In Pictures: Balloon 713 tours the tramway for Branch Line Society

Saturday 26th January was not only the first day of the first Winter Gold weekend of 2019 in Blackpool but also saw a special tour take place for the Branch Line Society utilising B fleet Balloon 713 – plus Engineering Car 754 and Tow Truck 929! Covering rarely used – and unwired track, hence the use of the other vehicles – 713 was hired for this premium priced tour for a full day’s entertainment.

Highlights of the tour saw 713 pushed by the Tow Truck to the furthest Paint Shop door – a very rare piece of track for passenger trams with passengers on! – and Engineering Car 754 (on diesel power) pushing the tram along Blundell Street beyond the wires and also across the unwired crossover at Manchester Square. Various tracks at both Rigby Road and Starr Gate depots were also covered (roads 3, 6 and 7 at Starr Gate) along with the advertised North Pier centre track, Thornton Gate centre track, Fisherman’s Walk crossover, both loops at Fleetwood Ferry and the centre track at Bispham. The tram wash at Starr Gate was also covered twice including once whilst it was operating.

* More photos from this day will be added to a Gallery in a future update of British Trams Online.

Taken from the top deck of 713 as it is pushed around the tracks in the bus yard approaching the Paint Shop by Tow Truck 929.

With the Tow Truck seen the other side of the tram 713 is seen here in Rigby Road Yard.

713 stabled behind Shop Tram 711 at North Pier.

At the end of the tour and 713 stands on Hopton Road waiting to head back into depot. (All Photographs by Dave Jones, 26th January 2019)

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