The formal break-up of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust tram collection has begun with orphaned Trailer Car 687 (T7 in its original number) making the short journey from Wyre Dock to Rossall School. The move saw the tram arrive in its new surrounds on Monday 2nd August where work will now begin in earnest of restoring the tram to its “former glory”.
Having been without a matching Towing Car since 677’s bodyframe was used in the restoration of the Western Train, the survival of 687 has been one of the more unusual in tramcar preservation history. Originally acquired by Merseytravel for the now abandoned Wirral Waters scheme it returned to the Fylde Coast after being privately purchased. It was stored at Wyre Dock with the other trams of the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust with ownership of the car transferring to the Trust in 2016.
With the Trust announcing earlier this year that they had decided to close and that their trams would be offered to other interested parties, 687 has been the first to find itself a new home. Rossall School had originally been reported as interested in Balloon 710 but eventually settled on the Trailer which more suited their intended purpose.
A short section of track has been put down in the Rossall School grounds and 687 was transported by the very familiar sight of a Scotts low loader on Monday 2nd August. The one difference of this move was that it was lifted from the storage yard onto the low loader and this was repeated at Rossall School.
In a tweet Rossall School have said they will use the tram as a unique function room and that it will be transformed back to its former glory in the coming weeks. With the tram featuring an mismatch undercoat paint job of grey and black and with the interior having been stripped presumably this transformation will be inside and out.
Of the other trams still under the auspices of the Trust they remain stored either at Wyre Dock or Rigby Road Depot. The latest on those trams in an article on the Tramtalk website is “Further discussions on remaining cars are underway with a number of interested Parties.”