Both the Fylde Transport Trust (FTT) and North East Electrical Transport Trust (NEETT) as well as being handily easy to give easier to type acronyms to(!) are also both currently working on Blackpool trams in their collections with the FTT’s attention reverting to Railcoach 279 and the NEETT working on Balloon 721.
The work on Railcoach 279 by the FTT had stopped a little while ago so that their coachbuilder could be loaned to Blackpool Transport to work on Standard 143 whilst attention was turned towards a number of jobs on buses in the collection but with these now completed its back to it with the Railcoach. Recent work has seen the trolley tower plywood base being renewed whilst the templates for the “D” shaped corner cab windows are also being made. A panel from a Brush Car is being used to form the template but it will need altering as English Electric Railcoach’s had a more curved glass.
Across the country at the North East Land, Sea and Air Museum and work has also resumed in recent times on a cosmetic restoration of Balloon 721. On the upper deck interior two coats of stainer have been applied with wood beading to be added where the plywood is joined. The interior wall panels are due to be replaced as part of this work with the old metal panels having been removed some time ago which had revealed a good deal of water ingress in the trams framework.
They are two trams which have different futures planned with the hope that 279 will return to service as an active tramcar once more whilst for the Balloon it looks set to remain as a static exhibit but it is good to see progress being made on both – long may it continue!