In Pictures: Birkenhead 20’s maiden voyage in Blackpool!

The first appearance of Birkenhead 20 on Blackpool’s promenade occurred on the morning of Tuesday 15th August, just short of four weeks after the open-top tramcar made its journey by road from Birkenhead to Blackpool. This was a test run, to assess the car’s performance on what is a very different system from what it is used to, although naturally this stunning little tram caused plenty of heads to turn!

Following the fitting of a trolley arm and transponders, 20 ventured onto the tramway for the first time in its life that morning in glorious sunshine. To lessen any potential issues caused by its offset trolley mast, the car has been fitted with an unusually long trolley arm, and its a case of so far, so good as it appears to have performed well on its first outing. The car was seen operating at least between Pleasure Beach and Cabin, with the Heritage Tram Tours Operations Manager at the controls for much of the time. Further testing is expected but eyewitness reports suggest that Birkenhead 20‘s outing was a success, and so hopefully it will not be too long before the tram is able to carry passengers in Blackpool.

As the official sponsors of car 20‘s visit to Blackpool, we will naturally aim to keep our readers posted with updates on the tram and any news on when it is expected to enter service in its temporary new home by the seaside, so watch this space!

A novel sight on Blackpool promenade, with Birkenhead 20 seen at Pleasure Beach having cautiously made its way around the turning circle. Note the man on the top deck keeping a close eye on the trolley pole - a hard job on such a nice day, but someone had to do it!

A very unfamiliar sight for Birkenhead 20 as the car waits on the Pleasure Beach loop for a northbound Flexity to pass. (Photos by Rob Bray)

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