Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a number of long-standing restoration and overhaul projects to be put on hold there is one high profile job which has been continuing – Blackpool Railcoach 279. It has to be said that the rate of progress on the tram is nothing short of outstanding with recent work included the external repanelling, really showing the shape of things to come.
The exterior is now fully repanelled with the new panels clearly identified as the few remaining sections not required repanelling remain in the old 1980s Green and Cream livery that the tram carried when last in service as 679. The difference in the tram now that it has all its panels in place is good to see and it does really start to increase the excitement of a time when the tram may return to service on Blackpool Promenade once more.
Other good news for the Fylde Transport Trust team is that the company contracted to make the windscreens has returned to work after lockdown and they are now working on these again whilst the company due to supply the corner windows have also now returned to business meaning these will also able to progress in the near future.
With the quality of the work which has been undertaken on the tram so far it really does give you something to look forward to and we are sure when 279 is launched back into service it will prove to a popular addition to the Blackpool Heritage Fleet.
* Railcoach 279 is one of the trams owned by the Fylde Tramsport Trust and as part of their continued fundraising attempts to help bring more trams and buses back into use they have recently launched a new book. The Fylde Transport Trust Collection does exactly what the title suggests – and takes a look at the trams and buses in the FTT collection, updating the status of each vehicle which includes the largest collection of Blackpool Trams owned by a charitable organisation in the UK. Costing £10 (with £8 going directly to the FTT) the book can be purchased through Videoscene.