As excitement for the next heritage tram running days in Blackpool grows, it is pleasing to report that Blackpool Transport have added an extra day to the list of occasions when the traditional tram fleet will be out on the promenade during 2013. It was previously expected that these cars would only be used on Bank Holiday weekends until the start of the illuminations, but they will now also be used on Sunday 23rd June, as well as at the annual Fleetwood Transport Festival as previously announced.
On 23rd June the popular ‘Totally Transport’ event will be held on New South Promenade, and this will co-incide with the operation of four different historic trams. Although the two events are not officially connected, hopefully the fact that both will take place on the same day will encourage those with an interest in different forms of transport to visit Blackpool and sample the heritage trams as well as the other attractions on offer that day. It is expected that a two-car service will run between Pleasure Beach and North Pier on this day, with both trams being swapped over part way through the afternoon to give extra variety and encourage visitors to pay for a day ticket to ride on all four cars.
The trams to be used on this day are not yet confirmed, but it is pleasing that Blackpool Transport are willing to run the vintage trams on another day. This means that there will be at least one day in May, June, July and August when it will be possible to ride on a heritage tram in the town and this appears to show that the company is pleased with the takings on the old fleet during the recent two periods of heritage operation.
In addition to the June 23rd event, further details have now been revealed regarding the intended role of the historic trams at the Fleetwood Transport Festival, which takes place on Sunday 21st July. This will feature two trams running tours between Fisherman’s Walk and Thornton Gate (probably Boat cars 230 and 600, weather permitting). Two other trams are due to be on static display in Fleetwood, and these are expected to be the recently painted Brush car 631 and ‘Princess Alice’ 706. As an added bonus, both tour cars will perform a single passenger trip from North Pier in the morning, and the highlight of the day will be a journey from Fleetwood back into Blackpool once the festival has ended. It is anticipated that tickets for this journey will be available to reserve during the day, so that enthusiasts can choose which tram they wish to ride on. The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust will also be in attendance with talks on their future plans offered, and members of the organisation will be placed on board one of the static trams during the event.
Hopefully both of these events, along with the upcoming spell of heritage tram operation over the coming Spring Bank Holiday weekend, will be very succesful and prove once again that the level of interest and support in the classic tram fleet at Blackpool is more than enough to justify their continued presence on the tramway.