Regular followers of the Blackpool Tramway will be well aware of the saga of the return to service of Standard 143 which after delays was finally launched into service in September only to fail on its inaugural evening leading to it only able to play a static role in the September Spectacular event (albeit a stunning static exhibit!). in the latest update from the trams owners, the Fylde Transport Trust, it has now been confirmed that the fault was a defective motor and this is set to be removed and sent away for overhaul as part of the plan to return 143 to service.
143 has recently been returned to the Fitting Shop at Rigby Road after the completion of varnishing on its paintwork (this helps to keep the paintwork in a better condition for longer). Since the September event was over the tram has also seen attention to its wiring with two resistance banks required instead of the one. Other work has also seen the bells fitted, decorative balcony steelwork put into place, red Corporation crests and Charles Furness – General Manager lettering added and the addition of side destination blinds. All may seem fairly minor jobs but all add up to a finished product which will eventually be one of the prides of the fleet!
Other FTT news concerns two other trams – one operational and one not yet running. The operational car is Balloon 715 for which a works programme has been agreed with Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours. This will see minor remedial work take place this winter and then more significant work after the 2020 season. However, the FTT are keen to retain, as far as possible, the “essential untouched character of the vehicle”.
The non-operational tram is Coronation 304 with an update given on its equipment. The overhauled air compressor has recently been bench tested and inspected at contractors CPM in Manchester and this found some traces of oil being output in the air supply and so a further strip down of the air side will be required to identify the cause of this. Once this is done and a fix is identified it is planned the compressor will be returned to Rigby Road for fitting back into 304.