Centenary car 648 will not now be taking part in the heritage operation on the Blackpool Tramway this weekend after its repaint was not completed in time despite the best efforts of the team of Blackpool Transport’s Rigby Road workshops. The tram is still in the paint shop and although the undercoat of its repaint into green and cream has been completed it has been decided that the number of tasks remaining will not be finished in time.
Although this news will probably disappoint some who were looking forward to riding on the tram in green and cream most will hopefully understand that every effort has been made to get the tram ready but in the end there are only so many hours in the day. For those who are particularly disappointed in missing the chance to ride on the tram this weekend Blackpool Transport have agreed to display 648 on Blundell Street for approximately two hours from 1300 on Saturday 25 May. This will allow enthusiasts to see and photograph how the tram is currently looking and give everyone something to look forward to when 648 does enter service in its heritage livery.
With 648 now out of action this weekend there have had to some further changes to the line-up of trams in service. On Saturday 25 May 648 has been replaced by the ever popular Bolton 66 which will form the first departure of the day from depot running through to Fleetwood Ferry. It has not currently been revealed which tram will be added to the heritage line-up on Monday 27 May when 648 was again meant to be in service.
Despite this setback for the heritage service it still looks like being an excellent weekend of tram action with the return to service of Centenary 642 (in its possible last use) and Balloon 723 for the first time since the end of traditional tram operation in November 2011. With Princess Alice also hopefully putting in an appearance on Saturday 25 and yellow Balloon 701 and Twin Car 272+T2 at other times across the weekend alongside the Modified Balloons there should be something for everyone to enjoy.