In Pictures: Tram testing to North Station underway

As announced last week, Tuesday 23rd April 2024 saw the resumption of testing on the Blackpool Tramway extension to North Station. This was the first time that trams had run along the line since early July 2022 as preparations for public services to start later this year  began in earnest.

Day one of 2024’s testing eventually saw two trams used – 010 and 015. 010 started things off when it departed from the North Pier loop line to head up Talbot Road and onto the new terminus at around 0930. With these being new initial tests it was not to be a day of lots of tram movements up and down the line and indeed 010 would remain at the terminus for almost two hours until 1120 with it then heading back down and then north to Cabin and then back south along the current tramway.

Then at 1215 it was 015’s turn to head onto the extension with it too coming from the south and using the connection onto the line and up to North Station. 010 then came along shortly afterwards to also head up to North Station with both staying up there for about another hour.

This was just the first day of testing and the coming weeks will see more trams on the extension. Not only will this be ensuring all infrastructure is as it should be but also to familirise drivers with the new route. There will also be ghost/shadow running which will see the planned timetable operate. Blackpool Transport have stated that this will include trams running empty on the current tramway as well.

Once testing has been successfully completed and drivers are all trained on the line an opening date will be announced along with the planned timetable to operate on the line.

010 makes its way along Talbot Road up to the new terminus. The first tram on the extension for over 20 months. Here it is at Talbot Square tramstop.

010 continues its way along Talbot Road.

010 now stands at North Station terminus. (Photographs x3 by Michael Morton, 23rd April 2024)

Looking across to 010 standing at the platform with the Holiday Inn beyond. (Photograph by Peter Dockerty, 23rd April 2024)

Later on in the day and both 015 and 010 are now present at the terminus. (Photograph by Michael Morton, 23rd April 2024)

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