In a welcome development, Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours have announced that their first two ‘Gold’ operating weekends of 2018 will feature a heritage tram service along New South Promenade. From 1020 until 1620 on each day, there will be a heritage tram departing from a special temporary stop located at Starr Gate – meaning that there will be ample opportunities to ride on a traditional Blackpool tram over the whole system in the middle of winter.
In the past few years, other than private hires it has only been possible to catch a heritage tram to Starr Gate on the special event weekends in June and September. This year, it has been decided to offer this in January and February – presumably in an effort to make a visit to the seaside in winter more appealing, by providing something a bit more unusual than a ‘Gold’ day would normally offer. This is a positive sign that the heritage team are looking at what they provide and how to make their special events more exciting, and hopefully it will be rewarded with increased passenger numbers!
As well as a regular service to Starr Gate, each winter event day offers a total of eight end-to-end journeys, with a ninth Fleetwood tour in the morning starting from Pleasure Beach.
The two ‘Winter Gold’ weekends are on 27th & 28th January, and 24th & 25th February. Six trams are expected to operate on each day, with planned vehicle allocations set to be announced shortly before each event weekend. One would imagine that heater-fitted trams are likely to dominate the output, and these events will probably offer the last chance to ride on visiting Brush cars 623 and 630 before they return to their respective ‘retirement homes’ at Manchester and Crich.