News 07


News Update


Most of the old track which is being replaced this winter has now been lifted and the concrete base for the new track is beginning to be laid at certain locations on the system.


Its now official, 722 has been withdrawn. 710 also looks to have been withdrawn due to underframe defects, this means that the number of unrefurbished balloons availiable for service is now down to 7 (701, 702, 703, 712, 715, 721, 726). 711 has been painted into the Line 14 Metro livery which was carried by Brush 636 during 2004. 723 looks to be receiving 710's Line 7 Metro livery, replacing its all over red base coat. All over white balloons 713 and 715 are also expected to receive new all over adverts / liveries during the next few months. Work has started on the painting of 717's 30's livery. 712 has also received work to its panelling following last months collision with 643 at North Pier.


End of the season now upon us

Well, like all good things, the season has come to an end, I cant believe that it will be a full 5 months before we see a tram (any tram) gracing the prom or anywhere for that matter. The season ended with another collision, although it was minor compared to last week with 712 having a side swipe at 643 at North Pier and causing minor damage to both trams, with 643 receiving a broken window and a huge dent on the corner whilst 712's handrails were buckled and a huge scrape was seen down the side of the tram, hopefully not enough damage to rule 712 out of a return to service next year. The final few journeys from Starr Gate northwards, used the soon to be removed south spur to reach the outer loop at Pleasure Beach.

Tram Gen messageboard reports that 722 has now been withdrawn following the accident last week, to be honest, if true, this is no surprise as although it has had roof repairs in the past 2 years and has already escaped mothballing once (only being reinstated due to advertising commitments), 722 had sprung a leak at one end near the dome / side panels and also the windows leaked too with water marks evident all down the sides of the walls. Also it is not known how serious the damage is to the tram and if it is beyond economic repair. With 717 returning to service next year, the number of servicable balloons would be maintained at the same level. From the other withdrawn balloons, only 708 would possibly be suitable for reinstatement, however it is also in a poor state too. Also it is not known how serious the damage is to the tram and if it is beyond economic repair. I wonder which tram if any, 722's advertising contract will be transferred to (711, 713, 715, 723 ?????) or even a single decker (642 or a brush car/ railcoach ?????) report that Work has already started on dismantling the old track around Little Bispham and the fencing off of track at Cabin and Pleasure Beach.


End of Season approaches, derailment and a collision.

Tram Gen message board reports that there was a minor derailment involving 622 at Bispham and a more serious collision involving 711 and 722 at Admiral's Point near Bispham. Reports suggest that 722 had stopped to collect Passengers and 711 ran into the back causing underframe and panel damage to 722. 711 escaped with minor damage and has since returned to service. Sunday sees the last day of trams running until Easter due to track work, with the full fleet going into hibernation. However there is alot to look forward to in 2008, including the return of 717, possibly the Western Train, hopefully 623 will be back out in Wartime livery again, and the Tigerrific Brush Car advert makes a long avaited appearance and following a massive relaying programme ahead this winter, a much smoother ride over most of the system will be good. What trams will be back in 2008? I reckon that the trams to reappear will be:

  • 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648
  • 761, 762
  • 622, 623, 626, 627(carrying Tigeriffic ad), 630, 631
  • 680
  • 671+681, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684, 675+685
  • 700, 701, 702, 703, 706, 707, 709, 710, 711, 712, 713, 715, 717, 718, 719, 721, 722, 723, 724, 726
  • 40, 66, 147, 304, 660


    713 Advert removed

    713 became the tram with the shortest ever advert livery when after only 2 weeks in service carrying the Conservative Party all over advert, it was removed and 713 now carries all over white again.


    I was in Blackpool over the Glasgow September Weekend. I arrived at 5.30 pm after being stuck in a 10 mile traffic jam on the A74(M) from before Gretna Services through to the A74.

    In service on Friday was

  • Fleetwood Service - 700, 707, 711, 719, 723, 724 and 761
  • Cleveleys Service - 712, 715, 721, 722
  • Specials - 623, 626, 630, 680, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647 and 648
  • Illuminations Tours - 147 and 736.

    718 was also noted going back to depot possibly with a fault.

    Onto the Saturday and the 15 minute Fleetwood and Cleveleys service operated. I visited the depot and 718 was being shunted into the fitting shop, where it was to remain all weekend. 641 and 724 were in the Electrical Compound although 724 was out on specials later on that day, 641 wasnt out at all during the weekend.

    During the day 38 trams were out in service including 19 specials including 600 and 602 in the morning and 304 and 706 in the evening. 671+681 was noted on a late special to Fleetwood about 11.30pm and 147 on a late special to Cabin at 12.10am. Also noted was a few of the Cleveleys deckers seemed to end up on Specials with at least 622 and 623 operating on their routes to Cleveleys late evening.

  • Fleetwood Service - 700, 701, 702, 707, 709, 711, 719, 723, 724
  • Cleveleys Service - 726, 710, 715, 722, 712
  • Specials - 147, 304, 600, 602, 622, 623, 630, 631, 680, 671+681, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 703, 721, 762
  • Illumination Tours - 633, 736, 40, 66, 147, 304

    On to the Sunday and a healthy 21 trams in service.

  • Fleetwood Service - 700, 701*, 707, 709, 710*, 721*, 762* swapped to Cleveleys service in evening
  • Cleveleys Service - 711*, 723*, 719*, 724* *swapped to Fleetwood Service in evening
  • Specials - 622, 623, 631, 642, 643, 644, 645, 647
  • Illumination Tours - 633, 736

    644 took over from 711 on the Fleetwood service in early evening, the trams were running late with many Fleetwood trams turning at Pleasure Beach.

    Into Monday and the weather was attrocious.

  • Fleetwood service - 703, 707, 711, 712, 722, 723, 726
  • Cleveleys service - 643, 644, 646(645), 647
  • Specials - 630, 631, 680, 709, 715, 719

    Fleet round up

  • 304 was out in service on Saturday afternoon, this was my first outing on this tram and it was an absolutely brilliant tram. (is it just me or does it's VAMBAC equipment sound like a washing machine?).
  • 600 is in service with strings of lights from the trolley tower to enhance its appearance when on illumination tours.
  • 621 remains stored however from what I could see, it remains intact.
  • 622 my first outing on this tram and Ive got to admit that inside the tram was looking a bit tired, although it is in need of an overhaul, it still has alot of character. 622 seemed to ride well on worn track.
  • 623 my first outing on this tram also and it is a good tram with a well kept interior.
  • 632, like 621 appears to be intact
  • 634 also appears to be intact.
  • 637 remains stored at back of depot
  • 641 was in electrical compound for the full weekend.
  • 643 wearing its new livery for G Casinos. Im not too keen on the new livery, I prefered the old purple livery.
  • 679 is stored behind Sheffield 513 and seems to have lost a few windows and other fittings.
  • 702 this tram was on the Fleetwood service, not bad for a tram that was only supposed to be a reserve car.
  • 711 was in its new metro livery
  • 713 has received a new livery for the Conservative Party.
  • 719 has its new livery for the Infusion ride at the Pleasure Beach, unfortunately it has contravision on the top deck windows at the front making it hard to see ahead.
  • 720 remains stripped at the back of the depot.
  • 722 has a leaky roof again, water was running in at the domes at the ends of the tram in the torrential rain on Monday, especially when the brakes were applied, also a bank of lights were out down one side of the tram.


    News Update

    Winter Trackwork

    From Monday 5th November the full tramway will be closed to allow major trackworks on large parts of the system. Work will include

  • Relaying of the Pleasure Beach Loops
  • Removal of Spur at Pleasure Beach
  • Removal of Machester Square Crossover
  • Installation of new crossover and points at Foxhall
  • Relaying of track between Manchester Square and Tower
  • Removal of Gynn Square Crossover
  • Removal of Cabin Bypass Line
  • Removal of Little Bispham loop's North Spur
  • Relay of track from Gynn Square to Norbreck
  • Relay of Orion Curve in Cleveleys
  • Possible track work in Fleetwood

    The line should hopefully be complete for Easter 2008.

    702, 711, 719, 723 return to service

    702 which was originally allocated as a reserve car has seen some use in service recently. 711 and 723 have returned to service in yellow and red base coats respectively. 719 returned to service in its infusion advert during August.


    I spent the day in what was a wet and rather quiet day visitor and tramwise in Blackpool. I would go as far to say that I have never seen Blackpool as quiet or so few trams in service during the peak summer holiday time although the torrential rain and freezing temperatures may have had something to do with it. Although it was quiet, there didnt appear to be enough trams in service as a number of journeys (especially from Fleetwood in the morning) were full and passing tram queues at least until Cleveleys was reached.

    Had my first journey in 710 for a long time and I reckon that its interior is in the best condition of all unrefurbished balloons. In comparison 726 (especially with its leaky windows, faded moquette and patches of liner at the curved end windows missing) looks tired, Also 726 appears to have a rocking motion at speed.

    Sightings (all Double Deckers)

    Fleetwood Service

    710, 713, 718, 721, 722, 726, 762

    Cleveleys Service

    700, 707, 709, 724 (would have swapped with 710, 721, 722 and 726 early evening)


    701, 703, 712, 715

    Also visited the depot and noted that 733 (front part of the Western Train) was in the body shop and work was being carried out on a set of bogies, 711 and 723 were in the Electrical Compound (minus advert vynals) as was a twin set (possibly 674+684), 676+686 was being stored up against the far away wall in the depot and was looking in a terrible state minus various fittings such as windows. Former works car 259 was behind it and has had its lower side panels removed. 626 had its driver training boards on and was parked in front of the electrical compound.


    News Update


  • 643 has received an updated advert livery for Grovensor Casino. The new livery has black and white colours, replacing the previous purple livery.
  • 630 has received a new repaint and updated advert for Karting 2000 at Starr Gate, continuing their 9 year association with the tramway.

    677 to be scrapped.

    Twin car motor vehicle is in the process of being scrapped to provide parts for the Western Train. Part of the body and the trucks andthe underframe will be used to replace the original frame work on the 'engine' for the train as the existing frame is now in poor condition. 687 will survive for now as a store room for original parts for the Western Train, although its future beyond this is unclear.

    735 leaves Blackpool

    735 has now left Blackpool for the Busworld museum at Beith in Ayrshire.


    726 receives new advert

    Balloon Car 726 in its new advert for HM coastguard on its first day in service on 10th June 2007

    726 has received a new advert for HM Coastguard and made its debut in passenger service this morning. Photos of this new livery can be found here


    Friday Night

    Fleetwood service - 641, 642(646), 643, 644, 646, 647, 626, 631

    Cleveleys Service - 707, 718, 721, 723


    Fleetwood Service - 701*, 707, 711*, 713, 718, 721*, 722*,

    Cleveleys Service - 709*, 723*, 724*, 762*

    * = swapped over From Cleveleys - Fleetwood service or vice versa at night

    Specials - 40, 147, 602, 605, 645, 646, 647 (304 out on a tour)

    the tramway seemed busy during the day, however it took a while for any specials to appear and they werent out for long especially 602, 605 and 147 which were only out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and all of the specials only travelled between North Pier and Pleasure Beach for much of the day with only a couple of journey further north to Cabin or Bispham, I got a ride on 602, 605 147 and 40 and it was my first time on all 4 of these trams.


    700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 721, 722, 723, 726, 762, 645, 646, 605, 701

    The trams seemed to keep to time during the the weekend one complaint I did have is that on some of the double deckers the hopper windows dont let in enough air making them like furnaces.


    News Update

    713 has lost its advert for Asda in Fleetwood, it is now all over white with a Metro Coastline sticker above the centre doors.

    721 has received an advert for Hot Ice.

    I will be in Blackpool this weekend, so watch out for some new pictures on Sunday or Monday Night.


    I paid a flying visit to Blackpool today, and here are my sightings.

    Fleetwood Service - 700, 707, 709, 711, 713, 718, 724 (723)

    Cleveleys Service - 622, 623, 631, 680

    Specials - 40, 147, 641, 643, 648

    The service was in total chaos. I spotted 50 minutes worth of trams passing north within 10 minutes with large gaps in between and not enough trams out to cater for demand.

    see my new Photo's from May added here


    Hovertram on the move

    The Blackpool transport yahoo group report that the Hovertram (735) is on its way to Scotland for preservation in a new museum being opened in Beith in Ayrshire.

    It has been reported that the long awaited overhaul to the Western Train has finally started with 733 (the engine) being stipped in the fitting shop, work is progressing on 717 and the tram should be back in service for the illuminations. 720 has been stripped and is stored in depot awaiting overhaul.

    Blackpool reported that boat 604 was used on Cleveleys Service for a couple of journeys a couple of weeks ago due to a shortage on single decker trams until 626 was prepared and took over the route, surely this must persuade Blackpool Transport to reinstate another 1 or 2 Brush Cars / railcoaches to service, as if it had been raining on that particular day, they would have had to put out a top deck closed balloon / millenium car. At present only 622, 623, 626, 630, 631, 641-648 and 680 are availiable for use on the Fleetwood / Cleveleys service, with 11 of these cars being used daily and with the centenary car's notorious for breakdowns, any choice from 627, 632, 634, 637 or 679 being returned to service would make a big difference.


    It's Tigerriffic News !!!!!!!!!!

    The LTT website reports that they are in discussions with Blackpool Transport about recreating the Tigerrific tram advert that was carried by Brush Car 622 between 1975 and 1980, as a memorial to Bryan Hamer who painted over 150 all-over advertising trams. They hope to have the tram painted and ready for operation for the Totally Transport event in June.

    This good news should see another Brush Car return to service, last year Trams Magazine stated that it would most likely to be 627 which would be chosen, below are listed the current state of each Brush Car and their likeleness to return to service / carry the advert.

  • 621 - last used in 2004, this tram has been stored in the depot since then, it had reported that it had been requested to receive the wartime livery carried by 623 but was said to be in poor condition. Chances of returning to service - slim.
  • 622 - currently in service with a valid advert
  • 623 - currently in service with a valid advert
  • 625 - last used in 2004, this tram has been stored in the depot since then, it had reported that it was a reserve car for use in 2005, the tram is said to be in poor condition. Chances of returning to service - slim.
  • 626 - currently in service with a valid advert
  • 627 - last used in 2004 when it was a regular all year round car with heaters, is said to be in a reasonably good condition, Chances of returning to service - good.
  • 630 - currently in service with a valid advert
  • 631 - currently in service with a valid advert
  • 632 - last used in 2004, seemed to be in a good condition and was last overhauled in 1991, may see a return to service, Chances of returning to service - good.
  • 634 - last used in 2004, this tram has been reported to have had some parts removed, however not enough to rule out a return to service, it was overhauled in the late 80's, chances of a return - good.
  • 637 - last used in 2004 and was overhauled in 1990, this tram should be ok for a return to service - chances of a return - good.

    The above shows that 627, 632, 634 or 637 might return to service in with the Tigeriffic advert.


    Had hoped to get to Blackpool over Easter to get some photos of 623 in wartime livery however circumstances dictated differently. Hopefully I will make it in a few weeks.

    On the tramway front the line was open fully again with new trackwork between Pleasure Beach and Manchester Square with 7 trams on the Fleetwood Service (2 brush and 5 centenaries) and 4 on the Cleveleys Service (4 brush / railcoach)and a number of specials.

    The pools of trams seemed to have gone out the window (see below) with 604 and Bolton 66 seeing use on specials along with 602 and 605.

    623 also made its long awaited return to service in it's new wartime livery and from the photo's I have seen so far, it looks amazing.


    Was in Blackpool today, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646 and 648 were in service and all seemed to be running late. The trackwork which was supposed to finish this weekend now wont be completed until 5th April 2007. I also visited the depot and saw 726 which has lost it's Thwaites livery which has been replaced by an all over yellow livery, 703 has been used on driver training. Also Stockport 5 and Bolton 66 were being shunted around the depot.


    Have just noticed on the list given for the trams that will operate this year that 678 has not been included. It looks like 678 has now been mothballed.

    More info on 678 can be found here


    Brush Car 623 is to return to service this year in wartime livery. It has been announced that most services in the off peak times will be operated by single deck trams and more are required. Hopefully this will mean a return to service of some more Brush Cars / Railcoaches at a later date. have reported that Blackpool Transport have decided which trams will operate this year and when.

    early season (April - June)

    602, 605, 622, 623, 626, 630, 631, 641, 642, 643, 644, 645, 646, 647, 648, 680, 700, 701, 707, 709, 711, 712, 713, 718, 719, 722, 723, 724, 761, 762, 40, 147

    summer (July - October)

    all the above plus 604, 706, 726, 671+681, 672+682, 673+683, 674+684, 675+685

    illuminations (from October - November)

    all the above plus 703, 715, 717, 721, 66, 633, 736


    600, 702, 660, 304, 513

    February 07

    There hasn�t been too much going on in Blackpool recently!!!!!!

    Only another threatened fleet reduction which would probably see the Twin Cars, the remaining Brush Railcoaches and EE Railcoaches, the vintage trams and the boat trams withdrawn. However most would be re instated when the busy season and the good weather comes. (at least I hope so as it will be quite boring seeing the same trams out day in day out.),

    Tram Power 611 catching fire and burning out

    on the Prom, major track relays and track work meaning trams only running between Thornton Gate and Fleetwood, until Easter.

    Balloon 720 has been withdrawn for a refurbishment 713 style, work is progressing on 717 and 719 is being refitted with front windows on the upper deck and more seats, which is good as you don�t have to stare at a solid wall on every journey.

    Also Brush 636 has gone to Derby for tests on it�s experimental motors.