Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Blackpool was the first customer for the Flexity2 trams, and so was where the 'world launch' of the product took place on September 8, 2011, see here. The new trams began working on April 4, 2012, with the 05.00 service to Fleetwood. Apparently the weather was appalling, and the driver had to stop frequently to remove debris from the tracks. Packed with enthusiasts and the press, the tram derailed on windblown sand on a sharp curve in Fleetwood. It was not the most auspicious start for the new trams, but things have been better since. I was certainly much impressed yesterday.
My previous visit to see the old trams is here. Heritage trams can run on the new system and can be seen on holidays and special days. One enthusiast's video record from May this year is here.
The large glitter ball in the background is called They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and is by Michael Trainor and The Art Department. This rotating ball is 6m in diameter, covered in some 47,000 mirrors. The name comes from the 1969 film about a ballroom marathon, and of course reflects Blackpool's association with dance.
Photos © Skip Cottage