Testing to start on Blackpool Tramway extension on 23rd April

Tuesday 23rd April will be the day that many have been waiting for – trams will start testing on Talbot Road as the Blackpool Tramway extension approaches an opening date. OK, its not really the start of testing, more a resumption, but this will be an important milestone in the project which will eventually see the first extension of the tramway in modern times.

We have previously had a false testing dawn on the short extension with the first trams having already run on the line in 2022. This started in March 2022 when overnight gauging runs took place on the 16th of the month and then saw daylight testing undertaken in June/July of the same year. But since the start of July there have been no further tram movements.

A lot of the blame in the continued delay in trams being able to operate has been the construction of the Holiday Inn hotel and restaurant which for a time saw some of the overhead on the immediate approach to the tramway removed. But with work having finished on the hotel to allow it to open from 1st May there has been some more work on the tramway which has seen the overhead back up and recently buffer stops installed.

It has now been announced that trams will start testing on the extension from Tuesday 23rd April. Its stated that the majority of this will be at various times Monday to Friday although it may be necessary for some weekend testing to also take place.

After the testing has been successfully completed then further details will be announced about the start of public services. And yes that will also mean that we will find out what the service pattern on the tramway is planned to be! Rumours suggest that May is a possibility for the commencement of services but a lot will depend on the success of the testing.

Whisper it quietly but we may be on the final straight for the start of services to Blackpool North Railway Station!

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13 Responses to Testing to start on Blackpool Tramway extension on 23rd April

  1. Jack Gledhill says:

    The question is will it be a comprehensive test involving the existing tramway and the extension integrating with each other over a full day and keeping to tramway timetable scheduling or just another test to see if the trams actually work, plus of course the issues of Dwelltime at North Station which is critical as this also involves over 150 instances of trams to and the extension crossing the A584 everyday thus severely affecting traffic on said road!
    Is the extension already dead in the water when the existing route of 6 trams per hour was drastically cut?

    • lazzer says:

      Not bothered as I do not like cars. I do like trams though. Do you like trams Jack? If not why do you post on this site? Try British Car Lovers Online News.????

    • Kev says:

      Considering its supposed to open next month you would expect a period of testing and ghost running.
      It’s not going to severely impact traffic that much. The biggest issue will be drivers not keeping the box junction clear.
      When was the 6 trams cut? they haven’t announced any service pattern for it yet, other than various proposed ones in meeting minutes.
      Other Tramways have a lot more movements on much busier roads and it doesn’t cause chaos.

  2. Nigel Pennick says:

    Passengers on it at last in 2024 … or 2025? Dudley due to be operating a passenger service first – what odds would the bookies give for that? Edgbaston, Ocean Terminal and Wolverhampton Station extensions have already beaten Blackpool’s unimaginable delay on this short line.

    • Kev says:

      Blackpool’s achilles heel with this was the stupid vanity project of incorporating it with the hotel. It should always have either ramped down to the station or been in front of Sainsbury’s and it would have been open years ago. It also can’t go anywhere else now (unless it gets points on Talbot Road!)

      • Count Otto Von Dusseldorf says:

        Any future expansion would possibly be in a southerly direction. Up Lytham Rd with a stop at the Bloomfield Rd junction ( handy for the football stadium), then a stop at Waterloo Rd ( handy for the shops) then onwards to Blackpool Airport ( if resumption of commercial civilian flights etc). Would cost more than the Blackpool North extension due to longer distance. Would be good if it happened, but as always funding it in current economic climate is doubful

        • Kev says:

          Count, the original ‘sell’ was to expand onwards to the hospital. This was never going to happen due to being landlocked.

        • Kev says:

          Trams should have connected park and ride at south car parks. Absolutely no point in going down Lytham Road otherwise, apart from football traffic. Its a run down dead part of town.
          Airport would be served by a branch down from Starr gate.

  3. Andy says:

    Jack has made some good points about dwell times at stops and the integration of the new tram route with nthe existing tramway and road junction at Talbot Square.

    I’ve not been to Blackpool for quite a while so sould someone clarify where the first Northbound stop is once trams turn off the prom? My guess it every single service will have to stop there as bewildered passengers panic to alight the tram they thought was going to take them to their hotel on North Shore but has unexpectedly turned right!

    Remember the original North Station service closed in the early 1960s, when there were a lot more people in Blackpool than there are now. I can’t see the logic in reinstating it now. What’s changed over the last 60 years to make people want to use it again?

    • Paul says:

      As per numerous photos on here and elsewhere, the only intermediate east-bound platform is outside the Trilogy Nightclub (the first location after the delta where the track is straight enough for long enough to allow a platform). NONE of the stops on the extension require a tram to stop in a live traffic running lane, so the trams will have no impact on the flow of other traffic. Of far greater concern is car drivers infringing the Yellow Box junction and impeding the trams (the signalling system ensures that trams won’t stop blocking the road and a tram waiting at the junction is on it’s own dedicated lane separate to road traffic)

    • Kev says:

      Andy, they have NOT reinstated North Station, this is the even older Layton Route! Though the more direct station route (its not that close to the station) makes more sense.

    • Kev says:

      Andy, there is only one stop after exiting the prom outside Trilogy nightclub. There are no stops heading west which I think is short sighted.

  4. Jack Gledhill says:

    I believe I’ve already mentioned that I AM a tram lover as I believe Blackpool has already got the best tramway in the country(ON THE PROMENADE)!In their wisdom Blackpool Council has cut the service down from 6 trams per hour down to 4 trams per hour seemingly on a permanent basis!This will possibly result in the whole system now running at a loss simply to accommodate the new extension which will almost certainly produce a loss as there will be a distinct shortage of clients!

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