Blackpool Transport to commence running trams Monday 19th March?

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Crimson_Quiff

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I recieved some gen today that Blackpool Transport are to commence running trams this Monday (19th March). Apparently it's 'Ghost running', I take it that means running empty/not in service?

If anyone else knows anything of this, please feel free to post/discuss etc.
 
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aformeruser

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The passenger services start on 4th April according to Blackpool Transport:

Tramway re-opens on 4th April

Posted - Thursday 15/03/2012 21:46
Updated - Thursday 15/03/2012 21:46

On completion of the £100 million upgrade to light rail status the tram service will commence on Wednesday 4 April with new low floor Bombardier trams.

Heritage tram tours will operate on Bank Hoidays, weekends (April - October) and ever day during the summer school holidays and every evening during the Illuminations.
 

WestCoast

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£10 does seem a little steep, although you do of course get a bus/tram day pass as well, which includes the Line 20 out to the zoo and Marton Mere, a popular route for tourists.

I am sure the bosses will be hoping that tour revenues will make up for any deficits incurred by the reduction in normal tram fares - the £3.50 off-bus day ticket will also be valid for the trams as well now. Previously, it was £6 for a TravelCard covering trams and buses.

I was also a bit skeptical when they made the CitySightSeeing service separate from the network last year and premium tour prices were introduced, replacing the 'normal fares and passes' that were originally charged. I don't think they are planning on changing this, however I wonder if the CitySightSeeing tour franchise service will suffer with more people choosing the tram heritage tour instead. In any case, it's BT competing with themselves again!
 

Crimson_Quiff

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The passenger services start on 4th April according to Blackpool Transport:

Tramway re-opens on 4th April

Posted - Thursday 15/03/2012 21:46
Updated - Thursday 15/03/2012 21:46

On completion of the £100 million upgrade to light rail status the tram service will commence on Wednesday 4 April with new low floor Bombardier trams.

Heritage tram tours will operate on Bank Hoidays, weekends (April - October) and ever day during the summer school holidays and every evening during the Illuminations.
Aye, that's what I read on the website ;)

I was asking a question in regards to the 'Ghost Running' in readiness for the start of the season.
 

BestWestern

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"...Once the new system opens, vintage trams will no longer legally be able to operate in conventional stage carriage service and they will therefore become a pleasure ride..."

More b*ll*cks from BT then... :roll:
 

aformeruser

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Aye, that's what I read on the website ;)

I was asking a question in regards to the 'Ghost Running' in readiness for the start of the season.
I thought if I confirmed the start date for passenger running that if any trams were spotted running prior to that then they would be 'ghost running' possibly for driving training purposes.

"...Once the new system opens, vintage trams will no longer legally be able to operate in conventional stage carriage service and they will therefore become a pleasure ride..."

More b*ll*cks from BT then... :roll:
Unless they have a contract with Bombardier saying all services will be operated by new trams except for some tourist vintage trams.

Imagine if Northern said something similar "We have introduced new trains so the British Leyland Pacers can no longer legally operate :D except for a pleasure ride. ":roll:
 

Tramfan

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Unfortunately due to the huge amount of remedial work currently being undertaken on the tramway, the expected ghost running did not materialise today. Balloons 709 and 723 apparently went to Ash Street to test the overhead line though.
 

BestWestern

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Unfortunately due to the huge amount of remedial work currently being undertaken on the tramway, the expected ghost running did not materialise today. Balloons 709 and 723 apparently went to Ash Street to test the overhead line though.
Is it just me who finds it highly ironic that after millions upon millions being spent on a fleet of EuroPlastics, it's still the proper ("heritage") cars that get used to test everything?!

What areas were in need of remedial work, sounds rather serious?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Unless they have a contract with Bombardier saying all services will be operated by new trams except for some tourist vintage trams.
Presumably any 'heritage' operation doesn't apply to the heavily modified Balloons, which are now devoid of most of their previous character and would hardly appeal to somebody wanting a ride on an 'old fashioned' tramcar? The new doors and so on will allow them to function as part of the front line fleet I presume?
 
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Tramfan

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What areas were in need of remedial work, sounds rather serious?
The whole tramway was fenced off between North Pier and Gynn Square when I walked into town the other day, this was for remedial work on the concrete between the rails which has been cracking in places. In addition, a new concrete type material is being laid over the sleepers at all tram platforms with open track. This is apparently due to fears that a passenger could fall from the platforms and become trapped underneath a tram. This has to be done at 16 of tram stops, and I think only 2 have been done so far.
 

WatcherZero

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"...Once the new system opens, vintage trams will no longer legally be able to operate in conventional stage carriage service and they will therefore become a pleasure ride..."

More b*ll*cks from BT then... :roll:
Rather they dont meet disability access requirements so are only allowed in regular passenger service if their operated in limited fashion as a heritage service. They will be operating from dedicated excursion stations rather than the normal stations which have level boarding.
 

BestWestern

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Rather they dont meet disability access requirements so are only allowed in regular passenger service if their operated in limited fashion as a heritage service. They will be operating from dedicated excursion stations rather than the normal stations which have level boarding.
But DDA hasn't come in yet, and indeed isn't due for several more years?! The suggestion that they will imminently become "illegal" is slightly rash!
 

aformeruser

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But DDA hasn't come in yet, and indeed isn't due for several more years?! The suggestion that they will imminently become "illegal" is slightly rash!
More likely to be a case of that they don't plan to buy any more new trams for the forseeable future so don't want to face criticism when DDA does kick in and they have to withdraw services operated by non-complaint vehicles.
 

WatcherZero

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But DDA hasn't come in yet, and indeed isn't due for several more years?! The suggestion that they will imminently become "illegal" is slightly rash!
There are allowances for certain classes to give them time to make modifications with the final ultimate deadline for older units 2019 (was 1999 when the deadline for new builds was) but theres no plans to convert these units so they cant recieve a stay of execution.
 
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I think it is just simply crazy for every tram taking a fare to be DDA.
So if a wheelchair cannot board, no one is allowed to enjoy a ride?
imo as long as there is a regular service taking 'DDA' passengers say every 20 minutes, old trams can run in between.
It's a bit like saying every taxi in Blackpool has to be able to take wheelchairs.
 

Crossover

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I think it is just simply crazy for every tram taking a fare to be DDA.
So if a wheelchair cannot board, no one is allowed to enjoy a ride?
imo as long as there is a regular service taking 'DDA' passengers say every 20 minutes, old trams can run in between.
It's a bit like saying every taxi in Blackpool has to be able to take wheelchairs.
To be honest, what they are doing is akin to the old Routemasters in London.

They run in a limited fashion in between DDA compliant buses, although they are integrated into the main transport network and you don't have to pay a premium to journey on one.
 

aformeruser

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I think it is just simply crazy for every tram taking a fare to be DDA.
So if a wheelchair cannot board, no one is allowed to enjoy a ride?
imo as long as there is a regular service taking 'DDA' passengers say every 20 minutes, old trams can run in between.
It's a bit like saying every taxi in Blackpool has to be able to take wheelchairs.
DDA is not simply about taking wheelchair passengers it's about taking passengers with all disabilities.

Commercial websites have to be DDA complaint. This is mainly for people who have visual or reading difficulties as being in a wheelchair is hardly a hindrance for sitting at a computer.

You're idea of 'at least one DDA complaint service every 20 minutes' might sound good but if those rules applied to trams they'd have to apply to buses as well. Then you might have First Bus running buses every 20 minutes using DDA complaint buses and a smaller operator running services in-between using non-complaint vehicles. If the route runs from 06:30-19:30 but then First Bus decides to change their operation hours to 07:30-18:30 then the smaller company would have to withdraw some of their morning and evening services simply because there isn't a complaint vehicle soon enough afterwards.
 

WestCoast

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They run in a limited fashion in between DDA compliant buses, although they are integrated into the main transport network and you don't have to pay a premium to journey on one.
Oh, the premium fare for the heritage tram services is definitely a strategic decision.
 

jopsuk

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seems to be a lot of comments on that story about there being more general problems with sand from the beach- can certainly see a hell of a lot on the road in the photo
 

WatcherZero

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A low hedge or other wind break to stop strong winds blowing the sand on the rails. The line 'we had staff with dustpan and brushes but the wind was blowing onto the track faster than we could clear it' sounds alarming. However they have been operating an seaside railway for 125 years, they know the problems that can occur.
 
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