Power cut tow for supertram

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BEING towed is bad at the best of times – not least when you’re driving a tram!

This driver, getting to grips with Blackpool’s state-of-the-art trams, found himself behind a Blackpool Transport truck last week when power in the overhead lines was switched off.

Transport bosses say the tram was in perfect working order, but repairs to overhead cables meant it needed towing back to the station.

A spokesman for Blackpool Transport said: “We are currently replacing track near to the Pleasure Beach.

Safely

“To allow the contractor to work safely, the overhead line is switched off, when the trams exit or return to the depot, they are towed through this section of work.

“This work will last for one more month, then the power will be restored and the trams will drive through as normal.”

Hopes are high all of the trams will have been delivered by manufacturer Bombardier, and all work on the tracks finished by the end of February.

The spokesman added: “The drivers are out training at the moment. BTS have three trainers, which allow us to train six drivers at any one time.

“The trainers have been trained by the tram supplier Bombardier.

“It takes about two weeks to train an existing tram driver on the new trams, and the next group of six starts today.

“The training seems to be going OK – it will continue until early March, at which time we will begin trial running.”

The trams and the depot are still in the hands of Blackpool Council, and will be officially handed over to Blackpool Transport between now and April.

Tram project manager Paul Grocott last week reassured Fleetwood residents the new vehicles would be seen in Fleetwood when the new service launches in April, despite fears work on an electricity substation was running late.

He told The Gazette: “We are committed to operating to Fleetwood Ferry as soon as possible, and will do all that we can to achieve this.

“In the event the substation is not finished, we will do all that we possibly can to provide a service.

“The electrical infrastructure has been designed with some redundancy, which means that if power is lost to any substation, the service can continue, albeit in a limited fashion.”