Box 40 runs to Fleetwood

Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40 became the first heritage tram to operate on the Blackpool Tramway on Saturday 5th January when it operated a private tour for the “Friends of Forty”, an organisation who have provided financial support in the past to return the tram to the tracks. This is the second time since the upgrade of the Blackpool Tramway that 40 has made the trip back to its home town – a site that many people thought they would never see again.

The tour departed Rigby Road depot at approximately 1100 with a full load already on  board with boarding for this tour allowed outside the depot. Although some reports have
suggested that some participants on the tour had been given the incorrect date for the trip this appeared not to be case as everyone who was meant to be on board was present and correct. After departing the depot 40 headed the short distance to the crossover at Foxhall from where it returned back south to Pleasure Beach. After pausing for photos alongside Brush Railcoach 627,  which remains in situ alongside the loop awaiting a move back to Kirkham Prison for further storage until plans for a Museum at Copse Road progress, 40
headed north as far as Little Bispham where it went onto the loop. As Engineering Car 754 was checking the overhead on the exit to the loop an impromptu photo stop was taken here with the approval of the crew and an Inspector. The tram only returned as far south as Bispham and after another reversal it then embarked on the main part of the journey, and the most anticipated section, to Fleetwood Ferry. Upon arrival at Fleetwood, and after passengers had disembarked at the designated heritage tram stop 40 was stabled on the passing loop on the Esplanade at Fleetwood whilst the tour participants were treated to a presentation and a three course meal. After around three hours the tour participants returned to 40 which departed Fleetwood at approximately 1545.

Unfortunately it appears that this tour bought out the worst in some tram enthusiasts with a large amount of rumour and misinformation seeking to discredit either the organiser of the tour or the Friends of 40 group. Whether this was deliberately malicious or whether it was the result of genuine mistakes is not clear but it does show how anyone can make a comment on the internet and it is taken as gospel by other people. A warning to us all to question everything which we read (and I include this website in that)! British Trams Online would like to apologise for the inaccuracies which appeared in the original article regarding this tour and we are thankful to Paul Derrick – who was a participant on the tour – for correcting the information we gave.

Andrew Waddington, who wrote the original article about the tour on British Trams Online, says: “All of the articles I produce for this website are based on reliable sources and in this case, this was in the form of several postings on more than one website by a number of people. The validity of some of these sources has since been called into question, and therefore in the interest of fairness, the original article has been removed from our news page. Accuracy is extremely important to me, and I’m very sorry if anyone feels that this has been compromised on this rare occasion. Unfortunately, being unable to attend every single tram event that goes on in the UK, Gareth and myself often have to rely on second hand sources and these are always reported in good faith, only when we believe them to be reputable.”

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4 Responses to Box 40 runs to Fleetwood

  1. Martin Bryan says:

    I have to admit to being slightly confused now as the original comments about the tour being secret were made on this site on the linked article by “A friend of 40”. Sadly it does appear to have been a bit of a farce, I do thank Paul for giving the correct information from inside the tour but feel that the original author cannot be criticised for his original article from the information available at the time.

    • Gareth Prior says:

      “A Friend of 40” also stated that the tour was on Sunday 6th when it was the day before so that may well question the validity of the remainder of his information!

    • Paul says:


      I don’t blame Andrew or Gareth at all for publishing in good faith what they were lead to believe to be correct by postings elsewhere… They are as much ‘victims’ of whoever’s malicious rumour spreading as the intended target. In fact they deserve much praise for acknowledging the inaccuracies and publishing the corrected article (unlike other sites? and unlike 40’s so called friend who doesn’t seem to have responded yet…)

      Ironically he did make some valid points about the behavior of following photographers in that posting, so it is unfortunate that it was also used to discredit the 40 tour by misleading other enthusiasts for whatever reason.


  2. Gareth and Andrew,

    I would like to thank you both for a speedy rewrite of the original article “Box 40 Runs to Fleetwood”. Although not on the trip myself I had heard very good reports about the outing, which were very much at odds with what was being said on certain blog postings (not BTO).

    I have to say I was very alarmed by some of the posted comments being made on one other other website in particular, which up to that point I had generally enjoyed reading. There is nothing wrong with people being given the opportunity to air their different views on an open forum. But when those views turn deeply personal and not far short of abusive, in addition to being factually incorrect, then that is a step too far in my opinion!

    The internet by its nature can be very damaging when used thoughtlessly. Hopefully lessons have been learnt. What any transport professional would have thought reading some of the postings I wouldn’t like to think. Certainly the credibilty of the tram enthusiast movement would have been brought into question.

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