Anyone who saw the recent photos of Standard 143 in the Electrical Compound during June’s Totally Models event will have seen the current state of the tram which is due to be relaunched into service in just six weeks time on Wednesday 28th August. Whilst it does look as if there is a lot of work to be fitted into this relatively short time period a new update from the Fylde Transport Trust remains upbeat on the tram being completed in time.
Recent progress has seen the upper deck ceiling panels and new side interior panelling put into place. This work was made possible after the cabling of the trolley was fitted. To the uneducated eye the most obvious piece of bodywork missing at this point is the end balcony end panelling and this is due to follow over the next few weeks. Other work to be completed shortly will be the fitting of the upper deck seating and then the 550v will be connected to allow for live testing. One of the final tasks will be the completion of the paintwork for 143 and the update states that the tram will head to the Paint Shop for a couple of weeks to allow this to take place.
It may still require a fair amount of work before it can be launched back into service but this latest update is pleasing to report on and hopefully there will no further delays which will allow the tram to enter service as planned. And when it does it looks set to be the pride of the fleet!
* The other FTT tram enjoying an extensive restoration at the moment is Railcoach 279 which remains at Brinwell Road. The latest update on this tram has seen the cab doors panelled and fitted. The FTT are currently awaiting the return of contractors JRW to undertake further rewiring on the tram. It has been confirmed that £3,200 of the £20,000 fundraising target has now been raised to help fund the remaining tasks on this tram. Further donations are welcome and can be made at http://www.justgiving.com/campaign/blackpoolrailcoach279appeal.