The annual Totally Transport event took place in Blackpool on Sunday 27th June 2010 with the usual mix of buses, cars and commercial vehicles on display with vintage trams in operation as well. British Trams Online Webmaster Gareth Prior reports from the events of the day as well as the previous day which saw the “From the 1950s to the 1980s” tram tour featuring resurrected Brush 632 and Coronation 304 and also a few notes from the Friday..
Friday 25th June 2010
The service currently being offered in Blackpool is probably one of the worst ever seen on the tramway in the supposed summer months with just a 20 minute service between Pleasure Beach and Cleveleys during the day, dropping to every 30 minutes in the evening with the last service all the way from Cleveleys to Pleasure Beach as early as 2140. On weekdays this service is only in the hands of one person operated Centenary Cars and this Friday was no different. Upon arrival in Blackpool around lunchtime the five trams on the service were 644, 645, 646, 647 and 648 (645 and 648 returned to Depot in the early evening when the service frequency dropped).
A number of trams were also noted out on Driver Training with Brush 626, Trawler 737 and Boat 602 so used. The Boat even ran through to Little Bispham, a location it is unlikely to see a great deal this year and only made possible by the fact that the new transponder operated crossing south of Little Bispham stop has yet to be commissioned.
Engineering Car 754 and Brush 630 were also out and about and were being used in connection with the overhead renewal on the northern section of the tramway. Reports of the Tramgen Yahoo! Group suggest they were both at Thornton Gate.
A trip down to the Depot during the evening saw Coronation 304 in the Electrical Compound and of interest in the main depot (and just about visible from outside) were Manchester 765 and Balloon 703 (Sunderland 101) whilst Brush 632 (with its new livery and roof advert boxes) and Standard 147 (with its new side adverts for the Fylde Tramway Society) could also be seen at the front of the Depot.
Cleveleys Service Cars
644, 645 (early in), 646, 647, 648 (early in)
602, 626, 737
Overhead Renewal north of Cleveleys
Saturday 26th June 2010
Another warm and sunny day dawned in Blackpool and at least the service was in the hands of double deckers rather than the single deck Centenary Cars of the week. Jubilee Cars 761 and 762 were on the early run in routes whilst Balloon 723 was replaced by Balloon 707 during the day on Cleveleys service as well with fellow Balloons 717 and 724 also in use.
The more exciting aspects of the day, however, were to be found on tours and specials. The pre-advertised highlight of the day was to be official launch back into service of Lancastrian Transport Trust owned Brush 632 in the late 1970s Half Green and Half Cream livery as part of the “From the 1950s to the 1980s” tour (also featuring Coronation 304). These two trams left Depot shortly after 1030 and headed for North Pier where after a few photos 632 headed south to Pleasure Beach and 304 went north to Bispham. The remainder of the tour saw both operate shuttles between Pleasure Beach and Bispham via North Pier until they returned to Depot around 1700. 632 looked stunning with its fresh coat of paint in the bright sun and the addition of the roof advert boxes (advertising Trams Magazine who helped to make the return happen) add that something extra to the tramway for the next two years.
With the warm and sunny weather it meant that the specials in use on the tramway were varied and proved very popular with enthusiasts and the general public alike. The highlights of the specials included Boats 602 and 604, Open Top Balloon 706 (which stayed out beyond 2300 and ran a Bispham-Manchester Square service after the service cars had returned to Depot!), Standard 147 and Twin Car 672+682 (also out late being seen headed for Little Bispham at around 2230). Probably the journey of the day was operated by 147 which after its break finished at Bispham found itself trapped on the centre track by other trams taking their breaks and so headed north to Little Bispham to return south. Upon arrival at Little Bispham Set 2 was just preparing to head back south making quite a sight!
Cleveleys Service Cars
717, 723 (707), 724, 761 (early in), 762 (early in)
147, 602, 604, 644, 646, 647, 672+682, 706, 709, 711
From the 1950s to the 1980s Tour
304, 632 (Pleasure Beach-North Pier-Bispham shuttles)
Sunday 27th June 2010
Totally Transport day dawned and the weather remained warm and sunny making it another perfect day from tramming on the Prom! Totally Transport was bound to be different in 2010 as with the tramway closed south of Pleasure Beach the tram shuttle would be unable to run right through the event site. So, the event site was extended to go in front of the Pleasure Beach but even so the five trams dedicated to the shuttle were a thing of the past with five trams due to be allocated to specials but not necessarily only running through to North Pier. The advertised five were to be Standard 147, Boat 602, Brush 632, Coronation 660 and Bolton 66 but in the event 660 was unable to be used because of its long standing defective doors with Trawler 737 used instead.
Of course Totally Transport is not only about the trams – as the name suggests – with many buses, commercial vehicles and cars on display along New South Promenade and in front of Pleasure Beach. Trade and enthusiast stalls were also available at the Solaris Centre near to Harrowside with “entertainment” also offered here along with food and a miniature railway in operation. The Lancastrian Transport Trust also ran an extended version of their popular Sea Front 12 bus service.
Although five trams were advertised as being on specials they were joined in action by Boat 604, Twin Set 672+682, Open Top Balloon 706 and numerous Centenary Cars and Balloons – all in all providing another fine selection of trams for a fine summers day! Journey highlights of the day included several northern journeys for 632 which ran to Cleveleys on its first journey and also managed several Little Bispham journeys.
Little Bispham loop was fairly busy during the day with both Set 2 and 737 running almost exclusively between Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham to ensure the Twin was running Motor leading and 737 was running the right way round.
The Cleveleys service was once again in the hands of double deckers with the same trams which had ended the previous day on it operating again (707, 717, 724, 761 and 762).
Come 1630 the Totally Transport trams started to return to Depot with 602 leading the way swiftly followed by 147, 737, 66 and 632. However, not all the specials went back to the Depot with both 604 and 672+682 gaining relief crews enabling them to stay out late.
Cleveleys Service Cars
707, 717, 724, 761, 762
66, 147, 602, 604, 632, 642, 646, 647, 672+682, 706, 709, 711, 737
Although there was disappointment that the first of the visiting trams – Manchester 765 – was unable to be prepared in time to make its 2010 debut at Totally Transport and that Coronation 660 was failed before the event began the fine weather lead to a great selection of trams out. Boats, a Twin Car, Princess Alice, vintage trams in the form of 147 and Bolton 66 all formed part of what was probably the best selection of trams operating in the UK so far in 2010. Can you possibly get anything better in the tram world the riding on a Boat Car in glorious weather along Blackpool Prom?
Also on British Trams Online:
Gallery 226: Totally Transport Weekend June 2010 – 76 photos from Gareth Prior