Tuesday 4 December 2012

Sunderland 101

During my recent visits to Beamish Museum I've been impressed by the sight of double deck tram Sunderland 101, which actually is Blackpool Balloon 703 masquerading as a Sunderland vehicle.
This impressively large tram is owned by the Lancastrian Transport Trust who have loaned it to Beamish. The tram arrived at Beamish in September 2010 but didn't enter service until October 18th 2012.
Originally built in 1934 as an open topper and numbered 240 in the Blackpool fleet, it was eventually converted to a fully enclosed tram. A renumbering resulted in the tram being allocated fleet number 703.
Sunderland used to operate trams of a design reminiscent to these Blackpool icons and to give 703 local significance to the Beamish museum, the tram has been painted in Sunderland's streamlined 1930s red and off-white livery style.

 The tram interior is quite plush and has twin staircases, one of which is seen here

 The driver can access the cab via the passenger saloon or via a door on the front corner of the tram

 Blackpool 706. An open top version of the Balloon car