Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Hilton Hotel mega tram hire

The Western Train, Frigate, 272+T2, 147, 706 and 717 lined up at Little Bispham loop before the private hire tours
On the evening of 10th June, the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool hired a grand total of seven heritage trams for a large party of guests. The trams all assembled on the turning circle at Little Bispham, before slotting in between service trams in groups of 2 or 3 and travelling south to the Hilton Hotel to pick up their passengers, the first group of trams arriving at the Hilton shortly after 7:00 pm. A temporary private hire heritage stop was positioned next to the southbound line opposite the Hilton Hotel as the loading point for the assembled guests. All the passengers were offered complimentary drinks to consume on board the trams during their round trips. The trams used for the private hire were (in order of arrival at the Hilton) the Western Train, the Frigate, Twin Set 272+T2, Standard 147, open-top Balloon 706, Balloon 717 and finally Bolton 66. The first three trams proceeded to the Pleasure Beach, while 147, 706 and 717 turned at the Tower, in the event Bolton 66 was not needed so it returned to Rigby Road depot without being used for the hire. The guests were off-loaded opposite the Hilton Hotel on their northbound return journey, with many of them taking the opportunity to photograph their heritage car in the evening sunshine. After the passengers were dropped off, each tram then proceeded north empty before reversing and returning back to Rigby Road depot, thus completing one of the most ambitious private hires ever to be undertaken on the tramway.

The Western Train, Frigate, 272+T2, 147, 706 and 717 lined up at Little Bispham loop before the private hire tours
The temporary private hire heritage tram stop opposite the Hilton Hotel with drinks ready for the invited guests
The Western Train loading up at the temporary tram stop at the Hilton Hotel with 736 and 272+T2 waiting behind
Frigate 736 and Twin Set 272+T2 loading up at the temporary tram stop opposite the Hilton Hotel
Standard 147 and open-top Balloon 706 Princess Alice loading up at the temporary tram stop at the Hilton Hotel
Balloon 717 and Bolton 66 were the last two trams to arrive at the Hilton Hotel, in the event 66 was not required
The Western Train unloading its passengers opposite the Hilton Hotel while some guests take photos of their tram
Balloon 717 and Twin Set 272+T2 waiting near the Wilton Parade tram stop before proceeding north to the Hilton
Balloon 717 gleaming in the low evening sunshine as it approaches the Hilton Hotel to unload its passengers
Twin Set 272+T2 approaching the Hilton Hotel where it will disembark its full load of passengers
Twin Set 272+T2 unloading its passengers as 717 heads north empty and 706 returns back to Rigby Road depot
Twin Set 272+T2 heads north after unloading its passengers at the Hilton, while 147 returns empty to Rigby Rd depot


  1. Just when we think blackpool tramway can not throw up any more surprises, it produces that little gem. Must say an amazing first shot.
    I wonder when was the last time that all 7 of those trams where on the prom at the same time.

  2. Yes there can't be many tram hires where seven trams are booked for the one job. It's probably quite a while since they were all out at the same time, and even longer (if ever) since they were all seen at the same location!

  3. What amazes me, Alan, is how you become aware of these photo opportunities. Do you have a network of contacts who can alert you to such events? Best regards, David

    1. Something like that David :), Regards Alan