Event: Totally Transport
Where: Blackpool – New South Promenade & Ocean Boulevard
When: Sunday 26th June 2011 from 1100 to 1600 (with additional tram tour on Saturday 25th June from 1030)
The 7th annual Totally Transport event takes place on New South Promenade and Ocean Boulevard in Blackpool on Sunday 26th June 2011 with the usual mix of various different types of transport expected to make an appearance in what it was one of the largest transport gatherings in the north west of England. In addition the day before – Saturday 25th June – will see a tram tour featuring Brush 632 and Balloon 715.
Taking Saturday 25th June first, the Lancastrian Transport Trust are organising what is becoming a traditional tram tour the day before the main event of Totally Transport and for the second year in a row this will feature popular Brush Car 632 which will this year be joined by fellow LTT car Balloon 715. Both trams are now in traditional Green and Cream with the livery style dating from the 1970s. It had been hoped that 715 would be painted in the post-1977 shades of Green and off-white (as carried by 632) but unfortunately the pre-1977 shades were used instead (Green and Cream). Nevertheless the two trams are sure to look stunning working together throughout the day! The tour will depart North Pier at 1030 (please note enthusiast tours are no longer permitted to load outside the Depot) and will then spend the rest of the day working between Little Bispham and Pleasure Beach. A timetable of the journeys is hoped to be published before the day. Tickets are still available for the tour and further details can be found on the LTT website.
Totally Transport itself will kick off at 1100 on Sunday 26th June and away from the trams will feature the following highlights:
* Classic Cars on display on New South Promenade
* Classic Buses, Coaches and Commercial Vehicles on display on New South Promenade from Solaris to Pleasure Beach
* Over 150 Classic Minis on charity road run to the event
* Enthusiast Trade Stalls at the rear of the Solaris
* Tramway Models, Displays about the LTT and the Blackpool Civic Trust inside the Solaris
* Entertainment in front of Solaris and around the mirrorball
* Seafront 12 Vintage Bus service between Pleasure Beach and Lytham Square via St Annes and Fairhaven Lake every 20 minutes operated by Classic Bus North West (a timetable for the day is available on the official Totally Transport website). Single Fares are £2 for adults and £1 for children.
As is usual for Totally Transport it is planned that a Vintage Tram Service will be operated by Blackpool Transport between Pleasure Beach and North Pier. Unfortunately with the decimated tram fleet available in 2011 the trams to be used will be quite limited but these fine specimens have already been confirmed for the event (subject to the usual):
* Blackpool Standard 147
* Blackpool Boat 600
* Blackpool Brush 632
If any further trams are added to this shuttle service this preview will be updated.
Normal tram fares will apply for the Pleasure Beach to North Pier vintage tram service and this includes the popular Travelcard. At the time of writing day travelcards (available on board all trams and buses) cost £6 for big people and £5.50 for little people. Full details of the range of travelcards available are on the Blackpool Transport website.
The Lowdown on…Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramway
Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramway
2011 marks the last year of the traditional Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramway with the wished for or dreaded (depending on your viewpoint!) Supertrams due to be operating from Easter 2012. Although it is unlikely to be the classic year some were hoping for, 2011 will still be the last chance to ride on several trams in their natural habitat and it might even be the last year to ride on some of the trams ever! Amongst the class of trams which are unlikely to operate in Blackpool for quite some time are the Centenary Cars, Jubilee Cars and Twin Cars whilst the use of traditional Balloons, Boats, Brush Cars and other heritage trams are likely to be seriously curtailed from the start of the Supertram system. So in other words – make the most of it whilst you can, once its gone, its gone!
Just like when I wrote this preview last year the length of the tramway is much shortened with trams only able to operate between Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham because of the upgrade work. When the tramway gets any further north is anyone’s guess with much work still to be completed to Cleveleys although it is hoped that by the summer the tramway will run through to Ash Street, Fleetwood. The full extent of the tramway this year will be Pleasure Beach to Ash Street with both ends remaining closed in 2011.
The current timetable sees a 20 minute daytime Pleasure Beach-Little Bispham service (dropping to every 30 minutes during the evenings). Midweek this is in the hands of one person operated Centenary Cars but at weekends double deckers are used. Specials are non-existent midweek but do normally operate at weekends. First trams depart Depot shortly after 0900 with all trams tucked back up in bed by 2230 (the last tram is due back at Manchester Square at 2220).
The Blackpool tram fleet in 2011 is at its lowest ebb with the number of trams available to service with all trams now requiring transponders to even leave Depot. As a result several popular trams will not run in 2011 whilst some are unlikely to ever run again in Blackpool. As mentioned above the service is in the hands of Centenary Cars/Jubilee Cars during the week with double deckers used at weekends. Weekends may also see Twin Cars, the only operable Boat Car, Brush Cars and vintage trams in operation on specials. Full details of the current Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramway fleet can be found on our Fleet List.
How to find Blackpool
Blackpool is easily reached by train with regular services from Preston, Manchester Airport and York arriving at Blackpool North. Connections from many other places across the UK can be found at Preston (including Scotland, Birmingham and London). To plan a rail journey to Blackpool visit the National Rail website.
For those of you wishing to travel by car to the resort, Blackpool has the distinction of having a motorway link direct with it. The M55 takes you almost to the front and can be accessed from the M6 junction 32.
How Much Does it Cost?
Totally Transport in itself is a free event but to travel on either the Vintage Tram service or the Seafront 12 bus service will cost you. The tram service is charged at usual Blackpool Transport rates and one day travelcards cost £6 (adults) and £5.50 (children) – prices correct at the time of writing.
Want to Know More?
Check out the official Totally Transport website for everything you want to know about the day!
To find out what the weather might do in Blackpool visit the BBC Weather website for the 5 day forecast. Obviously it is too early to say what the weather will be at the time this preview is published but the BBC Monthly Forecast suggests that the week of Totally Transport will see a continuation of the northwest/southeast split with more rain being seen in the northwest. Although as always with the forecast we shall have to wait and see!
Live Online Coverage
Keep an eye on Yahoo! Groups: Tramgen for the latest updates on what trams are out and what they are doing throughout the event as it is regularly updated by a number of eager enthusiasts.
British Trams Online will provide our usual comprehensive coverage of the event. This is likely to be online in early July.
All information in this preview is provided in good faith and is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press (Saturday 11th June 2011).