• John Woodman

Balloon School Special

John Woodman


The recent Blog on prototype Jubilee Car 761 and its transformation from a Balloon car for assignment on peak hour timetable journeys serving schools on the tramway north of Cleveleys referenced a similar working on the Marton tram service up to 1962. The Marton line passed several important schools in proximity - not the least of which was my own - Blackpool Grammar on Raikes Parade. Prior to the service being assigned to former 'Sun Saloons' in their new 'Marton Vambac' mode - there was no call to supplement the regular cars which were enclosed and open balcony 'Standards' based at Marton Depot.


However renewal of the tram track and introduction of 48 seat single deck cars meant that peak loadings with overly excitable school children called for larger capacity trams to handle clusters of school goers in the run up to their assemblies at 0900. For this purpose two Balloon cars were assigned to 'rush hour' duties each running respectively from Royal Oak and Talbot Square.


We see one of these duties at Royal Oak preparing for its return journey to Marton Depot using the trolley reverser installed with the renewal of the tram track in the postwar era.

Photo : John Woodman

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