As has been widely reported recently, the Crich Tramway Village operating fleet is set to increase by one this month, as Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 is due to be launched into passenger service at a specical Brush car themed event on Saturday 12th May. A full preview of the event can be found elsewhere on this website, but of course 630 is not the only new addition to the fleet for 2012…
Following a great deal of speculation, the Tramcar Sponsorhsip Organisation have finally confirmed that Blackpool ‘Boat’ 236 (or 607 if you prefer) is due to be launched on Sunday 3rd June. Appropriately this will co-incide with the ‘Beside the Seaside’ event, and as this is an extended Bank Holiday weekend, further events are also planned for the days immediately afterwards to co-incide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This will include ‘circular tours’ using open tramcars – subject to suitable weather of course – and this should feature 236 operating alongside Blackpool Toastrack 166, giving two contrasting trams from Blackpool which were designed to appeal to holidaymakers. The announcement about 236 has been surprisingly low-key thus far with even the TSO website, which has not been updated for some time, failing to mention it – but hopefully once 630‘s launch has passed attention will turn to the Boat car.
Another new addition to the Crich running fleet in 2012 will be London United Tramways 159, a car which has been undergoing a complete reconstruction in the workshop since 2005. Following on from a few tentative moves around the depot yard, 159‘s big day finally arrived on Tuesday 1st May, when the car was taken out onto the main line for the very first time. Some photos of 159 at Town End can be found at http://www.crichtramwayvillagenews.blogspot.co.uk/ and show to good effect the stunning appearance of this tram. LUT 159 will hopefully be launched soon after 236, and should be available for service at the forthcoming London event which is being held on Sunday 8th July.
Of the expected ‘new’ trams, this will leave only Blackpool Jubilee car 762 still to enter service and once the other cars have settled down, this tram should return to the works where it too can be prepared for use. No timescale has been confirmed regarding the launch of this tram, but whatever happens with 762, 2012 is certain to be one of the most exciting years at Crich for quite some time, and tram enthusiasts will have plenty of reasons to visit this season.