Coronation 304 next FTT tram on the road to return after FTS funding confirmation

The good news in relation to Fylde Transport Trust owned trams just keeps on coming! Following on from the recent start of testing of Standard 143 and the return of Railcoach 279 to Rigby Road comes the news that additional funding for the overhaul of Coronation 304 has been confirmed which should see that tram re-enter service during 2022 as well!

304 is a very popular tram amongst enthusiasts and is often towards the top of wish list of trams to re-enter service so the news that the Fylde Tramway Society have agreed to donate a significant sum towards the tram is bound to make some people very happy indeed.

It has been some nine years since 304 last carried passengers, this being during a brief loan spell at Beamish in 2013. You have to go even further back to around 2010 for the last time it operated in service on the Blackpool Tramway although it did undergo some test runs in 2018 which didn’t lead to a return to full-time action as a number of jobs were identified before it could run again.

The donation from the Fylde Tramway Society comes after a Special General Meeting where a vote of members agreed to give the money to the 304 overhaul project (the money in itself had come from the estate of the late Daphne Luff, daughter of Walter Luff).

This extra money towards the tram will now allow the next steps to take place. These are:

  • Installation of the new rubber suspension blocks (already in stock)
  • Full retrim of the seats (moquette is already in stock and one seat has been retrimmed for checking of materials)
  • Full external repaint

A few other issues need to be attended to as well but once this has all been done it should be possible to commission 304 for heritage operation. The hope is that this will be during 2022 but as with all heritage overhauls and restorations there are no definites and no date will be announced until it is sure the tram is ready for a return.

With 304 now in the priority queue for attention and with 143 and 279 also on the road to return along with Brush Car 634 in its special Terror Tram advert, it is looking like 2022 could be a very special year of the trams of the Fylde Transport Trust!

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3 Responses to Coronation 304 next FTT tram on the road to return after FTS funding confirmation

  1. Paul D says:

    304 did in fact run in 2014 on it’s return to Blackpool rails… It did one day of public service on the August bank holiday weekend, at least one Illuminations tour and two private hires including for your then assistant editor’s birthday…

  2. johnsullivan says:

    If you don’t mind, can I just say 304 did run on heritage during the 2014 illuminations, I went on it once

  3. nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    Very encouraging. With the 125th Anniversary of the Blackpool & Fleetwood Tramroad just over a year away, it is good to note that three cars associated with the route – 279, 304 and 634 – would probably be available to recreate the Cleveleys to Fleetwood Shuttle of July 1998, previously operated by three early cars – Rack 2, Box 40 and 167. The use of these tramcars of the following generation would provide an interesting contrast, while still being highly relevant in historic terms. 634 really looks the part within, notwithstanding the more modern advert livery and of course both 279 and 304 should also prove very popular.

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