Returning to the original post, you may be aware that no heritage cars ran today due to an RTC, although four widened Balloons did run replacing unavailable Flexities. No heritage trams will be running tomorrow, either, due to a track defect at the Pleasure Beach.
 

BestWestern

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You make some good points, goblin, though it is difficult not to still mourn the passing of what was a unique transport gem. That conversation has been had many times, so probably no need to cover it again, but it was a very sad passing even if there are some positives about the 'new' system (though I remain unconvinced of it's continued viability).

Anyhow, I was just curious about your comment regarding 762 being a long job; surely it can't be that bad, was it not in use up until the end?! Or are we talking paperwork rather than resto work?

As for those cars which may not be fortunate enough to make it through the preservation process, let's hope that at the very least any 'scrappers' will be acquired by those organisations with other cars to restore, so that parts may at least be donated to the common cause.
 

bluegoblin7

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You make some good points, goblin, though it is difficult not to still mourn the passing of what was a unique transport gem. That conversation has been had many times, so probably no need to cover it again, but it was a very sad passing even if there are some positives about the 'new' system (though I remain unconvinced of it's continued viability).

Anyhow, I was just curious about your comment regarding 762 being a long job; surely it can't be that bad, was it not in use up until the end?! Or are we talking paperwork rather than resto work?

As for those cars which may not be fortunate enough to make it through the preservation process, let's hope that at the very least any 'scrappers' will be acquired by those organisations with other cars to restore, so that parts may at least be donated to the common cause.

I guess I'm lucky enough to work with a number of the ex-Blackpool cars at Crich rather regularly (more so than I would ever have had chance to visit Blackpool! Indeed, I was actually 'crewing' Brush 630 all day today!) so my views on the matter are going to differ from those of others.

Regarding 762, you are quite correct in that the majority of the process is down to paperwork. It is quite different on many levels to anything else we have at the Museum, and is requiring a lot of new procedures to be put into place. A few common parts have also been 'robbed' to get the Brush and Boat into service quickly, with those from the latter cars being refurbished for use on 762. Work is also focussing on other, more pressing workshop projects, such as the completion of LUT 159 (Now done, awaiting minor tweaks), overhaul of Leeds 345 and the repainting of Paisley 68 for September's Glasgow event. 762 is, therefore, expected to be released for driver training towards the end of the year, and should be launched around the middle of next year - date to be confirmed but it will be advertised! And yes - the car is keeping its all-over advert. I can't say much more than that, though, I'm afraid.

I fully agree with your last point. Many cars destined never to run again have already sacrificed some parts to other projects, for example Crich were given the tower and pantograph from 625, which arrived with 630 last year. The groups do talk to each other quite a bit, so I'm hopeful!

HTH,

Jack
 

BestWestern

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Some more interesting stuff, keep it coming!

So, will the ad on 762 still be paid for when she re-enters service, or is it just a case of avoiding the need for a repaint? I suppose that means, sadly, that the hideous front end 'modifications' will be here to stay for some time, that is unfortunate! I'm interested to know what differences in procedure are required, I presume it's down to the one-man layout and more modern features?

Talking of front ends (or indeed rear ends I suppose!) are Crich intending eventually to re-spec 630 back to more original condition, or will the 'new' lights remain as an illustration of the gradual evolution of the streamline cars? I actually quite like the appearance it in it's current guise, it has a functional look to it that I find quite appealing without being horribly ugly; in my view anyway :)

Cheers, BW.
 

bluegoblin7

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No worries at all, my pleasure!

Regarding 762, the ad won't be paid for and is being kept for a couple of reasons. As you suggest, there is initially the need to avoid the cost of a full repaint for the car, whilst additionally it's also one of only two cars that can show the 'all-over advert' phase of British tramways - 630 being the other. A 'missing link', so to speak! As an aside, it's also been extremely popular even just statically with younger visitors and families due to the cartoon characters ('Spongebob' being the tram's 'nickname' - I don't think it'll ever lose it now even if the ad does go!). There's a number of modifications to the car that also means it can only carry an all-over advert without additional work, such as the roof advert boards and enlarged destination screens. Procedural differences mainly relate to the car's 'chopper' control gear and related electrical 'gubbins' - for example, it has no parking handbrake, and there is a lot of potential for parts of the car to develop electrical faults. One-man-operation isn't an issue - we already operate Berlin 223 006-4 OPO without wheelchairs, and others have also run like that in the past.

With 630, it's not so cut-and-dry at the moment. I'm being careful with my words as I know a little more than has been made public, so do ask if anything seems a little unclear! 630 should remain in its 'refurbished' condition, with all the associated additions including the light clusters. We have an additional Brush car, 298, which is in a semi-restored 'as built' condition to provide the contrast. Rumours suggest that the two cars may be combined at some point in the future, although I find this very unlikely - aside from the fact that many elements of the two cars are not interchangeable, the main reason for this to take place would be to replace 298's corroded underframe with the better one from 630. It would actually work out cheaper to fabricate a new one that faff around breaking up and disposing of 630s remains.

My personal view? Keep both cars as they are. They're how my generation remember the bulk of the Blackpool fleet, and they both serve purposes in the collection - either by filling gaps or showing 'development' better than other vehicles. I'm not a particular fan of the Brush cars however I do quite like 630 and its 'moderness'. Likewise 762 - the functional interior and the advert are what appeal to me, though I expect I might well be in the minority!
 

BestWestern

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Well, I would obviously hope that both Brush cars can remain intact, two is most definitely better than one, from an enthusiast's point of view at least! I can see the value in 762 retaining the ad, it's rather unfortunate it wears such an ugly face for the time being, but that can't be helped. I suppose it does again demonstrate the constant upgrading work that took place on the Blackpool fleet. I presume whoever owns the Nickelodeon channel has approved the free publicity?! :D
 

burns20

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On a side note, Lancastrian Transport Trust trading as Oakwood Travel have since starting Promenade service 12 are to start service 22 Mereside to Cleveleys on Sept 10th
 
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