In a rather unexpected development, the Trampower project’s prototype ‘CityClass’ vehicle, previously known as 611, has returned to Blackpool. The tram was delivered to Rigby Road on Wednesday 21st March, with very few people seemingly aware of its return until it actually arrived back on site.
611 has, of course, previously been in Blackpool twice before. When newly delivered in 1997, it was painted white and saw some use on test before departing for further modifications. A subsequent visit saw the tram, then painted in a smart green and yellow livery, undertake more extensive testing but this wasn’t exactly a roaring success and this was brought to a dramatic and premature conclusion when the tram caught fire near Foxhall. It subsequently left for rebuilding, and was not expected to be seen in Blackpool again. However, on 21st March, it did indeed return – now painted grey and having been thoroughly rebuilt since one end was devastated by fire.
It is believed that the tram is destined for future operation on the test tramway at Preston, and has moved to Rigby Road for storage as it was being vandalised in its previous location at Preston. With plans for it to run elsewhere, it seems unlikely that it will run in Blackpool but as few people would have imagined it would ever be accepted back, who knows what might happen?
This is one of those times when your writer could have produced a longer article on this topic, but as the saying goes, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all… so we’ll leave it there!