Sunday 14 September 2014

Electric 50 at Crich

Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car 2 at the head of the tram cavalcade on Saturday 13th September

Saturday 13th September saw the first day of the 'Electric 50' celebrations at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. The event was to celebrate 50 years of electric tramcar operation at the museum, and on both days a 25 tram cavalcade was due to take place. Day one saw the trams rostered in the cavalcade in the order that they had first operated at the museum. Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car No 2 was at the head of the cavalcade on the Saturday. Not only is this 1898 tram the oldest operational electric tram at the museum, it was also the first one to run under electrical power there, back in 1964. Bryan Lindop, Head of Blackpool Transport's heritage tram operations, was given the honour of sitting on the front seat of the lead tram in the procession. One of the highlights of the day was due to be the official launch of Blackpool Jubilee 762, which was then scheduled to enter passenger service for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the tram failed in service on its inaugural run north and had to be withdrawn from service for the rest of the day. Apart from the obvious disappointment of visitors being unable to sample rides on 762, the rest of the day's events ran smoothly, except for a rather long hiatus during the middle of the day while the 25 trams for the Electric 50 cavalcade were being assembled, this operation interrupted normal passenger service for some considerable time. This report includes a selection of views of all the Blackpool trams that were used during the first day's proceedings on Saturday 13th September.

Heading a line of double deck trams in the cavacade is Southampton 45, the first tram purchased by the TMS in 1949
Blackpool Standard 40 arriving at Town End on Saturday morning in readiness for entering passenger service
Brush Car 630 basks in the sun on the depot fan in the morning, the tram not being needed until the afternoon
Looking slightly out of place at Crich in its Flexity 2 livery is Blackpool Balloon 711, seen at the new stop at Glory Mine
Blackpool & Fleetwood Box Car 40 waiting at Stephenson Place before taking its turn to enter service for the day
Blackpool Toastrack 166 pauses at Stephenson Place in the morning, before continuing to Town End to enter service
The launch of Jubilee 762 took place on the depot fan on Saturday, but unfortunately it failed in service soon after
Balloon 711 and Box Car 40 next to the depot, both trams are at Crich on loan from their usual home in Blackpool
Blackpool Pantograph Car 167 passing the bandstand on the afternoon of Saturday 13th September
Blackpool Luxury Toastrack 236 with its illuminated strings of lights, stopped at the main entrance to the museum

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