The ninth of Blackpool’s new low-floor tramcars arrived in town late on the afternoon of
Thursday 8th March. The tram had been expected earlier in the day, but an incident on the motorway had delayed its journey and therefore it was almost dark by the time that the tram touched down on Blackpool rails for the first time. In keeping with the last few deliveries, the new Flexity2 tram was driven under its own power into the Starr Gate depot after an uneventful unloading process.
Once again, the latest addition to the fleet has no external branding but is believed to be 009 – so it seems that the cars are now being delivered in numerical order, after the earlier deliveries were out of sequence. It follows just six days after the previous arrival and hopefully more trams will arrive before the tramway re-opens early next month.
Work has finally started on making visual preparations to the new trams for their passenger service and new vinyls, including fleet numbers, are in the process of being applied to the whole class. Only 001 had been adorned with fleet numbers up to now, so this is a positive sign that the class are being made ready for their all-important debut in public service, which is of course just a few short weeks away! Testing and driver training also continues, and earlier this week reports appeared online that two Flexities had been
undergoing some tests coupled together. Presumably this is to test the new cars’ towing capabilities and not some sort of 2nd generation Twin car experiment – although of course in Blackpool, far stranger things have happened before! On a more serious note, Thornton Gate is still the furthest north that the trams can go – but hopefully more of the system will be made available for trial running soon.