Sunday, 26 February 2012

By Boat to Beamish

Open Boat 605 is to travel north to Beamish on a two year loan agreement and sponsorship from British Trams Online. After several weeks of discussions, 605 will depart from Blackpool on Wednesday 29th February and will be prepared for operation as one of the exhibit's for the Great North Steam Fair (12-15 April). After this event, 605 will be repainted in original livery style, funded by British Trams online, ready for regular operation on the busy Beamish tramway during the summer months.

605 was withdrawn from service in October 2009 and has been stored ever since at Rigby Road. The loan agreement will allow 605 to join sister LTT tram, Balloon 703 which is operating in the guise of Sunderland 101, and the LTT Trustees welcomed the opportunity to see 605 back in operation at no cost to the Trust. British Trams Online is thanked for contributing towards this exciting development and we feel sure that 605 will be another welcome addition to the Beamish tramway.

Paul Jarman, the Keeper of Transport at Beamish, says: “I am delighted that we have been able to further develop our relationship with the Lancastrian Transport Trust and that they are entrusting us with another of their priceless tramcars. The aim will be to commission it into service for Easter and run it for the holiday period, culminating in our four day ‘Great North Steam Fair’. With a new outlook on future developments, 605 will fit right in and hopefully become as popular with visitors and staff as Blackpool 703/Sunderland 101 has become.”

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Work restarts on Fylde 79

Work has re-started today on Fylde Atlantean 79's. This vehicle was acquired by the LTT back in March 2002 and restoration started in 2005 but stalled due to other commitments. Now, a slot has been allocated at the Busworks site where volunteers will be invited to assist with the restoration work.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rocket tram to shine again?

Following discussions within Blackpool Council's Illuminations Dept., the idea of reawkening the Illuminated Rocket as one of the projects to celebrate the centenary of Blackpool Illuminations has been adopted as one of the prefered projects. The LTT were approached some weeks ago about the possibility of the Rocket being displayed, but as a 'static' exhibit at a very prominent location and not as a mobile operating tram. Talks with potential sponsors are now taking place and if these are successful then the Rocket could move to the Illuminations Department during March for the work to begin. On 22 February, a meeting took place between LTT, Blackpool Transport and Blackpool Illuminations dept to discuss the logistics of moving the tram from Rigby Road tram depot.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Towing Car 671 joins LTT collection

Trailer towing car 671 has now been acquired from Merseytravel in exchange for 637 & 687 that had previously been acquired for spare parts only. It is proposed that 671 joins the LTT collection to represent the towing cars that operated singly - including this car (when numbered 281) after rebuilding in 1960.
As part of a thinning down of the tram fleet, Twin car unit 671/681 was 'mothballed' after 2007, but it did return to traffic for the 2010 illuminations. As the light rail era drew ever closer, the unit was withdrawn from service and sold during 2011 to Merseytravel. However, in a separate transaction, 671 was returned to Blackpool in February 2012 for preservation in an exchange deal that has resulted in the car's separation from its coupled trailer.