Saturday, 15 September 2012

Coronation 304 to visit Beamish!

We are very pleased and really quite excited to announce that the Lancastrian Transport Trust's superb 1952 Blackpool Coronation tram No.304 will be paying the Beamish Tramway a visit this autumn. We are still firming up the details (so usual caveats apply), but it is hoped to have 304 here and commissioned in time to take part in our October 6/7 enhanced transport weekend (which as mentioned elsewhere is the hoped for public debut of No.18 in steam as well as possibly one other new railway resident at the Museum - watch this space!).
The outline plan is then to operate 304 each weekend for a total of five weekends, making its final appearance on November 3/4 (the November enhanced transport weekend). It may appear at other times but at this stage its operation is subject to successful commissioning and driver training, this being another VAMBAC car (see posts on Blackpool 11 for information on this sophisticated control system). Passengers (and crews!) can therefore look forward to a smooth ride and powerful acceleration! This is a big tram, at 50ft long, and we will have to undertake some careful gauging to establish whether it can utilise the full route at Beamish (clockwise offering clearance advantages through the town vs counter-clockwise running).
Understandably there are the usual ifs and buts regarding the commissioning process and testing before entry into service, but hopefully this visit will give enthusiasts a wonderful reason to visit Beamish this autumn, LTT members a chance to see three of their trams in operation and 304 will give our visitors a real flavour of 1950s public transport and just what a brave new World it promised to be...
304 at its temporary storage site following the "great tram exodus"
The transfer of 304 to Beamish will ensure this valuable tram moves from its current temporary outside storage as soon as possible, and upon its return it is planned that 304 will move direct to undercover accommodation.