Operating plan for Fleetwood ‘Tram Sunday’ announced

After much speculation a plan of action has now been revealed for the operation of heritage trams to and from the annual Fleetwood Festival of Transport, better known by many as Tram Sunday and happening this year on Sunday 19th July. An impressive total of eight historic trams will feature at this year’s event, six of which will operate a frequent timetabled service whilst two others will be on static display in Fleetwood.

A twenty minute heritage tram service is scheduled to operate between Pleasure Beach and Fisherman’s Walk Fleetwood (the temporary northern terminus of the tramway from the start of service until the event closes in the early evening). Departures from Pleasure Beach start from 1000 and last at this frequency until 1600, with an additional car departing from this location at 1630. Trams will also run every twenty minutes from Fisherman’s Walk, where a temporary heritage tram stop will be placed, from 1053 to 1653, and again there is another departure at 1723.

As an extra attraction, two static trams will be displayed at Pharos Street in Fleetwood for the duration of the festival and then both will run back to Blackpool, terminating at Rigby Road depot. Subject to availability, these should be Box 40 and Bolton 66 and anyone wishing to ride on this special trip will need to purchase a special ticket for £5 from the crew on board these two cars during the day – note that this is an extra tour and that normal heritage day passes will not be valid, although these will be available to use on the other six cars plus the normal service trams and buses as usual. Some swapping of crews is expected to occur to allow those manning the cars running all day a break, and it is to the credit of the organisers of the heritage service that this is being achieved without any gaps in the service! All of this should ensure that 19th July will be an interesting day although as yet, no word has been given regarding which trams will be chosen to operate on the day. Please note that this is all official information as confirmed by Blackpool Transport and the Blackpool Heritage Trust; unfortunately some people who are apparently involved with Tram Sunday have been claiming that as many as fourteen heritage trams will be attending. It is unclear where this idea has come from as all promotion from BTS had always referred to a six car service, meaning that the company is providing exactly what had been promised and more besides. Indeed, had this higher number of cars been used, this would have been even more than the legendary 1985 festival held to celebrate the tramway’s centenary year!

The full timetable for the heritage trams is available to download from the Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours Facebook page and any other announcements regarding trams at the event should also appear there.

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6 Responses to Operating plan for Fleetwood ‘Tram Sunday’ announced

  1. Deckerman says:

    All credit as ever to Bryan and his team for going the extra mile for such an excellent turn out of cars and for such a popular event.

    Regarding the number of cars attending, obviously I cannot speak for any other sources that either are, or purport to be, acting on behalf of the festival that BTO may have heard from, but if the article purely relates to my comments, I did state that it might be “in the region of 11”, not 14 and even then, that it needed confirming and that it was only what I was “led to believe”. Certainly not that that number “will be attending”. If however it relates to another source, then obviously I cannot comment on that.

    However, lets just see how many do turn up and then I can only hope that whether it’s 8, or 11 or whatever it is, that it all goes well and that everyone has a good time at the Fylde’s now, only free annual tram and transport event. Enjoy.

    • Ken Walker says:

      I have to agree there Deckerman. You did say that ‘at the last count there should be in the region of 11 cars on display or on service’, and that ‘from memory’ there should be 4 cars in the morning, a different 4 in the afternoon and 3 ‘statics’. So 1 out on the statics, so what. The BHT page does indeed say that there will be 6 trams running,but as far as I can see there is no comment ruling out any of the trams being changed during the day (especially if as usual open cars are turned out and then the rain arrives!). If 706 and 2 boats were turned out on a bright sunny morning which turns to rain then 11 in total is perfectly possible!
      At the end of the day numbers are not the thing, a fantastic service of heritage trams running to Fleetwood every 20 minutes for a large part of the day is the important thing.

  2. Christopher Callan says:

    The Official Tram Sunday Twitter / Tram Sunday Web Page / Tram Sunday Facebook page have all had a range of offering with very few resembling the actual offering. Just hope they haven’t caused problems for Blackpool Transport by unnecessarily raising expectations. Its a great package on offer and i for one cant wait.

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      Its worth noting that the official event programme also offers some rather confusing info on the heritage tram presence at the event – apparently Coronation 660 (out of service since 2010 and currently not operational) may be in service, whereas there is no mention of Balloon cars 701 or 717. Very strange! As John and Christopher have both said, what is being offered tram-wise is very good but it must be confusing for anyone who is not fully up to speed with developments on the tramway when such rubbish appears in print.

      • Deckerman says:

        With respect Andrew, it is perhaps not actually that strange as I have seen the copy of the write ups for the cars that were either requested or advised to the committee as potentially available at the time the programme was being collated. 701 or 717 were not in that list so they would hardly be stated as being definitely available. Again admittedly from memory, 660 was potentially originally being requested as a “static” by Left Coast as part of their “Spare Parts” arts festival, for the very reason that it was unserviceable.

        As you can appreciate the programme has to be complied well in advance of the event and so obviously things can change. 660 was and is, from my understanding, only mentioned in the programme as a potential attendee and was then possibly later dropped as not then being a usable car.

        Also remembering that the committee are all purely just very enthusiastic locals and not, very enthusiastic enthusiasts, perhaps their efforts could be tagged a little less harshly as just “rubbish”. The programme is purely a guide for the general public, not enthusiasts who mostly know the cars, their numbers, histories and liveries.
        Also FFToF were very conscious that they wanted to try to greatly increase the number of cars on offer from previous enthusiast comments, so at least give it to them that they were listening. But now that they have done that, they are being slated for getting the physical number of cars wrong which again was what they had been provided with at the time and also now for getting the car fleet numbers wrong!! A case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t comes to mind perhaps? What if next year they just ask for 2 cars then there’s much less chance of them getting it wrong perhaps!!

        Also your excellent site quite rightly can only publish what it is given and makes a proviso that all articles are carried in good faith. Well FToF do the same, so unlike all the other contributors on this subject, who so far thankfully seem generally supportive of these fine people’s best efforts (and who I and FToF thank for their fair and welcome comments), could you perhaps just try to cut them a little bit of slack please?
        They do work very hard all year for no reward, to bring everyone, (enthusiast or not) an event that, in my book, is second to none in size, variety and popularity and all for free. And so when part of their efforts are then stated as “rubbish”, I for one think it is perhaps just a little ill deserved.

        Can we PLEASE just enjoy this day on Sunday and perhaps be thankful that despite these unfair knocks, there are still people generous enough to give their valuable time to organise them.

  3. John says:

    I suspect whoever has produced the advance literature hasn’t been able to get or hasn’t been passed up to date info. As long as all parties put on a good show I’m sure the visitors will be pleased.

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