A-Z April 2012

D is for Derailment

Welcome to day 4 of the A-Z April Challenge and today is all about the letter D. I had a choice of topics to write about today (thanks to my Facebook friends for all their suggestions!) but I decided on

D is for Derailment

Yesterday, Blackpool’s £100m transport overhaul was declared open, with the first public passenger carrying trams in operation from today. Only it didn’t go quite according to plan…

If you know Blackpool you will know that it is a seaside resort in the Northwest of England. The tramway is as famous as the Golden Mile, the Pleasure Beach and the Tower Ballroom and is as old as the resort. As part of the town’s regeneration project, £100m has been invested in overhauling the tram system and most of the 100 year old trams have been replaced with modern, sleek, faster, smoother vehicles. The rails have been replaced from Fleetwood to the south pier in Blackpool, a distance of over 11 miles. Some of the old trams have been retained and will be used on special occasions, such as during the Illuminations. The new trams also have their “specials” and some will be decked out for the Illuminations as well as the old ones, and there is even an open topped tram for when (and if…) the local football team bring home the silverware and have something to celebrate.

As you can imagine, the new trams are a huge symbol of the Blackpool regeneration and a sign that the town is on the move and is not just about hen and stag nights, nightclubs and trouble.

But trouble is just what happened this morning.

At 5.55am, the very first tram to set off from Fleetwood Ferry at one end of the line was instantly derailed, by…you’ll never guess what…only sand on the tracks! Yes, sand. That stuff that you tend to find at the seaside and that blows all over the tracks of the seaside tramway.

Not the best start perhaps and not a great advert for Blackpool. Fancy not thinking that the very stuff that Blackpool is built on would have such an affect on the new rolling stock. It never happened with the older, less technical trams. Who says newer is better?!



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