Wednesday 8 February 2023

Balloon 710 returns from Fleetwood

The DAF tractor unit of Railway Support Services leaving Wyre Dock with 710 on its trailer
Balloon 710 is better known to the general public as the tram who killed the Coronation Street character Alan Bradley in the popular TV soap series in the 1980s. Thanks to popular demand, the tram has been saved from its long term outside storage in Wyre Dock at Fleetwood, and made the relatively short journey home to Rigby Road on the afternoon of Wednesday 8th February. Balloon 710 was owned by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust, and has spent many years in outdoor storage at Fleetwood, initially being stored at a haulier's yard from 2011, before moving the short distance to Wyre Dock in July 2013, along with other trams owned by the FHLT. A low loader belonging to Railway Support Services arrived on the Wednesday morning to collect 710. The extending trailer was very long, and only just managed to gain access to the compound where the trams were stored. After a slow loading process, 710 was eventually extricated from the yard and transported to Blundell Street in Blackpool, where it was unloaded with the assistance of Unimog 939. Balloon 710 will become part of the 'Tramtown' display at Rigby Road tram depot, and it is planned to receive a cosmetic repaint before going on general view.

Railway Support Services low loader turning round at Fleetwood fish dock

A view along the low loader of the trams in the Wyre Dock compound
Balloon 710 inching up the rail ramp of the low loader
710 making its way slowly along the low loader
Balloon 710 being chained down onto the low loader
The transporter of Railway Support Services reversing out of the Fleetwood storage yard
The Railway Support Services low loader turning right from Lytham Road into Hopton Road
The transporter turning left into Blundell Street alongside the fitting shop
Balloon 710 being unloaded from the trailer down the rail ramp
Unimog 939 arriving from the tram depot
Balloon 710 being pulled off the low loader by Unimog 939

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