Centenary 642, one of the three trams planned to return to service during the September Spectacular in Blackpool, has now been used for the first time since the start of the year being allocated to the afternoon Promenade heritage service on Wednesday 23rd October. It was also used on Friday 25th October showing that the tram is truly back in service once more!
642 had suffered a fault during the Winter Gold event in January and was sidelined waiting for spare parts which were sourced from sister 643 (now in use as a classroom in Rugby but sold with all its parts still intact!). With the inverter replaced during the late summer period it had been hoped that the tram – which is the only member of the heritage fleet to carry an advertising livery – would debut during the September Spectacular event but the morning of the first day saw the tram suffer further technical problems preventing its use. But now with the work completed 642 has been cleared for service once more.
Its first day in use saw it coupled with Bolton 66 – the oldest and the newest trams in the heritage fleet together!
As for the other two trams due to return during that event in September neither are yet ready for operation. Standard 143 is likely to be a fairly long-term project (i.e. not this year!) once its motor fault is investigated and repairs put into place and there have been no updates yet on Balloon 707 which hasn’t yet run since its repaint in green and cream earlier this year.