Picture in Time: Blackpool Twin Car 675+685

In this edition of “Picture in Time” it gives us another chance to see one of the Metro Coastlines liveried Twin Cars in action on the Blackpool Tramway.

Running trailer first here we see 685+685 on the approach to Bispham in 2010. The tram is operating a service which will be running to Thornton Gate and looking into the tram beyond the driver we can see just a solitary passenger on board although there could be more in the motor or further into the trailer. As can be seen here Set 5 is in the Line 5 Metro Coastlines Red & Yellow livery; this was the last of the Twins to get a repaint into this style and it would share these colours with Rebuilt Balloon 724. The tram can now be seen in Green and Cream once more but is sidelined from service awaiting the completion of a rewire.

Photograph by Bryan Grint

This entry was posted in Blackpool Tramway, Picture in Time. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Picture in Time: Blackpool Twin Car 675+685

  1. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    This particular group of trams always looked impressive in the Metro Coastlines livery and created an image of modernity ahead of the upgrade and introduction of the Flexity fleet. This particular set I would say, is the best of its class in preservation. Of special interest is the motor unit, having been the trailer in the experimental set of 1958 and although the sliding roof feature is gone, the internal décor is most appealing to the eye. It is probably not unrealistic to expect that this tram could return to service in time for the Blackpool and Fleetwood Tramroad 125th Anniversary in 2023. Maybe an all cream livery would add to the overall appearance, now that set 2 is unlikely to return to the rails any time soon. Indeed, for a long term project to reintroduce a second twin car, maybe set 6 would be of greater interest as it includes the motor unit from that 1958 pairing and the trailer appears somewhat different from the normal design. Then set 2 could become available for spares.

    • Peter Watts says:

      Some interesting comments that will probably generate “talking rubbish” replies from certain commentators here. However I prefer to agree on the fact that both original cars have been preserved, although I do not agree on the reasoning to repaint set 5 in cream, and use set 2 for spares. Within set 5, 675 lost its roof windows many years ago so would look strange in cream. Hence the original reason to repaint this set in green and cream. Set 2, although damaged in the famous fire event, is reasonably straight forward to repair in the fact that it needs a rewire and some attention to the internal panel work. “Straight forward” does not necessarily mean fast, but a job which has been done on other trams over the years. But with Set 5 due back first, it is clear Set 2 will take a back seat to allow some of the more urgent (and unique) projects to be completed first.

  2. John1 says:

    I agree with Peter’s comments but I wonder if Heritage continues something similar to current patterns if a Twin is an expensive and unnecessary luxury.

    • Chris Callan says:

      I think a single retained Twin Set carefully and lovingly restored featuring recreated the traditional festoon lights that they once sported with a high quality interior close to the original configuration can and should be justified. Only time will tell in these challenging times what the future holds. So much time, money & energy in recent years has been wasted that is unfortunately increasingly clear to see.

      Set 5 (675+685) I always found quite depressing sat inside it personally. Poor quality interior which felt tired and virtually untouched when it rolled out onto Heritage Tours in 2015. The lack of roof lights in the Motor Car (whilst part of the classes development arguably) lets it down as well. I can’t be the only one who got tired pretty quickly of sitting on something where the windows would barely open whilst with tired seats, tired interior, very tired looking cabs ends. Am sure some like the nostalgia of getting on board untouched “just like the final years” vibe it offered but found it inconsistent with the premium brand “Heritage Tram Tours” ought to be maintaining.

Leave a Reply