Preserved Brush cars end up outside

Following on from the former Permanent Way gang car 259, Brush Railcoach 632 became the second of the Lancastrian Transport Trust’s preserved Blackpool tramcars to leave Rigby Road for pastures new this week. Unfortunately, both of these trams have been placed in outside storage due to unforseen problems with their intended new home.

Both of the LTT-owned Brush cars were destined to be housed inside a spare building at the Brinwell Road Industrial Estate, close to where other LTT vehicles reside. However, the low loader used to transport them was somewhat larger than the Scott’s lorries normally used to move trams, and was reportedly unable to access the building prompting a very hasty change of plan. After spending the night on the transporter, 259 was moved to Jackson’s bus yard in Marton the following morning where it was unloaded, joining Towing car 671 which arrived there earlier this year.

The same lorry then returned to Rigby Road, where sister Brush car 632 was waiting for its turn to depart. The tram had already had its pantograph removed in prepartion, but its tower and roof-mounted advert boxes remained in situ. This tram left its home of 75 years late in the afternoon, and went to join 259 at the coach yard in Marton. This latest move leaves just one of the original twenty Brush Railcoaches at Rigby Road – this being rebuilt car 631 which is expected to be retained for the forseeable future as a heritage car. 632 was famously the last unrefurbished Brush car to operate in Blackpool and provided stirling service for the last two years after a joint project with Blackpool Transport, the LTT and the Blackpool Tram Shop led to the car being returned to use painted in the 1970s green and off-white livery as an extra attraction for the tramway’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

These two trams have now joined the disapointingly large number of Blackpool trams in outdoor storage. Although their owners state that this is only a temporary measure, and that a smaller low loader will be hired in due course which can access the building where they were planned to be accomodated, this would lead to further expense for the charity if it comes to fruition. However, if the heavily-stripped 259 is left exposed to the elements for too long, it may not worth be retaining this tram as a restoration candidate, as with most of its exterior panels removed the wooden framework will have no protection from the harsh coastal climate. Hopefully this error will be put right very soon before any of Blackpool’s valuable tramway heritage could be lost forever.

The dusk falls on the working life of Brush car 632, seen at North Pier on the final weekend of the 2011 season. The chances of this sight being repeated now seem extremely slim. (Photo by Andrew Waddington)



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6 Responses to Preserved Brush cars end up outside

  1. Deckerman says:

    Er… is it just me or isn’t it just a teeny bit basic to check that the building that you are putting something in, can actually take the thing that you are putting in it and also the vehicle that’s taking it? I believe tape measures are still available somewhere or other. Could be wrong

    Plus this move has been on the cards for over a year, nearly two even, so it should hardly have been a surprise surely to be able to excuse such an error?

    And these are the same people wanting to run a new cross town bus service? Hope there’s no low bridges on it. Lol.

    Hmm. Should be interesting.

  2. Jono says:

    The lorry was too big to get in the depot and the bus service is being run by dennis dart (single deckers)

    • Deckerman says:

      Yes, understood, but doesn’t really bode well does it? You have to admit for a professional organisation, it is still a bit basic isn’t it?

  3. Ken Walker says:

    At least they realised before it was too late, unlike the countless number of lorry drivers who go walloping low bridges and causing disruption to the railway network on a regular basis. The trams were delivered to their current temporary location unscathed, plans are under way to move them into the building, and the weather will probably be fairly decent for a few weeks. I think that is what really matters on this one.

    • Ken Walker says:

      If you look on LTT’s news page they give a very full explanation of the circumstances behind the hurried moves. Basically they say BTS have evicted the trams because the LTT have made no progress with the Thornton Gate project, but LTT can’t make any progress with Thornton Gate because the contractors haven’t moved out yet. Also they have found that some of their trams have sustained damage at Rigby Road that they haven’t been advised of.

  4. Deckerman says:

    Still think it has much more to do with them now running several services directly against BTS and also that they have been given extension after extension, whereas all others such as Mr. Woodman, removed all their vehicles when asked.

    Plus, I feel that the TG project, irrespective of contractors etc, was always going to be a no goer if the Fleetwood project wqs relatively ahead of that one, as both will need some sort of funding and I can’t see both being fully funded if they are so similar and just a couple of miles apart.

    The Fleetwood one so far seems to have been funded by private as against public money, whereas LTT’s appears to depend upon the reverse and from what I’ve seen of their attempts so far, these haven’t always been fully successful, so perhaps that has more to do with it than anything.

    I just hope that someone rescues the cars asap.

    Anyway, time will tell.

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