Following the previous announcement that the daytime heritage tram service in Blackpool had been cut back to just nine days for the 2014 season, it is pleasing to have some good news to report in regard of this decision. Thanks to the support of a local enthusiast group, two additional days have now been added to the programme, allowing the classic tram fleet to roam the tracks on all four of the Bank Holiday weekends this summer.
The May Day Bank Holiday weekend had been the biggest victim of the cutbacks affecting the heritage tram operation, with no plans to operate any of the heritage fleet that weekend, partly due to its close proximity to the Easter and Spring Bank Holidays, both of which are traditionally busier. However, help was at hand thanks to the Fylde Tramway Society, who annual Convention weekend always takes place that weekend. With many members who live out of town making a pilgrimage to Blackpool for this occasion, the Society have very generously offered to finance the running of the heritage service on two days – Sunday 4th May, and the Bank Holiday Monday itself, 5th May. This will also be the first (and possibly only) chance to ride on a vintage tram along the Blackpool tramway on a Bank Holiday Monday during 2014.
With the FTS Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday 3rd May, the addition of these two days to the heritage tram calendar should be well received by the Society’s members who will be free to attend the AGM and then enjoy the heritage cars over the following two days without missing anything. It is planned that three vintage trams will operate on both 4th and 5th May, although of course the possibility of crews changing cars during the days could result in an even greater number of different trams running. It has not yet been decided which trams will be used for May Day, but anything is undoubtedly better than nothing and hopefully both days will be well supported, both by tram enthusiasts and the wider public.
The Fylde Tramway Society deserve our praise and thanks for arranging to sponsor these two extra running days for the heritage fleet, the latest of numerous ventures the group has undertaken to support the Blackpool tramway. The total number of planned operating days for heritage tours in 2014 now stands at eleven, which is just four short of last year’s figure, and if this increases again then it will certainly offer far more potential for 2014 to be another great year for the trams of Blackpool.