Friday 18 January 2013


Balloon 701, fitted with its new snowplough, leaving Starr Gate depot ready to be used in action for the first time
The morning of Friday 18th January saw some short but heavy flurries of snow in Blackpool, which covered the tram tracks with a thin layer of snow, this gave snowplough Balloon 701 a chance to be used in action for the very first time. 701 left Starr Gate depot at 11:15, running all the way through to Fleetwood Ferry where it stopped for a short crew break on the loop before returning to Starr Gate. It is not clear why the decision was made to use the snowplough, as there was barely a covering of snow in Blackpool, and even less in Cleveleys and Fleetwood. Meanwhile back at Rigby Road, snowplough equipped Balloon 723 was noted powered up with its lights on at the front of the depot, in case this tram too was needed for snow clearance duties, in the event it wasn't needed and was stood down in the afternoon.

The engineering crew check the plough on the front of 701 before setting off along the promenade
701 sets off along the promenade from Starr Gate depot, ploughing the very thin layer of snow that had accumulated
Snowplough 701 passes Brush car 627 at the Pleasure Beach, with Flexity 015 following closely behind
Snowplough 701 taking a crew break on the loop track at Fleetwood Ferry, note the total absence of snow here
Flexity 010 bound for Starr Gate passes Balloon 701 at Fleetwood Ferry
701 rounds the curve from North Albert Street into Lord Street in a snow free Fleetwood town centre
Earlier on back at Rigby Road depot, snowplough fitted Balloon 723 had been powered up in case it too was required

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