Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cinderella goes to the ball!

All eyes were on OMO tram No.8 for the 125th anniversary tramcar procession this afternoon, Wednesday 29th September. After remaining behind closed doors during the earlier anniversary tours and the Depot open day, Blackpool Transport staff worked hard to ensure that this tramway cinderella was able to star in the procession. Given that the creation of the OMO cars in 1970s secured the tramway's future, it was rightly the star of the show!

8 operated Depot - Foxhall - Pleasure Beach - Bispham - Depot, driven by a member of the workshop staff. The tram has not been signed off for passenger carrying and there remains issues to be resolved before this is possible.

It was only sixteen days previously that 8 returned to Rigby Road depot. Motors and a compressor were quickly refitted but electrical work was delayed due to other commitments, particularly commissioning refurbished Open Boat car 600 and on-going problems with Fleetwood 'Crossbench' car 2. Work re-commenced on OMO 8 after the depot open day and a morning test run took place prior to the 125th anniversary procession.

May 1992 was the last time 8 had ventured onto the Promenade - over 18 years ago. It was repanelled and painted in autumn 2005 before transfer to the LTT's Brinwell Road depot. A small number of volunteers have put the effort in to put 8's interior back together this year and seeing 8 turn under its own power once more after all these years certainly makes this effort worthwhile! Thanks to Blackpool Transport staff for the finishing touches that made this possible.