In Pictures: Blackpool 708 at its new home in Lincolnshire

Late last year – 29th November 2023 to be precise – a Blackpool Balloon Car departed from Rigby Road Depot in its home town for what is expected to be the last time as it was transferred for a new life at the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft. As it was late in the year and the museum was closed for the winter period although it was moved very little has been seen of it so far – but with a new season now underway that has changed as we take the chance to see the tram in its new home for the first time.

As we reported as the time of its purchase, 708 has been acquired by the Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft to become what they believe to be a unique Playtram as they know of no more anywhere! The tram had previously been owned by the Manchester Transport Museum Society but was not considered part of their operational collection and its purchase by the Trolleybus Museum means that it will survive, albeit for a very different purpose than it lived its life for the first 70 odd years.

Work on converting 708 into the Playtram has yet to start but it is now making itself at home and anyone who visits the museum will be able to see a Blackpool tram in an unusual location!

Still featuring modern dayglo destination blinds (apparently its off to Starr Gate!), Balloon 708 sits on a short section of track at the Trolleybus Museum.

Another view of 708. The track in the foreground is for the Sandtoft District Railway. (Both Photographs by Trevor Hall, 30th March 2024)

A side-on view of 708. (Photograph by Trevor Hall, 1st April 2024)

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4 Responses to In Pictures: Blackpool 708 at its new home in Lincolnshire

  1. Geoff Currie says:

    A bit of a sad ending, but at least it survives!

  2. Nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    Hopefully some of the youngsters who come to play on it in due course will develop curiousity about Blackpool trams, possibly leading to a serious interest. This would help to ensure the continuation of support which is so crucial to the Blackpool Heritage Trams. No doubt, there would be an expectation to see Balloons running in Blackpool, which is all the more reason to prioritise that class of Blackpool tram within the Heritage collection.

  3. Nostalgicyetprogressive says:

    One must always try to be positive about such developments. Don’t forget what a hopeless case 710 seemed (although given the current concerns about Rigby Road Depot, nothing can be taken for granted in that case). I believe that the Trolleybus Museum will value this special asset and do whatever they can to ensure its continued survival. I doubt they would wish to attract criticism from the various tram preservation groups if not the wider vehicle preservation movement. This would surely be counterproductive to their own cause. Therefore I believe we should remain optimistic about 708.

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