In Pictures: The forgotten Blackpool Brush Car?

With Brush Cars in the news again recently following the move of the Fylde Transport Trust’s 634 from Blackpool to the East Anglia Transport Museum we now take a look at what could be described as the forgotten Blackpool Brush Car. 626 was one of three of the single deck Railcoaches to undergo a major overhaul in the 1990s featuring some modern features but whereas the other two (630 and 631) have enjoyed a secure future since, this tram has not been so lucky.

Repainted into a smart green and cream livery it was somewhat of a surprise when 626 was sold to Merseytravel who were acquiring a number of trams for their ambitious proposals under the Wirral Waters banner which would have seen an extended tramway serve it. Although initially transferred to the Wirral Heritage Tramway it would never be destined to carry passengers there and would eventually depart from the site and move to storage.

626 – which had ownership transferred to Peel Holdings – has been in outside storage on Birkenhead Docks for over five years now and sadly, as with anything stored in the open, those five years have not been kind to the tram. As well as the expected deterioration as a result of being exposed to the elements it has also been subject to vandalism with the majority of the windows now smashed.

Development work at the Docks is continuing and is growing ever closer to 626. What the future holds for the tram remains uncertain.

An aerial view of 626 at the Docks showing the current condition of the car. (Photograph by Paul Redfern, 10th November 2023)

This entry was posted in Blackpool Tramway. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to In Pictures: The forgotten Blackpool Brush Car?

  1. David says:

    It used to be in an area where vandals could not get near it. They clearly thought that wasn’t a bad enough situation so they moved it near to a fence where the window smashing swine could get easy access.

  2. Big G says:

    This seems timely. The ‘what’ is self-apparent, the ‘by whom’ is less obvious. Euthanasia and organ donation is the obvious solution, and I guess the current owners have an imminent disposal problem. Purchase of the tram should not be a problem, and scrap value should not be prohibitive. There are four heritge organisations who might be interested in parts,and they might approach it collectively, on a partial joint basis, or individually. The site looks suitable for breaking the vehicle. It may be that there is no reclamation value there; I wonder if anyone has looked? One obvious ‘Project Manager’, Crich based, comes to mind (and he may well have considered it already?).

  3. Nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    Parts from 626 would definitely be put to excellent use for any restoration project that other organisations have in mind. It’s important that unlike with 716 (which was probably scrapped, although certain rumours persist) any viable parts do not go to waste and instead help to progress ongoing or planned projects. I doubt that restoration of 626 itself would be worthwhile, given the number of Brush Cars already in preservation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *