The Terror Train to return to Blackpool

One to file under “I didn’t see that happening” is the news that a long-lost advertising livery is to be resurrected on Blackpool Brush Car 634 with a version of its 1990s Coral Island Terror Train advert to be reapplied as part of what is being described as an “eye-catching role within the heritage tram operation”.

Brush 634 is one of the trams which were transferred into the ownership of the Fylde Transport Trust at the start of 2020 and remains at Rigby Road Depot where it has been waiting a spot in the workshops for several years to complete its restoration back to working order. It is currently in a version of the 1990s fleet livery which was painted by then owner Andy Ashton during its time at Rushden. 634 was one of the trams which were displayed during the 2019 September Spectacular as the next projects due to go through the workshops before other events intervened.

The tram entered the Paint Shop on 4th March for a start to made on returning the tram to the black based advertising livery. 634 carried this advert between June 1996 and November 2000 with it replacing a design for First Leisure. Following this advert the tram finished its days in Blackpool in an advert for the Cala Gran Holiday Park.

The Fylde Transport Trust are currently discussing the project that 634 is re-receiving this advert for along with Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours and more details are expected to be shared later this year.

634 is also not expected to be the only FTT owned tram to go through the Paint Shop with the organisation revealing that they have commissioned Blackpool Transport to paint a number of their trams during 2021.

The lost of the traditional green and cream colours in favour of this advertising livery is certainly not going to please everyone but it will certainly make a change from the constant stream of fleet livery!

634 and its Coral Island Terror Train advert seen at Bispham during August 1996. (Photograph by Gareth Prior)

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5 Responses to The Terror Train to return to Blackpool

  1. Andrew Waddington says:

    Great news! The all-over advert trams were a big part of why I loved Blackpool’s trams as a child and to me, a uniform fleet is quite boring. Multiple green and cream single deckers might appeal to enthusiasts, but to the general public they will all look too similar – with 621, 631, 648 & 680 already in the operational fleet and 279 & 304 hopefully set to join them before too long, it would be hard to justify adding 634 to that already long list. The ‘Terror Tram’ is far more likely to turn heads and hopefully might encourage a few extra people to take a ride. I’m also pleased that its superbly restored interior will finally be seen by more people; I’ve seen inside it during an organised depot visit and it really will put the other Brush cars to shame (at least until 298’s restoration is finished!).

    My only slight regret here is that 634 didn’t get an airing on the promenade in the livery its previous owner applied, but otherwise I applaud this development and look forward to seeing it!

  2. Tommy says:

    The return of an advert livery – or an interpretation of it – is both surprising and exciting news, IMO. They have been a part of the tramway for nearly 50 years now, and some of them were fantastic – including this iconic design. And any recreated livery that brings a bit of diversity to the mainly green and cream heritage fleet will be a welcome addition.

  3. John1 says:

    I think you might be surprised by the Lukewarm response from the casual passenger. I’ve seen people refuse 713 by saying they won’t a premium fare to ride a Tram that’s had an advert paid for. I know 634 isn’t sponsored and neither is 713 now but not everyone does. Don’t get me wrong it will attract some wanting a ride on the skull Tram – but Fleet liveries are prettier 9well some Fleet liveries – I’d rather have an advert than 70s!)
    As an example of what was a mainstay of the Tramway coffers and for something different on Gold days etc its brilliant and for Ghost Tours it would be perfect.

  4. David says:

    I was thinking of donating some money to the FTT. Now I have changed my mind.

  5. Chris Callan says:

    The lack of colour which was a feature of the tramway for so many years has been a obvious consequence post upgrade (with the LRT fleet largely carrying fleet livery, and Heritage naturally opting for many returning to Green & Cream). So welcome “something different”.

    A commercial focus and distinct role for each tramcar passing through the work is needed now more than ever. Look forward to seeing what exactly 634s new “distinct eye-catching role is”. Its not much use been sat in an enthusiast friendly livery with no clear role lying dormant at the back of the shed… (or worse added to the list asked to leave.. and finding itself languishing exposed to the elements)

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