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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Tram Sunday Weekend

The weather gave a warm welcome to the important Fleetwood Tram Sunday weekend drawing out huge crowds thronging the town's streets. Much of the 'tram' part of this now long established festival is filled by special heritage tour trams running as far as Ash Street (sorry Fisherman's Walk) from Blackpool.

An eclectic menage of traditional (and not so traditional) trams maintained a service of sorts with regular ticket holders having to make do with the standard Bombardier products. Somewhat questionable was the use of modified 'Balloon' cars fitted out for light rail operation operating in a heritage tour role. The overlap of upgraded double deck trams funded for light rail service filling heritage tram roles seems somewhat cheeky, given the rich variety and number of traditional cars in the Rigby Road Depot collection.

Two boat cars were very popular in glorious sunshine whilst the 'Twin-Set' in immaculate all cream turnout was a definite 'hit' with enthusiasts running up to the Ash Street crossover with an appropriate destination in period font. Blackpool Transport displayed their latest double deck (bus) purchase at the Ferry following a public launch display in Blackpool earlier in the week. A further formal handover of the ten strong batch is scheduled for next Thursday and expected service 9 launch on July 24th. This service is destined for some radical rerouting and probable retiming due to the ongoing work at Crossley's Bridge which is scheduled to close entirely for several months from the second week of November.

The heritage tour team are to be congratulated on their endeavours over what turned out to be an exceptionally busy weekend and apart from the use of at least two upgraded double deck trams on heritage tour duties - the diversity of old Blackpool trams (and frequency) captured public attention. A pity this cannot be more than a once a year event.

Busy departures from Ash Street with Heritage Tour cars loading just north of the official station top and platform.

Upgraded Balloon in its Houndshill Shopping Centre vinyl (still smart) heading north to Fleetwood on a Heritage Tour run with a glimpse of a boat car pursuing a southbound Bombardier unit at Waterloo Road.

Eager enthusiasts head on to trailer leading unit T2 (see top image) and 272 out of picture on the left in a mid afternoon run north from Blackpool.

All images copyright John Woodman

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