‘Boat’ 236 prepares to set sail

The restoration of Blackpool ‘Boat’ car 236 (ex-607) is now virtually complete, and the tram is currently being prepared to leave Blackpool for a new home at Crich Tramway Village on Monday 23rd April. Following some succesful test runs on Hopton Road a few days ago, the tram was moved into the Electrical Compound on Saturday 21st April where its trolley tower will be removed. The low loader used to move Standard 143 has remained in Blackpool and will be used to transport 236 to its new home.

Preparations for this much-anticipated new arrival are also in hand at Crich where a major shunting operation took place on April 21st in order to accomodate the Boat car in the workshop. This saw Blackpool Jubilee car 762 moved to the main depot for the first time since its arrival last November; however this is merely for storage and the tram is not expected to run at the Museum for some time yet, as other cars appear to be higher priorities for attention. A more welcome move was that of Paisley 68 to the workshop, presumably in readiness for its planned repaint into orange and blue Glasgow livery in time for the commemoration of 50 years since Glasgow’s last tram in September.

Other movements on what was a very eventful day included London United Tramways 159 which made a brief appearance on the depot fan, running under its own power. Blackpool Brush car 630 was also out on the mainline, being used for driver training ahead of its launch into service. It’s certainly heartening to see so many positive developments involving the tram fleet at Crich, and Blackpool ‘Boat’ 236, along with the other new additions to the running fleet, will hopefully bring joy to thousands of visitors for many years to come.

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