Following completion of commissioning work – including the fitting of a newly overhauled trolley base – Blackpool 304 became the first of the popular Blackpool ‘Coronation’ cars to operate away from the Fylde Coast, when it undertook its first test runs at Beamish Museum on the evening of Wednesday 24th October.
Since arriving at Beamish, the Living Museum of the North East, 304 has undergone some work in preparation for its intended passenger use and a starring role at some upcoming photo charters. This has undertaken with support from several members of the Lancastrian Transport Trust who have been extremely helpful in preparing their tram for service. Finally, the great moment arrived late on October 24th when the car ventured onto the main line at Beamish for the very first time. The main purpose of this outing was to undertake clearance checks and test 304‘s brakes on the notoriously steep Pockerley bank. Happily all tests seemed to go well, and although some more minor jobs remain outstanding, it is hoped that 304 will be used in passenger service this weekend, 27th & 28th October! As the tram has not carried passengers since November 2010, this will be a momentous occasion and 304 is sure to prove extremely popular during its short stay at the North East attraction.
British Trams Online will endeavour to publish any updates as to whether 304 will or won’t operate this weekend, so if you are considering a visit to see and ride on the tram please keep checking the website for updates.