News 2008


717 operated on the LTT tour on Saturday. Other than this there is very little to report. The service is currently being operated by centenary and jubilee cars. There have been no reports of any brush cars or balloon / millenium cars deputising on the service, there is no additional Cleveleys service or specials operating until at least Easter 09 there isnt even any reports of repaints (however if you know different please let me know by email at


679 Farewell

679's farewell tour (in it's current guise) took place yesterday. Unfortunately I couldnt make it but I'm looking forward to its launch in original guise (as series 2 railcoach 279) in 2010. Both 679 and 304 operated between Tower and Thornton Gate for much of the day before 679 operated a full system tour. 304 was supposed to join 679 on this final tour but broke down near Bispham on the last run.


Summer season over - winter season begins

Yet another summer season is over for the tramway. The final week saw use from a number of reserve trams with 702, 626, 304, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684 and 675+685 finally making it into service. 671+681 was the only tram in the operational fleet not to see any use at all this year.

The winter service has now started with the basic 20 minute end to end service in operation (30 minutes in the evening) using 7 trams and in a change from usual, 5 trams at night. It is expected that the Centenary Trams will dominate with use also expected from the Jubilee cars too. If as usual a number of breakdowns occur with the Centenary and Jubilee cars, Brush Cars 626, 630 and 631 will be the most likely candidates to run in service.

This season has been good in some respects and bad in others, firstly the good points

  • the return to service of the beautifully restored 717
  • the return to service of replica vanguard 619
  • excellent liveries on 711, 713, 715, 717, 718 and 723
  • further progress to the Western Train
  • the preservation of 679 and 752
  • the removal of 647's pink livery!!!!!!
  • took even more good photos

    There was also a downside as well

  • trams starting later
  • less trams used in service (especially during the summer)
  • the demise of 710
  • 761's new advert!!!!!!!!


    Railcoach 679 to be restored.

    The LTT website has reported some excellent news. They have secured ex towing railcoach 679 for restoration back to its original guise of a series 2 railcoach with pointed ends and roof windows. 679 was one of the many railcoaches which were withdrawn in 2004 although 679 remains in excellent condition and is still in operational condition. The fact that 679 is still in good condition will mean that not as much work will have to be carried out on the tram as a tram such as 678 would need (although more of 678's interior appears to be original) It has also been reported that a farewell tour to 679 in it's current guise will operate at some point during November, with work starting in December. The tram is expected to be ready for the 125th anniversary celebrations in 2010.


    New advert vynals fitted to 641.

    641 has been fitted with brand new advert for Orion bingo. The advert is in dark blue and is similar in style to the orange advert previously carried by both 641 and 648. The new advert replaces the colourful advert for the same advertiser which was becoming increasingly tatty. This move should see 641 return to regular service having been the least used of the 6 advert liveried centenary cars in recent months.


    Report from the weekend now online, it can be found here

    Selection of photos can be found here


    A weekend in Blackpool

    Ive just returned from a long weekend in Blackpool (all sun burned and with more colour than I got on my holiday in Portugal during the summer!!!!!). Photos are currently being uploaded to Fotopic. A full report on an excellent weekend will follow in the next couple of days. Photo's include

  • 761 in Wynsors shoes livery (its bright orange and impossible to miss)
  • 600 following its recent repaint
  • 605 now fitted with FTS roundels
  • 717 in its excellent heritage refit (now complete with pantograph)
  • 718 in line 3 livery
  • 680 with warning stripes
  • 619 (my first ever photos of this tram)
  • 660 (some photos of this tram also for the first time)


    Another Balloon bites the dust

    Its official, balloon 710 has been withdrawn. 710, which was the first double decker tram to receive Metro livery in 2004, became famous in 1989 for 'knocking down and killing' Coronation Street baddie Alan Bradley, was originally placed in the reserve pool for the early season and then the main pool for the summer season. The Metro Line 7 liveried tram was due to receive a T-side advert as per the other Metro Liveried double deckers. However it has been reported that when the car was being prepared for service, a number of faults came to light including wheel faults and also replacement floors were needed in at least one of the saloons. It was decided with the reduction in the number of trams required and the probability that the tram will not see further use after 2012 that the tram would be withdrawn. 724 was stepped up from the reserve pool into the main pool earlier than planned to replace 710. 702 remains in the reserve pool for the time being having seen use in service on one day so far this year.

    Photo update on the way

    Im off to Blackpool from Friday - Monday 26th - 29th, so look out for some more photos from the weekend.


    Railgrinder to be preserved.

    Works tram Railgrinder 752 is to be preserved at the Heaton Park tramway in Manchester. This move will see the tram being restored back to original condition and see some use following its lack of use over recent years in Blackpool.

    Operational fleet revised

    Following a really poor summer for the tramway, the operational fleets have been revised once again to take into account that less trams than ever are now needed. The free / reduced price travel for pensioners on the buses is really hitting the tramway hard with few / no specials seeing use on most days. The main / reserve pools are now as follows

  • main - 66, 147, 600, 602, 605, 619, 622, 630, 631, 641, 643, 644, 645, 646, 648, 680, 700, 701, 703, 706, 707, 709, 710, 711, 712, 713, 715, 717, 718, 719, 721, 723, 726, 761, 762, 736, 737

  • reserve - 40, 304, 660, 604, 623, 626, 642, 647, 702, 724, 671+681, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684, 675+685

    Of the reserve fleet, at least 623, 660, 642 702 and 724 have seen some use recently. 710 remains the only balloon in the operational fleet yet to see some use. 619 has been used quite frequently since its return to service at the start of the illuminations.


    718 and Vanguard 619 return to service

    Blackpool transport newsgroup report that Millennuim Car 718 has now returned to service in Line 3 Blue and Yellow Metro livery. it has now returned to the main operating pool.

    In a surprise move, Vanguard 619, which has not ran in service since 2004 is being prepared for a shock return to service as a feature car during the illuminations. The former OMO car no 7's return was certainly unexpected but will make welcome addition to the fleet.


    Weekend report.
    The new 15 minute saturday time table was in operation with 8 trams on fleetwood and 6 on Cleveleys giving a 7 minute headway on the prom. Saturdays dont have the changeover of trams in the evening so it was a fully refurbished set on Fleetwoods and unrefurbished on Cleveleys. 4 cars appeared on specials in the afternoon.

    Fleetwood - 700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 719, 723, 724
    Cleveleys - 701, 703, 712, 715, 721, 726
    Specials - 643, 644, 648, 66

    Onto tram Sunday and the service began to have a familiar feel i.e. the 14 deckers from the previous day were to feature heavily at some point on each day I was here. 630 operated on specials in the prom, whilst the procession to Fleetwood contained 717 on it's debut (an absolutely stunning tram which is a credit to all who have worked on her), 706, 736 (HMS Blackpool on an exceptionally rare journey in daylight), 737, 600 and 700. 736 and 737 were on Display at Fishermans walk whilst 66, 147, 660, 600 700, 706 and 717 operated on a special service between the event and North Pier, 660 broke down early on and was replaced by 602 (660 managing to avoid my camera yet again!!!) 66 and 717 also had to get fitters attention during the day. 717 and 706 managed to remain out quite late on specials whilst 700 found its way on to Fleetwood service in place of 721 later on at night. 707 was also a late evening replacement for 703.

    In service - 701, 703 ,707, 712, 715, 721, 726, 719, 709, 711, 723, 724, 713, 630, 66, 147, 660, 600, 602, 700, 706, 717

    Into Monday and no specials operated only the basic service of 11 cars plus 737 on driver training were out nothing spectacular happened and no break downs either. In service - 700, 701, 703, 707, 709, 711, 712, 713, 715, 719, 721, 723, 726.

    So to the last day of my report and with it being a market Tuesday I was hopeful of a few specials, but none were forthcoming, 724 broke down and blew the section breakers somewhere north of Cabin and had to be towed back leaving the service in disarray for the rest of the morning, good news in that twin sets 673+683 and 675+685 operated on 2 of the extra Tuesday routes breaking up the monotony of the same deckers being out constantly. 675+685 oddly enough appeared to work on Cleveleys to Pleasure Beach journeys for the entire morning. There were no specials and the timetable was in tatters with 711, 713, 715, 673+683 and 707 all arriving at north pier within 5 minutes of each other when they should have been 10 minutes apart. Then of course there was a huge gap in trams, and by that point it was time for me to head home as Im off on my other holidays on Thursday. In service - 700, 701, 703, 707, 711, 712, 713, 715, 719, 721, 723, 724, 726, 673+683, 675+685

    Other News

  • 717 returned to service on Sunday with a trolley pole, this is due to be swapped for a pantograph next week allowing the tram to operate on the main service.
  • 761 is receiving an advert for Wynsors World of Shoes which has recently opened and is located on the corner of Hopton Road, the tram is currently orange
  • 718 is being repainted into a new Metro livery reported to be Line 3 blue and yellow although from photos I have seen, the shade of blue used on the roof looks more like the colour used on 715's new livery.
  • The decline in the use of trams appears to me to be more apparent than ever with no specials seen at all on Monday and Tuesday and also only 4 specials used on the Saturday, this shows that the free / discounted bus travel for pensioners is killing the tramway as the would be tram passengers now use the bus instead as they have to pay to use the tram and the bus fares are cheaper for everyone. Even the basic tram service was loaded lightly on the Monday where as the Tuesday could easily have done with some extras, even if they were single deckers.
  • Check out the photos from the weekend on my fotopics site.


    Ive just returned from Blackpool and my photos should appear on the fotopics site (Im just uploading them just now), a report on the weekend will follow soon, photo highlights include 717's return to service and 715's new livery.


    737 returns to service

    After a period of use as a driver training car, illuminated trawler 737 (old 633) has been used on both the Fleetwood and Cleveleys services recently. Its use on the Cleveleys Service is a strange choice as it means that a number of the journeys are operated with all passegers facing backwards.

    Tram Sunday this weekend

    Just a reminder that Tram Sunday takes place in Fleetwood this Sunday between Ash St and the Ferry there is lots to see and do with vintage cars and buses, fairground rides, stalls and much much more, also there will be the vintage tram service from North Pier to Ash St. Im heading to Blackpool today until Tuesday and hope to see a number of trams in service including the illusive 660 also 715 in its new livery and 717 following its restoration could it make its long awaited return to service or be a static exhibit? Will there be the chance for a 710 / 713 shot (old / new line 7 metro livery)? Time will tell. If your going I hope you enjoy the day.

    I will add my photos from the weekend and any news from the weekend on either Tuesday night or on Wednesday. Keep watching for updates. PS I have a new memory card for my camera which allows for even more photos to be taken!!!!!


    News Roundup

    600 returns to service

    600 has returned to service following its repaint and has also been renamed Duchess of Cornwall. 703 has returned to service following a few months use as a Driver training tram, 703 along with 711, 712 and 713 have received T side adverts. 715 has also returned to service in its new Line 16 livery.

    The peak summertime service will be starting in the next couple of weeks and will mean that the service will be fully operated by double decker trams / twin cars. On Saturdays the service will be every 15 minutes Starr Gate - Fleetwood and 15 minutes Pleasure Beach - Cleveleys as per last year.

    717 should hopefully be ready for launching at Tram Sunday. To date all servicable deckers bar 702, 710 and 717 have operated this year. 626 and 718 have been mothballed temporarily pending repaints.


    News round up

  • 600 is currently receiving a repaint.

    Boat 600 is currently in the paintshop for a repaint where it will retain its current livery of 30's Green and Cream.

  • 715 returns to service

    Balloon 715 has returned to service with its new livery of line 16 Light Blue and Yellow Metro livery.

  • Work has recommenced with 720's rebuild

    Work has started on the rebuild of Balloon 720. 720 has been out of service since September 2006 following its withdrawal and subsequent stripping for overhaul. 720 has now received a new underframe and new trucks and wheels. 720 will be overhauled as per 713 although I think that all rebuilds from now on in should be heritage overhauls. The tram is expected to return to service in 2009/10.

    It has also been confirmed that 708 will be the next Balloon to be overhauled. 708 has been out of service since January 2005. It had initially received a reprieve from the Mass Mothballing of November 2004, however it was swapped with 703 which was thought to be in far better condition and was returned to service in it's place. 708 continues to see use as a snowplough car during the winter, however its use in this guise has been extremely limited. 708 has even been mooted for a return to service in its current condition. 708 is one of only 3 unrefurbished balloons to have fixed upper deck seating (702 and 722 are the others). 704 (stripped interior and roof problems), 716(in need of overhaul/ new underframe also used as a store) and 722 (accident damaged) remain stored.


    713 and 724 fitted with GPS / radios

    Balloon 713 and Millenium 724 appear to have been fitted with Global Positioning Software and Cab radios, this will allow the location of these trams to be tracked also for drivers to radio in for assistance. It could be that other trams have also been fitted with this equipment or will be fitted in the future. 713 has had a small white dome fitted to the roof at one end similar and looks similar to what was fitted to the driving trailers on the ECML National Express sets. Both cabs have small radios fitted on the left hand side of the cabs as well as microphones on the left hand side of the cab also. If you look at this picture of 713, you will see the small white dome fitted on the roof at the front of the tram.


    Line reopen to Starr Gate and New Timetable starts

    the line has reopened to Starr Gate following the replacement of some rails on the Starr Gate loop.

    The new timetable has started with the Cleveleys Service now operating into the evening giving a 10 minute headway along the prom at night. It is thought that the changeover of trams will occur between the Cleveleys and Fleetwood service as per last year. My weekend report is now online, it can be viewed here. Dont forget to view my photos

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    Tramway closed between Harrowside and Starr Gate

    The tramway is closed for the next 2 weeks between Harrowside and Starr Gate to allow for the replacement of some rails on the Starr Gate loop. Trams are currently terminating at Harrowside crossover (approximately 1/2 way between Starr Gate and Pleasure Beach).

    I will be in Blackpool from 23rd - 26th May, look out for some news from the weekend and more photos on my fotopic site on 26th May.


    Trams to return to Fleetwood

    The official Blackpool Transport website reports that Trams will make their long awaited return to the line north of the Cabin from 26th April having been confined to the Starr Gate - Cabin since the tams restarted in March. A 20 minute service will operate from Starr Gate - Fleetwood using 7 trams (expected to be centenary cars, if they dont break down that is!!!) Meanwhile the 20 minute intermediate service starts from Starr Gate once more, this service from Starr Gate - Cleveleys will return using 5 trams (expected to be Brush Cars / railcoaches during the week and deckers at the weekend). Specials will also run when required. This service will run until the end of May when the Peak summer service will start.


    I spent the day in Blackpool today. The service is still in operation between Cabin and Starr Gate only. The cars in service were 707, 709 (646), 713, 718, 719 and 724. 641 and 645 were on specials. By mid afternoon, the service was in chaos with 718 and 724 following each other practically nose to tail up and down the prom creating a large gap in the service. At about 3.30, 709 broke down at South Pier and a queue of trams built up with 645, 713, 718, 724 and 641 stuck behind it. A temporary repair was made on 709 and it made its way back to depot, 645 ran to Cabin, 713 and 718 ran to North Pier and 724 and 641 ran to Cabin within 5 minutes of each other. 646 came out and took over from 709 and ran in service with 2 conductors, (surely another decker could have been found especially with 700, 701, 702, 703, 710, 711, 712, 721, 723, 726, 761 and 762 sitting in the sheds).

    713 looks magnificent in its new livery of Line 7 Purple and Yellow, (far better than the plain white livery of last year).

    Below are the links to my photos taken today.


    754 in depot


    641 near central pier


    645 near central pier


    709 at south pier
    709 (2)


    718 at Cabin 1
    718 at Cabin 2
    718 at Cabin 3
    718 at Cabin 4


    724 near tower


    717 in depot


    713 1
    713 2
    713 3
    713 4
    713 5
    713 6
    713 7


    719 1
    719 2
    719 3


    News Roundup

    Norbeck Crossover lifted

    The Norbeck Crossover has been lifted and replaced with plain track, also the Little Bispham Loop has had its track removed in preparation for the track being renewed here. Hopefully the trackwork north of Cabin is almost complete and the full service will be reinstated soon (hopefully before next Saturday as Im hoping to spend the day in Blackpool).

    713 returns to service

    713 has returned to service following completion of its repaint into Line 7 Purple and yellow Metro livery, it has been operating on the main service over the past couple of days.

    647 repaint

    647 is in for a repaint into all over yellow metro livery as its current livery for Tiffany's hotel has now expired. The completion of this repaint will probably see the tram return to service as there appears to be a shortage of Centenary cars for service as all 5 servicable Brush Cars have seen use on the Starr Gate - Cabin at some point recently. 623 saw use on Easter Monday, 630 saw use last Thursday, 622 replaced 641 and 630 also saw use last Friday. On Wednesday 626, 630 and 631 all saw use on Wednesday.


    Ive attached a list of the new pictures added from yesterdays visit. Included are new photos of 711's new advert, 723's new advert, 622, 680 which is in plain blue livery, 642 and 644.

    Looking at the picture of 622 shown here it looks as if it is drooping at one end, also look at the cab nearest the photo, it looks as if the cab is lower down nearest the camera than the other side of the cab.


    711 pic 1
    711 pic 2
    711 pic 3


    723 pic 1
    723 pic 2


    622 pic 1
    622 pic 2


    626 pic 1
    626 pic 2


    680 pic 1


    642 pic 1


    644 pic 1
    644 pic 2


    I had another short visit to Blackpool today and again the 10 minute Starr Gate - Cabin service was in operation. Todays output was 622, 630, 643, 644 (642), 645 and 646. 723 and 626 were out on driver training. 680 was in depot in all over blue with its vynals removed. It was shunting 648 back into the depot. 711 was out on the depot fan so I got some photos of it. There must have been a shortage of Centenary cars as 641 was supposedly replaced by 622 during the morning and 644 was swapped over for 642. There was no sign of 647 anywhere and 648 appeared to be getting towed back from one of the fitting shops


    I had a short visit to Blackpool today. A 10 minute Starr Gate - Cabin service was still in operation with 5 Centenaries and 1 Brush Car in service.

    Trams in service were 630, 641, 642, 643, 645 and 646. All cars were crew operated. It is not known whether 630 was deputising due to a shortage of centenary cars or if a Brush Car is actually allocated to the service. 711 and 723 were both out on driver training duties however 711 returned to depot early and just as I pressed the button on the camera to photograph the tram, somebody walked out in front of my camera when 711 was passing me at North Pier meaning I only got one photo of the tram from a distance. 723 was coming out of the depot when I got there and headed on to the prom and turned at Foxhall and headed south. I would have got more photos but had to go for the train home. (Just my luck the train was over 1 hour late from Preston back to Scotland and I could have hung about a wee bit longer to get some more photos!!!)

    I did get some photos of 717 which is prominent in the depot but still without the curved upper deck windows, curved cab windows and trolly pole. It looks amazing and I cannot wait to see the tram on the prom. I have attached links to my photos from today below.

    Good news, I finally managed to get some photos of 641, however, the advert is a mess, there is parts of the vynals which have peeled off and are missing from various points on the tram and there is alot of orange from the previous advert showing at various points on the tram. See the evidence here


    630 Pic 1
    630 Pic 2
    630 Pic 3
    630 Pic 4
    630 Pic 5
    630 Pic 6


    711 Pic 1


    717 Pic 1
    717 Pic 2
    717 Pic 3
    717 Pic 4


    723 Pic 1
    723 Pic 2
    723 Pic 3


    641 Pic 1
    641 Pic 2
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    642 Pic 1
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    643 Pic 1
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    645 Pic 1
    645 Pic 2
    645 Pic 3


    646 Pic 1
    646 Pic 2


    754 Pic 1


    Tram Gen reports that 700, 707, 709, 719, 723 and 724 are out in service today.

    Unfortunately Ive had to cancel my visit to Blackpool today, it has been snowing where I stay overnight and its bitterly cold, however I have a few other visits planned during the year.

    Thinking about what I said yesterday about the trams which are quite elusive when looking to get a photograph of them, does anyone else find this as well?

    I find that when Im trying to get a photo of a certain tram, I never see it for a few visits in a row and then after that it out everytime Im there. An example of this is when 713 came back into service, I tried for a while to get a photograph of this tram and never had any luck at all following its return during 2005 and then suddenly from every visit from 2006 onwards, it has been in service practically every day!!!

    Ive included my list of elusive trams that never seem to appear when Im looking for a photo.

  • 660 (One of only 2 cars in the current active fleet which Ive never managed to photograph)
  • 513 (The other car which Ive never managed to photograph)
  • 761 (in hiding since 2006!!!!)
  • 641 (in hiding since 2006!!!!)

    cars which are always out when Im there

  • 700 (following me around since 2005)
  • 701 (following me around since 2005)
  • 707 (following me around since 2005)
  • 709 (following me around since 2005)
  • 710 (following me around since 2005)
  • 711 (following me around since 1998)
  • 713 (following me around since 2005)
  • 718 (following me around since 2005)
  • 722 (following me around since 2005)
  • 723 (following me around since 2005)
  • 724 (following me around since 2005)

  • 645 (following me around since 2005)
  • 647 (following me around in that horrible pink colour since 2004)


    Tram Service finally returns

    After 5 long months of no tram service, the trams have finally returned to the prom this morning. At the moment they are only operating between Starr Gate and Cabin with 6 trams operating on a 10 minute headway as work is still continuing north of Cabin, but hopefully it shouldnt be too long before a journey to Fleetwood can once more be enjoyed.

    Tram Gen are reporting that the service is currently consisting of 700, 707, 709, 718, 723 and 724. 723 was the first tram out this morning. As also stated last week the supposed tram pools were not worth bothering with as they wouldnt last, well they havent even lasted one hour as 718 and 724 which werent even supposed to be in service until the summer at least are both on the main service this morning!!!!!

    A number of specials have seen use today also, not surprisingly it has been a day for heater fitted cars given the weather which, has unfortunately limited the choice of cars availiable. 630, 641, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647 (another car not due in service till the summer according to the supposed tram pools), 648 and 762 all seeing use in service on specials during the day. 711 has also seen its first use in service this year replacing 723 in service during the early evening.

    Weather permitting, I am hoping to visit Blackpool tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours to get some photos. Im hoping that 623, 630, 709, 717, 723 and 711 are out in service. Also I hope that 761 and 641 as I have been trying to photograph these 2 cars in their current livery since 2006 (although I did get 1 photo of 641 but have had no luck in getting any more since then)


    Trams finally return to the prom

    The first tram has run on the prom since the end of the illuminations with 626, 641, 646 and 648 testing the track and overhead alignment between Starr Gate and North Pier including new cross over at Foxhall and the new Pleasure Beach loops. The brand new Crossover at Cabin is also currently receiving a new cross over wire. This will also happen at Bispham when allowed. One of the online Blackpool newspapers reports that the line will only be open between Cabin and Starr Gate at Easter although round the clock working is currently taking place to allow the trackwork to be completed and there is still a possibility for the trams to be running to Fleetwood by Good Friday. As yet a timetable has not been released to allow time for the trackwork to be completed.



    710 has not been withdrawn. Various sources had reported that it had been earlier in the year and this has been confirmed as not being the case. Sorry for any inconvience this error may have caused.

    A number of repaints will take place during 2008. This will make the tramway a colourful place with a number of repaints taking place. As reported earlier, plain all over white trams will become a thing of the past this year. Repaints confirmed (some already completed) include

  • 711 - Line 14 Green and Yellow Metro Livery (as per 636)
  • 713 - Line 7 Purple and Yellow Metro Livery (as per 710)
  • 715 - Line 3 Blue and Yellow Metro Livery
  • 717 - 1930's Green and Cream
  • 718 - Line 16 Light Blue and Yellow Metro Livery
  • 723 - 1980's Green and Cream
  • 680 - Revised advert for North Pier More repaints could be on the way as it is reported that 647, 626 and 761 are now carrying expired adverts (finally a chance to get rid of that disgusting pink colour on 647!!!!)

    Im now really looking forward to my next visit to Blackpool to see the new liveries. 715 and 718 will be carrying metro liveries not yet seen on a tram, 717 will be the star attraction this year like 623 was last year, I think this year, there will be a clamour to photograph 717 and 706 or 600 together.

    The fleet has been confirmed (as expected really) to be the same trams except for 717 replacing 722 in the operational fleet. Again the fleet is split into three pools. Last year the pools didnt last too long as many tram which were placed in the summer pool, appearing at Easter and trams which werent expected till October appeared in June!!!! thus they werent really worth paying too much notice to and this year will probably be the same.

    This year there will be in service

  • 8 centenary cars (641-648)
  • 2 Jubilee cars (761-762)
  • 4 Millenium Trams (707, 709, 718, 724)
  • 8 refurbished balloons (700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 717, 719, 723)
  • 8 un refurbished balloons (701, 702, 703, 710, 712, 715, 721, 726)
  • 3 refurbished brush cars (626, 630, 631)
  • 2 unrefurbished brush cars (622, 623)
  • 1 railcoach (680)
  • 5 twin cars (671+681 - 675+685)
  • 4 boat cars (600, 602, 604, 605)
  • 1 open topped balloon (706)
  • 2 coronation trams (304, 660)
  • 5 preserved cars (5, 40, 66, 147, 513)



    It's only 3 weeks to go to Easter and the reopening of the tramway following the major trackworks taking place this winter. Rapid Progress appears to have been made in the past few weeks, the track is now in place at the Pleasure Beach and the top cover is almost complete at this area. New track has also been laid between Manchester Square and Central Pier including a new layout at Foxhall. Two crossovers and access to Blundell Street from both North and South has been installed, this track is still to receive it's top cover. The track has been laid between Gynn Square and Cabin with a new crossover placed further north than the old one. The track between Cabin and Norbeck is still being replaced. At Little Bispham the track on the main line is complete with the loop still to be replaced. Various sources report that the line is supposed to be handed back to Blackpool Transport on 17th March to allow for Driver Training / Route Familiarisation to take place prior to reopening on Good Friday.

    Fleet Update

    Blackpool Transport Yahoo Group report that 717 is essentially complete having received its 30's Green and Cream livery, the only things needed to complete the job are the curved upper deck end windows and curved windows for the driver cab doors, hopefully it should be ready for launch on Good Friday. Also reported is that 723 is currently receiving 80's green and cream livery as part of an advertising scheme??? , 713 is to receive Line 7 Metro Livery, this surely indicates that 710 has been withdrawn as reported by various sources earlier this year. 715 has still expected to receive an all over advert / metro livery. I would like to see a tram receive Line 6 Metro Livery, but I'm biased as Line 6 colours, (Maroon and Yellow) are very similar to the Colours of the Football team I support!!!!!!! There appears to have been a shift in policy with regards to repaints with no trams being repainted in all over white or all over yellow (unless they have an all over advert) as many trams were unsightly with pantograph grease stains down the body sides.

    As yet, no timetables or a list of availiable trams have been released for this year, however I expect that it will be along the same lines of last year minus 710 and 722 but with 717 returning and possibly another Brush car in the long awaited Tigerrific advert


    Blackpool has been given �85 million for 16 brand new low floor trams. These trams will be used to provide the main Starr Gate to Fleetwood service and some specials. This will provide the tramway with a much needed boost. However it will probably mean the end of a large proportion of the current fleet with around 25 of the current fleet being kept for service on the prom section between Pleasure Beach and Bispham. This is likely to be the best of the balloon cars, millenium cars, jubilee cars, the boats, vintage and illuminated fleet and refurbished brush cars.

    From this, I reckon that the cars from the current fleet that will be kept will be from the following list 700, 706, 707, 709, 711, 713, 717, 718, 719, 720, 723, 724, 761, 762, 600, 602, 604, 605, 40, 66, 143, 147, 304, 660, 733+734, 736, 737(633), 626, 630, 631, 680, a centenary car and a twin set.

    Most likely to be withdrawn are the unrefurbished balloons, the unrefurbished brush cars, twin cars, centenary cars and the remaining railcoaches. It is hoped that none of these trams will be scrapped and hopefully go to museums or preserved lines.

    Any new trams are not likely to appear for at least the next 2-3 years as there will have to be the tendering process and design and build process, also, track replacement will need to be completed and many tram stops will need upgrading and a possible new depot will need to be built for the new trams.

    For the next few year's it will be a case of photograph the current fleet while you still can.


    News Update


    Progress in some areas seems to be moving fast. At Little Bispham, the main line track and pointwork has been laid, however the loop has still to be replaced. Track has been laid out between Gynn Square and Cabin the concrete base has been laid. At Pleasure Beach, the track on the main line has been replaced and work has started on the loop.


    633 (The Trawler) has been renumbered as 737 to keep it in line with the other illuminated trams.