Blackpool Balloon 716 – an appeal for information

I have recently been contacted with a request for up-to-date information on the whereabouts of Blackpool Balloon 716. The last I had heard about this tram, it was standing in a scrapyard in Perth, Scotland awaiting a decision on its fate, with at least one possible preservation bid having been suggested. Since then nothing has been heard of relating to this tram – so we are appealing to the readers of British Trams Online to contact us if you know anything about what has happened to 716.

716 had of course departed Blackpool in summer 2010 for a new home in Scotland after being sold; this followed a period of storage as the tram had been withdrawn from service as long ago as 2003 due to its underframe being in need of replacement and its generally poor condition. For this reason the tram was not a prime candidate for preservation and instead it was bought by Ptarmigan Transport Solutions who at one time planned to renovate it for use as an office. However, apart from the application of new advert banners and the replacement of some missing glass, no work was undertaken on the car before the company went into liquidation and it ended up being moved to a nearby scrapyard. Whilst researching for a book I managed to discover its whereabouts, along with the information that a potential expression of interest had been made which would potentially see 716 moved overseas. Since then, nothing has been seen or heard of the tram. Rumours suggest that the attempt to save it fell through and it was scrapped, but others claim it remains intact in Perth. So, if any readers know anymore about what has happened to 716 - please get in touch and we will pass the information on! Naturally anything that anybody knows will be of interest, but we are especially keen to hear from anyone who has any recent pictures of the tram to prove whether or not it indeed survives today.

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4 Responses to Blackpool Balloon 716 – an appeal for information

  1. Peter Watts says:

    I assume that I am classed in the catagory of “others”…! I can certainly help with the current status of 716. The tram is still intact, and has NOT been scrapped. I am in contact with the current owner on a regular basis and I can assure all the enthusiasts out there that the future of 716 is still secure. There are some plans being formed at the moment for its future. Please be patient, once there is more information on this I will let you know. Watch this space!

  2. kevin ashe says:

    would summerlee not be interested in it

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Extremely unlikely – their tram depot is completely full (hence donating the Graz car to the Brighton 53 group in 2010) and low bridges around the site would make access for a Balloon car difficult, if not impossible. A shame really, as I’d love to see a Balloon in Aberdeen livery!

  3. John says:

    I do wonder whether it needs to be saved. There are Balloons out there which would benefit from the spares on offer.