Balloon Trams

 
 

 

 

 

Blackpool Balloon Trams contribute nearly forty per cent of the working fleet for 2008, with 18 of the total 48 vehicles in operation.  Four of them are out of service and a further two have been withdrawn.  The trams are double decker vehicles and were constructed between 1934 and 1935, with 14 being closed topped and 13 open-topped.  They have seats for around ninety passengers with side entrances and stairs, and were referred to as balloon trams due to having round shapes.  Around the beginning of the twenty first century four of the original Balloons were extensively renovated, given flat front ends, and renamed Millennium trams.  A further two vehicles have been rebuilt for one person operation and called Jubilee cars. Blackpool Balloon 710 achieved national fame in 1989 when it was shown on the television programme Coronation Street running into the villainous character Alan Bradley. Another famous balloon is the open topped 706, which after a collision followed by extensive restoration  in 1985 became the first to be given a name - Princess Alice. Three currently serving trams are shown on this page, illustrating their contrasting liveries.


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