The Lancastrian Transport Trust have confirmed that Blackpool Coronation car 304 has been withdrawn from service prematurely following a minor incident at Beamish Museum, where the tram has been operating on loan for the past few weeks. The tram derailed whilst in service on Saturday 24th November, and duly remained out of action for the rest of the weekend.
Early on in the day, 304 derailed on entering the passing loop at Pockerley, where it is believed that the rear bogie left the rails. The tram was guided back onto the track with some assistance from a JCB vehicle, and was then driven empty back to the depot under its own power, pending investigation into the cause of the incident. It is unclear whether the tram itself was to blame; one possibility is that there may have been an obstruction on the points, bearing in mind the harsh weather of the previous night. However, it is understandable that the Museum took the decision not to use 304 anymore that weekend as a precaution, as safety must come first when members of the public are being carried.
It is not currently known whether 304 will run again at Beamish before it heads back to the Fylde coast. The tram was due to operate there for the last time on Tuesday 27th November, but this is now in some doubt. Whatever happens next though, the Coronation’s short stay at the Museum has been a highly succesful one and has brought much enjoyment to the many enthusiasts who visited to see and ride on it during its stay.