Since its triumphant launch into public service at the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester, Blackpool Brush Railcoach 623 has been proving its worth as an extremely popular and useful addition to the tramway’s running fleet. After a few minor
teething problems – to be expected following two years of disuse – the tram has now settled down into regular service, and can normally be seen in action at the park every Sunday afternoon.
In addition to carrying visitors through the park, 623 also operated a public driving course at its new home for the very first time on Sunday 4th March. Of course, the tram is familiar to such duties, having been the first choice car for Blackpool Transport’s own ‘Tram Driving Experience’ package when this was inaugurated in August 2009, until it bowed out from service there at the end of that season. Another, more glamorous role for 623 a week
earlier, when it starred in a special photo charter at Heaton Park along with Stockport 5, to raise funds for the new depot appeal. This was a very long day for volunteers who kept their paying guests entertained for about 12 hours, with a vintage two and preserved buses joining in to recreate various scenes from a bygone era.
It would certainly be fair to say that 623 is proving to be a huge hit in Manchester, and this will surely continue, particularly in poor weather when the other trams on site are less appealing to ride on. Your writer is also looking forward to getting behind the controls of the car in the near future for a driving experience of his own – you have been warned!