Blackpool Brush Railcoach 621 has taken a small step towards being returned to service, following its move back to Blackpool at the end of last year. On 20th April, the tram was moved from the main depot into the Electrical Compound for work to commence on restoring it to a serviceable condition, with sponsorship from TRAMS magazine.
621‘s condition has now been assessed more thoroughly and, despite the car not having run in passenger service since 2004, the findings are surprisingly positive. The car’s wiring is in a good condition, whilst the interior has coped well with more than a decade of storage; although stored outside at both Kirkham and Beamish for short periods, this tram has been housed undercover for most of its time away from Blackpool which has no doubt helped to preserve it in a reasonable condition.
A pantograph tower (already painted green) has been prepared for the tram and will be fitted shortly, which will allow the tram to be ‘powered up’ for the first time in many years, and hopefully it can then be moved under its own power to the Fitting Shop once some electrical work has been completed, including the fitting of transponder equipment. There, 621 will receive further attention to its mechanical equipment including the bogies. The body will presumably be tackled last, and as announced previously, the job will be completed with a repaint into 1950s style green and cream livery which should look stunning!
So far this year the Blackpool tramway has been a bit lacking in terms of anything new or unusual with a rather predictable line-up of trams available for heritage duties, so 621‘s return to use – expected in late September – is certainly something to look forward to! With a few other projects in progress or being planned, 2017 is sure to become increasingly interesting as the year wears on and hopefully there will be plenty of reasons to visit the Fylde coast during the summer and autumn.