Monday, 8 November 2010

715 tours for shareholders

Shareholders of Balloon car 715 were invited to have a free illumination tour on the tram on Saturday 6th November, the final weekend of the operating season. The tour followed the inaugural enthusiasts' tour using OMO car 8 which was accompanied by the LTT's Coronation car 304.

715 operated North Pier - Bispham - Pleasure Beach - Bispham - Depot for shareholders and their invited guests. Sorry for the short notice given and also for the number of shareholders that couldn't make it.

Blackpool Transport has confirmed that car 715 is in the 2010/11 repaint schedule and that further use of 715 is planned for 2011, given the number of Balloon cars likely to be out of service due to doorway modifications.
Photo: Jason Cross

Sunday, 5 September 2010

715 returns to service - Sat 04 Sept

715 returned to passenger service on Saturday 4th September to provide additional high capacity trams on busy illumination weekends.

Four double deck Balloon cars 700, 713, 718 and 720 are out of service for centre-door modifications and with many other trams sold for preservation and awaiting collection, Blackpool Transport has prepared four trams (Twin sets 671/681, 673/683, 715 and 726) for weekend operation.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

715 serviced and panels repaired

715 has received a full service in the fitting shop and electrical compound. A broken window unit has been repaired, seat cushions cleaned and refitted and some panelling repaired. We are awaiting Blackpool Transport advising us of a repainting date, but it could be that 715 is used on illumination weekends as an additional tram in the interim.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Work starts on 715

Work started today on Balloon Car 715's restoration to 1980s condition and return to green & cream livery style. 715 has been transferred to the fitting shop, and following this panelling repairs will be undertaken followed by a full repaint.

It is expected that the tram will be complete for early September, allowing it to operate on busy illumination weekends. Watch this space!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

715 update

During June, 715 has been refitted with a full-set of matching seats achieved by swapping over seats from cars 622, 632, 703 and 715 so that the latter three have upholstery types that match. However, once the restoration to green & cream is complete, we will seek to reupholster seats in dark green moquette.

BTS has announced that 715 may return to action in September and October on illumination weekends. With only 8 cars currently operational (cars 706, 707, 709, 711, 717, 719, 723 and 724) and the number withdrawn or sold, re-activating stored car 701 and 715 is a serious possibility.

Repainting of 715 in August is still on the cards - but the new bus service changes are requiring the paint shop staff to remove all Metro-Coastline branding off the bus fleet before 26 July.
Picture: Jason Cross

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Start date for work on 715 awaited

A number of factors have contributed to delays in Blackpool Transport being able to start work on car 715 during May. Firstly, work on preparing and repainting the LTT's other Balloon Car 703 (into Sunderland colours) and Brush Car 632, followed by recent focus of repainting buses in the experimental new fleet colours of black & yellow. 715 was due into the paint shop after work on painting 632 into green & off-white, but instead the Fylde Tramway Society's sponsorship of work on car 147 was slotted-in instead. It is hoped that work on 715 will start early in June - and it will certainly have a good sole-mate in 632 (illustrated) now also depicting the early 1980s livery of the Blackpool fleet.

On Monday 7th June, car 703 will operate a non-passenger carrying run for photos only. 715 subscribers are welcome on the vehicle that will accompany 703 which will leave Rigby Road depot at 14:00. Perhaps a good time for a shareholder meeting? Email: if you can attend.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Work starts on 715 in May

Work on 715 can start in mid-May to repaint the tram back into its 1981 green & cream livery. Blackpool Transport has agreed to some panelling being tidied up and new fibreglass domes being fitted before repainting. It is expected that the tram will be ready by late June. A shareholder meeting is being planned to coincide with a tram tour on the vehicle before work starts.

Alongside this view of 715 is the remains of sister car 722. Thankfully, 715 will be spared this fate.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Throwback to 1981

I've just found this photo in my collection of 715 after being shunted out of the paint shop in the summer of 1981. It had just been repanelled but still awaited headlamps & tail lamp glasses to be refitted. It's not the best of shots - but then it was taken with a basic camera and I was only 14 years old at the time!

This is the guise that it is intended to return 715 to upon repaint. It is currently awaiting the planned work and repaint back into green & cream with completion intended ready for the "Totally Transport" weekend at the end of June.

Friday, 5 February 2010

715 Share Certificates - in the post!

£8,500 has now been raised or pledged towards the acquisition and repainting of Balloon Car 715, which is currently the only member of the once 14-strong second series Balloon cars to pass into preservation.
Shareholder certificates have now been printed and will be posted over the next few days to all shareholders. A copy of the Shareholder Agreement can be found by clicking on the link opposite.
A big thank you for all contributors and now shareholders in this iconic piece of Blackpool's tramway heritage. A meeting of shareholders will be held soon.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Own a share in a Blackpool Icon

The double deck "Balloon" tram is one of the icons of Blackpool and the LTT are giving you the opportunity to own shares in one of the cars acquired for preservation. Selling of shares in tram 715 will finance the restoration of the tram and repaint back into green and cream livery so that the tram can operate in this guise during the 125th anniversary year of the tramway.

Shares are being sold at £500 each but half shares at £250 are also available. If you are interested in acquiring a share then click on the link below to view and print off a shareholder application form. Each shareholder will receive a shareholder certificate and it is intended to arrange special tours using the tram, including a shareholders' "Illuminations tour" for their friends and family.

Click here to buy a share in Blackpool's Tramway heritage
or for further details email or call Philip Higgs on 07880 507636.

Friday, 8 January 2010

715 acquired for Preservation

The Lancastrian Transport Trust has agreed the purchase of Balloon Car 715 from Blackpool Transport. However, in a radical move the LTT are to invite tram enthusiasts to become shareholders in a project that will return 715 to green & cream livery in the condition it emerged back in 1981. In this guise it will remain at Rigby Road depot and available for use until the end of 2011.

Details of the specific work to be undertaken on 715 are still being discussed with Blackpool Transport but a budget of £7,000 has been earmarked. Once the offer of becoming a share owner in 715 is finalised, details will be published on this blog, allowing interested enthusiasts to own part of a Blackpool icon.