In Pictures: Enhanced heritage service on 22nd October

Blackpool’s heritage trams have been kept even busier than usual, with an increased vehicle output to coincide with the school half-term holidays. A daily heritage promenade service has been operating in afternoons, with extra trams being used at weekends – the peak being on Sunday 22nd October, when four trams ran instead of the usual two!

Naturally, this meant a very regular service of heritage cars as the basic service operates between Pleasure Beach and Cabin only, with most northbound workings terminating at North Pier. With Storm Brian battering the coastline, there was a clear requirement for fully enclosed trams and so the green and cream quartet of Brush Railcoach 631, Centenary car 648 and Balloons 715 & 723 were used. With such unpleasant conditions on the promenade due to high winds, many potential day trippers were almost certainly put off which was a pity as the heritage team were obviously well prepared; had the weather been kinder, no doubt their efforts would have been rewarded far more.

There have also been some unusual trams used on evening illumination tours recently, again due to a combination of poor weather and anticipated high passenger numbers. B Fleet Balloon 711 was selected for tours on Saturday 21st October – perhaps not an ideal car to use but on such a wild and windy night, a tram being fitted with heaters was pretty much all that mattered really! The following night saw Centenary car 648 also making a rare appearance on illuminations tour duty, having made its first outing on the daytime blue service in 2017 earlier that same day.

Not something you'd normally see on a blue heritage running day at Blackpool, but here are three heritage trams together at North Pier! 631 is the filling in a Balloon car sandwich comprising 723 & 715.

Balloons at Pleasure Beach with 715 pulling up behind 723 on the loop.

A blast of sunshine blessed this view of car 648 at North Pier preparing to reverse for its next southbound trip.

The two single deck cars in service on 22nd October, 648 & 631, stand beneath the Tower. (All photos by Rob Bray)

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