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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

016 Britain's noisiest tram

BTS 016 heads north under an appropriate ominous sky at the Cliffs stop on Sunday. A ride on this tram was a lesson in how to create maximum noise for passengers and crew from the running equipment.. Lessons need to be learned.

A ride on Sunday on number 016 from Pleasure Beach to Cabin provided passengers and crew with headaches - or at least this passenger. The incessant rattling noise and other deep rumbling sounds coming from under the passenger module would suggest a fundamental fault in the construction of the running gear.

The interminable noise - certainly at one end of the tram - was raised in decibels when negotiating pointwork and must certainly be equally objectionable to pedestrians on the promenade pavements. The poor conductors had to deal with constant intrusive clatter and clunking throughout their entire shift - whether this has similar detrimental impact on the driver esconced in his cab I have no idea.

This is not the first time that Blackpool's modern trams have shown themselves to be producers of worrisome noises from the undersides of the vehicles to an exceptional degree. It may be that the problem is connected in some way to the trackbed but even on the straight stretches of rail (and there are many) the noise coming into the passenger area from underneath the tramfloor is unnaceptable.

The manufacturer should be called in to provide an explanation on the condition of this tram (and others) and inexplicable level of external noise beyond the usual

amount of steel wheel on steel rail rumble. It would be interesting to know whether similar trams now running in Toronto where there are multiple junctions and track

pointwork are also afflicted, given that their technical design was the same as the Blackpool order. Trams in Manchester and Nottingham which I have ridden do not exude anything like the clatter which is all too common in Blackpool. Before any more trams are ordered for the North Station extension someone with authority at Blackpool Council needs to probe the underlying problem.

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