TLC for Boat 227

Winter has always been a busy time for Blackpool’s Rigby Road workshops and, although the workforce has been reduced since the tramway upgrade, this is still true to this day. As well as routine work on the operational heritage trams, the main focus of the workmen so far this winter has been Open Boat 227 which is currently receiving some well-deserved conservation work.

It may be remembered that, after a fire affected Twin set 272+T2 last autumn, a number of trams were withdrawn so that the condition of their wiring could be assessed, as a precaution to try to ensure that such an incident could not happen again. This was a measure taken by Blackpool Transport and the Blackpool Heritage Trust of their own free will, as a pro-active response to an unfortunate incident. Box 40, Railcoach 680 and Balloon 715 were all returned to use within a matter of weeks after being given a clean bill of health, but Boat cars 227 and 230 were both sidelined, having not been rewired fully since the 1960s. Although both had received some electrical attention in the recent past, it was decided that the pair should be rewired fully and this work is now well underway on red liveried car 227, with its sister expected to follow in due course.

To access 227‘s wiring looms, the interior (if it can be called that!) has been stripped and this has provided an ideal opportunity to carry out some other jobs which will greatly improve its appearance, as befits a historic vehicle which is now being cared for by an organisation created to preserve and conserve these elderly trams. Currently, the wooden seats are receiving some repairs and will then be paint stripped before undergoing further cosmetic attention. It is also anticipated that the flooring will be repaired or replaced as is deemed appropriate. Hopefully this investment will ensure that both 227 and 230 will remain active for many more years, as two of the most popular cars in the fleet. This should also create a much stronger fleet of operational Boat cars, with prototype 600 having already been fully overhauled in 2010. These are likely to be the only open cars available for use this season, with Marton Box 31 confirmed to be returning to Beamish Museum in March, although on the plus side this will mean that Standard 147 will come home at the same time and will presumably be running in Blackpool again this year.

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1 Response to TLC for Boat 227

  1. Ste says:

    there is no way those cars were fully rewired in the sixties. The majority of that wiring will be original. But a much needed boost to these popular summer workhorses to ensure they are here for many years to come.

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