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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Branding Style yesterday

Just nine years ago Blackpool Transport welcomed its second tranche of Tridents with a formal welcome on the newly completed central car park. It seems a different age to see distinctively Line 11 buses with their special light blue colour scheme. Brand new 324 enters service and draws admiring glances in contrast to the by now staid cream and green traditional (since 1933) fleet colours of Blackpool's municipal operation. The move towards individual themed liveries for Blackpool's bus services quickly led to a menage of colours parading through the town centre - some of which would prove to be transient; while others were definitely forgettable!

In the end a management change did away with 'Metro Coastlines' lock stock and barrel - although it took two years to complete. The trams were not immune to a similar approach, but the single route naturally meant that there was no special distinction for those cars which found themselves with Metro Coastlines branding. The first such example was Balloon Car 710 which appeared in purple and yellow applied in dramatic fashion according to Paint Shop staff's interpretation. Fortunately 710 retains its unique look due to preservation by the FHLT. Brush Car 636 found itself in an equally distinctive scheme, featuring the green and yellow colours which had been assigned to 'Line 14' Tridents. Again, preservation by its new owners have assured this car still retains its one-off livery.

Five of the Twin-Car sets managed to appear in attractive Metro Coastlines colours. Again preservation has so far ensured two sets still retain their individual styles, including the privately owned 673/683 unit stored in Fleetwood with the same 'Line 11' colours as the new Tridents assigned to this service (above).

Brush Car 636 resplendent in its Line 14 colours (but with a T for tram on the side) - pursued by an equally impressive Balloon Car 710 - both in service heading to Starr Gate. Below: An optimistic destination for the experimental car being tested on Blackpool's tramway - also in a very similar paint job to 636.

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John Woodman

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