Talbot Square's New Tram Track
Not since the immediate postwar period when the Marton tramway track was renewed to allow introduction of the famous 'Marton Vambac' cars with resilient wheels and smooth acceleration and braking - has Talbot Square seen new tram track construction. That service ended in October 1962.
Contract work on the North Station extension is edging towards both the planned new terminus on the site of the current (and depressing) Wilko store due for demolition, as well as into Talbot Square where a tram station stop (presumably to be named 'Talbot Square'?) will be inserted on the northern edge of the current road layout next to the RBS building which itself will be vacated shortly by its current banking occupier. No doubt for yet another drinking den thus completely encircling the town's civic space with alcohol consumption and not a tree or green leaf in view.
A further section of roadway leading up from Abingdon Street crossing to the intended curving track alignment on to the Wilko site has still to be cleared, with no doubt further tram rail being exposed and removed from the original Layton line which operated along this once important commercial street. As reported previously the entire road junction at Dickson Road and Talbot Road has been completely excavated to allow laying of the concrete platform base on which this new track alignment will be laid.
There is some uncertainty as to the timing of the demolition of the Wilko store and car park with rumours that original plans have been impacted by legal or administrative delays. If so there may well be call for an interim onstreet crossover terminus on Talbot Road itself - a not dissimilar situation to the current West Midland light rail line presently terminating close to New Street Station / Grand Central. Extension of this line involves further street track construction into the civic centre of the city in 2019.
Above : Old tram tracks jut out from the Talbot Road former line to Layton - in this case just short of the Dickson Road junction now completely closed to traffic. Below :
New tram track extending towards Talbot Square where the inbound line (on the right) deviates slightly to fit alongside the new tram stop platform which will be positioned in
front of the taller grey building in the distance. Blackpool's Council Members will have the benefit of clear views (again) on to a new generation of trams passing by the Town Hall (Left Hand) to and from North Station and the promenade.
A similar temporary street terminus for the Wolverhampton to New Street service ;
The shiny edifice of Grand Central and New Street Station visible on the right hand side. Trams now reverse their journey on the same right hand track so that work can begin on extending the current track layout up to Centenary Square where new trackwork for the line to Edgebaston is already advanced. Images : John Woodman