Sunday 27 October 2013

Fat Balloon Weekend

700 & 719 parked alongside each other on the Pleasure Beach loop, mid-afternoon on Sunday 27th October

Saturday & Sunday, 26th & 27th October, saw widened Balloons 700 and 719 in use as specials on both days, to supplement the normal Flexity car service at the start of the traditionally busy half-term school holidays. The trams mainly shuttled backwards and forwards between the Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham, with the occasional short working to intermediate destinations also. 
Little Bispham seemed to be rather a strange northern destination for the specials as very few day trippers wish to travel this far, using North Pier or Cabin as the turnaround point would have provided a more intensive service over the busiest section of the tramway. It's as if 700 and 719 were still in "Heritage Tour" mode, rather than purely operating as specials to shift the crowds on the prom. The trams were both well patronised over the weekend, with many passengers keen to sample the rare opportunity of a top deck tram ride in Blackpool. For more photos of the widened Balloons in use during the weekend see Blackpooltrams on Flickr.  

Balloon 700 departs south from Bispham tram station, with 719 visible in the distance taking its crew break

Balloon 719 heads off north towards Little Bispham after picking up passengers at North Pier

Balloon 719 stops to unload passengers at the Pleasure Beach before turning onto the loop

Balloon 700 has just pulled up on the Pleasure Beach loop while Flexity 004 continues on south in the background
Balloon 719 taking its mid-shift crew break on the centre track at Bispham is passed by Flexity 008 heading south

Balloon 700 loads up at the Pleasure Beach while Flexity 011 arrives on the core service heading for Starr Gate

Balloon 719 and Flexity 002 sat together at the Pleasure Beach, both ready to depart on short workings to the Tower

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