The tenth annual ‘Totally Transport’ event, held on Blackpool’s New South Promenade, has been enhanced this year thanks to the excellent news that Blackpool Transport will be operating their heritage tram service to Starr Gate for this event. Normally the heritage fleet are not allowed to run in passenger service south of Pleasure Beach, but this rule will be relaxed for one day only in 2014!
The popular transport festival is due to be held on Sunday 22nd June this year. As well as trade stalls, live entertainment and a gathering of vintage vehicles displayed on the promenade road, a three-car heritage service is also scheduled to operate during the day. Whereas for the last four years there has been no vintage tram presence on New South Promenade – where the main event is actually held – this will happily be restored for the 2014 festival. Although full details of the service provision have yet to be confirmed, it is believed that a temporary heritage tram stop will be placed at Harrowside for the event, close to the Solaris building which is the central focus for many of the key attractions, such as model tram layouts and sales stalls. This will be a similar arrangement to that seen at Fisherman’s Walk during last year’s Fleetwood ‘Tram Sunday’ event. The trams to feature will presumably be announced closer to the date, but it is very much hoped that visiting ‘Pantograph’ car 167 will be used to make the best of its loan period, as this particular tram has not ventured to Starr Gate since 1998, and may not have the opportunity to do so again as it is expected to return to Crich in September.
As this will almost certainly be the only chance to ride on any tram other than a Flexity between Starr Gate and Pleasure Beach during 2014, this should prove exceptionally popular with enthusiasts and hopefully the extra novelty value of this very special service will ensure that the vintage trams will be particularly well patronised on this day. Even for those who simply wish to photograph the trams in unfamiliar territory, hopefully the efforts made by Blackpool Transport and the event organisers will be enough to persuade visitors to dip their hands in their pockets and purchase a day ticket to support this unique occasion.