630 to join in with Blackpool’s Brush car birthday party!

Having already borrowed two preserved tramcars for 2017, Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours have now revealed that they will shortly be getting a third! Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 is the latest tram to be confirmed to be heading to the seaside. The tram will be attending the ‘Brush 80’ celebrations which will take place over the now annual September anniversary weekend, meaning that all of the operational members of this class will be temporarily reunited.

630 last ran in Blackpool during the 2011 illuminations before it was withdrawn to be repainted in its 1995 livery, reflecting its appearance when freshly overhauled – as befits its status as the last, and most extensively modernised of the type. It then moved to Crich in December that year, entering service in May 2012, and it has enjoyed fairly regular use at the museum since then. However, the car will shortly be returning home to rejoin its sisters for the milestone 80th anniversary of the Brush cars, and is expected to be one of the star attractions (and there are quite a few now!) on the major event weekend, on 23rd & 24th September. This is held annually on the closest weekend to the date when the promenade tramway was opened in 1885, but this year’s event will feature the Brush Railcoaches heavily to recognise their 80 years of service. As such, it is highly appropriate that 630 will be present to represent the ultimate modernisation of this classic British design, as a welcome contrast with the more traditional appearance of sister car 623, which is currently on loan from the Heaton Park Tramway.

The offer of 630 to visit Blackpool is a very kind gesture from the Tramway Museum Society and is naturally very much appreciated by Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours. The tram will be staying in Blackpool over winter, which will provide a useful heater-fitted car for operation on heritage service duties, and also will mean that Crich have one less tram to find space for whilst their depot roof is being replaced! So in all, a highly beneficial arrangement that will hopefully bring much pleasure and attract even more interest in the September festivities.

It is also worth noting that 630‘s visit will bring the number of Brush cars at Rigby Road up to nine – 621, 623, 630 & 631 either have operated during or will do so by the end of 2017, whilst 259, 632 & 634 are all stored awaiting workshop attention, with 290 and 625 also stored on behalf of their own respective owners. In addition, the illuminated Trawler 737 and Rail Crane 260 were built from the remnants of two withdrawn Brush cars – with so many old friends present again it feels almost like the light rail upgrade never happened!

The modern yet smart appearance of 630 basks in the sunshine on the depot fan at Crich, a setting it will soon trade for a temporary return to old haunts for its 80th birthday. (Photo by Andrew Waddington)


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7 Responses to 630 to join in with Blackpool’s Brush car birthday party!

  1. Alan Kirkman says:

    Wonderful news well done all at TMS and BHTT and the sponsors. Let shop it also helps the moves to get 298 progressing too I’m sure one of the sponsors has that thought very much in mind.

  2. Chris Callan says:

    Its good that tramway groups continue to collaborate and work together. For those like me not particularly fond of Brush Cars (quietly makes way to nuclear shelter for safety particularly in this land mark year for them) this wider aspect of the initiative seems even more significant as it bodes well for the future. .Thank you to everyone involved in making it possible at the respective groups & the individual(s) who helped make it possible through the necessary additional finance.

  3. Mark says:

    Any word on 626 participating, or is it waiting workshop attention?

    • Gareth Prior says:

      626 isn’t in Blackpool.

      • Mark says:

        I know it isn’t, neither is 630 (yet)… I was asking if there would be a chance of 626 participating in the events somehow.

        • Andrew Waddington says:

          I think the confusion stemmed from your question if it was awaiting workshop attention – which it isn’t, indeed there are currently no known plans to run 626 anywhere, its simply being stored for now. It would be nice to see it run again, but to be honest I think there are quite enough Brush cars in Blackpool at the moment!

  4. Kevin says:

    Considering no one knows where 626 is anyway!

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