More early season debuts in Blackpool

The second day of Blackpool’s heritage tram service for 2015, Sunday 29th March, saw two more trams making their public debuts for the year. For the second day running the weather was extremely poor for much of the day, with the sun only coming out late in the afternoon, but that did not prevent two different trams running – the chosen pair being Twin set 272+T2 and Centenary car 648.

These two trams were quite surprising but extremely welcome choices and both cars operated exclusively between Pleasure Beach and North Pier on the ‘blue’ timetable. Passenger loadings were lower than on the Saturday, but still quite good considering the rain and wind which battered the promenade – and of course the use of volunteer crews means that the trams were running at a profit, which is the most important thing!

The use of the beautiful cream Twin set was especially notable as these trams were traditionally employed most in the high season. Appearances in service at Easter were always rare, so to have one out a week before Easter Sunday may well have been a first. This shows us again that the Blackpool tramway still has the ability to surprise in the modern era and history is still being made even now. This was also a good chance to see the recently fitted black and white destination blinds on the trams, although so far 648 has only received this treatment at one end – presumably the blind fitted was a prototype to ensure that it would fit, as the Centenary cars have different sized destination screens to the rest of the fleet.

Hopefully the positivity regarding the heritage tours will continue to grow and 2015 will prove to be a golden year for this world famous tramway.

A superb scene at Pleasure Beach during meal break time, as Twin set 272+T2 meets Centenary car 648, The new heritage style destinations can be seen clearly on both trams. (Photo by Rob Bray)

 

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5 Responses to More early season debuts in Blackpool

  1. Peter Watts says:

    Effectively the new Heritage blind fitted to 648 is very much a prototype blind, and will probably be replaced at the end of the season with a complete set. The Centenary blinds are actually some of the most difficult for me to replicate, as there was probably not one the same as another!

  2. John says:

    The blind looks much better than the previous ones! A huge than you to Peter for doing them. I’ve only one gripe, that paper in the window is really annoying! Very impressed that set 2 and 648 have been out – here’s hoping for Easter!!

  3. Franklyn says:

    Is the small “Limited stop” display on 272 also a new blind or is it painted onto the glass? It strikes me that when these cars were newly converted in the early 60s they were designed to drop their trailers at quiet times, so when this happened and they worked other services the “Limited stop” would need winding out.

    Anyone know the current and also the historic answer?

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Its painted on – and its been like that since the tram was outshopped in the original cream livery in 2012.

  4. Paul Turner says:

    When new the cars had Limited Stop at one end and progress twin car at the other. The trailers generally had the progress logo. In theory the motor car could be turned to ‘hide’ Limited a Stop. There is some evidence of taped over glasses too. However the twin cars always ran limited stop with certain stops prohibited. This was later eased though leaving just a few tram road stops as non twin car stops due to restricted boarding areas. This was later dropped too. The cars, for a while, had end boards showing the stops served and interior maps too.

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