In Pictures: Blackpool Tramway starts running again

Sunday 19th July 2020 was the first day in 112 days that the core Flexity run service in Blackpool operated following the complete suspension of services in March as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Trams are still only running a reduced service with a 20 minute frequency for most of the day (you’d normally expect a 10 minute frequency at this time of year) and the last tram leaves Starr Gate at 1830 (1930 back from Fleetwood Ferry).

On the first day back, 006 was the tram allocated to the first trip of the day with other trams in action including 001 and 016. There are changes to travelling on board with only the middle doors available for boarding and alighting (the single leaf doors at each end will not be used) and limited capacity on board including some seats cordoned off. Trams will be thoroughly cleaned each time they return to Starr Gate (so roughly every two hours) and it is possible to buy tickets from the conductor on board using cash although you are advised to buy in advance using either the mobile app or through the Blackpool Transport website. And, of course, face coverings must be worn by anyone not exempt when travelling.

016 heads away from the camera at North Pier with a service to Fleetwood Ferry.

Also in service was 001 which retains its advert for the various Merlin attractions around Blackpool.

Down at Rigby Road Depot and heritage trams wait for their chance to return. Included in this shot is the repainted Western Train locomotive along with Bolton 66, Brush 631, Balloon 723 and Balloon 711.

The far side of the depot with the Trampower tram just seen on the extreme left (still being stored for the owners) with two stored Fylde Transport Trust owned trams in the form of OMO 8 and Centenary 645 also visible.

Another look inside Rigby Road Depot where we see Brush 631, Balloon 723, Balloon 718 and Balloon 711. Both 631 and 723 have been out on the tracks since heritage services ended on test and driver familiarisation. (All Photographs by Graham Gough, 19th July 2020)

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