Monday, 27 June 2022

Daytime tram testing on Talbot Road

Flexity 010 turning into Talbot Square on the first test run of the day, alongside Stagecoach 27267
Monday 27th June saw the commencement of daytime testing on the North Station tramway extension along Talbot Road in Blackpool. The first day of testing used Flexity 010, wearing vinyls for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, and saw the tram being used in a normal traffic situation among other road vehicles. Seven consecutive days of testing have been planned, with tram running taking place between 1000 and 1500 on each day. Each of the different Promenade turnouts at Talbot Square were used at some point throughout the day, along with the scissors crossover on the approach to the North Station terminus. Trams using the northbound junction proceeded to Cabin where the tram reversed, southbound trips reversed using the crossover next to the Wedding Chapel, near the North Pier tram stop.

Flexity 010 heading east up Talbot Road

Flexity 010 crossing over the road junction with Dickson Road
Flexity 010 passing over the scissors crossing within the building site area
Flexity 010 crossing over Dickson Road as it leaves the North Station terminus
Flexity 010 heading down Talbot Road towards the Promenade
Flexity 010 indicating to turn left onto the Promenade from Talbot Square
Flexity 010 turning right into Talbot Square from the Promenade
Flexity 010 at the eastbound Talbot Square tram stop platform
Flexity 010 crossing Abingdon Street
Flexity 010 at the North Station tram terminus, deep within the builders compound
Flexity 010 turning right out of Talbot Square using the northbound junction
Southbound Flexity 010 turning left into Talbot Square from the Promenade
Flexity 010 at Talbot Square with the new Premier Inn hotel behind
A long zoom shot of the approaching Flexity 010 coming down Talbot Road
Flexity 010 turning south to return to Starr Gate depot after the days testing

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Preston Bus 100

Preston Bus 40628 and 40510 on display on the Flag Market on 23rd June
Preston Bus celebrated 100 years of operating motor buses on 23rd June. To commemorate the occasion, Preston Bus have painted Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs 40510 & 40628 in special liveries, reminiscent of Preston's earlier colour schemes. 40510 is painted in Preston Bus blue and cream (although the wrong colour of blue), and 40628 represents the older Preston Corporation livery of maroon and cream. Both buses were displayed on Preston Flag Market from 11am on Thursday 23rd June.

Preston Bus 40510 on the Flag Market
Preston Bus 40628 arriving for display on the Flag Market
Preston Bus 40510 arriving for display on the Flag Market
Preston began bus operations in 1923 with English Electric bodied Leyland G7s 51 to 53
An information banner alongside Volvo 40510 on the Flag Market

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Tram Parade

The Western Train and Boat 227 heading up the parade at the Pleasure Beach

As part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Thursday 2nd June, Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours had arranged for a parade of trams to mark the occasion. Thirteen trams assembled on the Pleasure Beach loop, using both tracks, and the procession departed northbound at 1430, pausing for a short while at the Tower Headland, before continuing on to Bispham. The tram parade was comprised of thirteen trams in the following order, 227, 600, 631, 680, 648, Western Train, Trawler, Frigate, 66, 717, 723, 700 & 707. Balloon 723 was making its debut in a newly painted 1990s green and cream style livery.

Trams assembled on the Pleasure Beach loop in readiness for the parade

Balloon 700 arriving to join the trams gathered at the Pleasure Beach
The Western train leading the tram line up on the outer loop
Boat 227 leading the tram parade near Manchester Square
The Frigate leading Bolton 66 and a line of Balloons
Brush Car 631 leading a single deck line up
Bolton 66 and a line of Balloons at the rear of the cavalcade
Centenary 648 followed by the Western Train
Balloon 717 followed by 723, 700 and 707 at Manchester Square
Boat 227 leads the parade north from the Tower Headland
Newly repainted Balloon 723 heading south at Little Bispham
Balloon 700 at Little Bispham on its way back to Blackpool, followed by 707

Monday, 16 May 2022

Archway Travel's new 83 seater School Buses

Recently repainted ex-Lothian SN09CVD returning from an afternoon school run on 13th May
Archway Travel of Fleetwood took delivery of four ex-Lothian (Edinburgh) Volvo B9TLs with 11.4m Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodywork in February. The recently acquired buses are SN09CVD, SN59BGF, SN59BGV & SN59BHA, and Archway claim that these 83 seaters will be the largest capacity vehicles on the Fylde Coast. The Volvos were received in Lothian Buses traditional madder and white livery, which dates back to the days of Edinburgh Corporation Transport, and were pressed into service straight away, rather than waiting for them to be repainted into Archway's colours. The first bus of the four to be repainted in the red and yellow school bus livery was SN09CVD, and this has recently been noted in service operating local school contracts.

Former Lothian SN59BGF in Cleveleys on an afternoon school contract on 25th March
Former Lothian SN09CVD parked up after a days work in the yard of Archway Travel at Fleetwood
Twin door 10.6m Wright Eclipse Gemini LJ03MLZ on 13th May, new to Arriva London North in 2003 as VLW182
Former Blackpool Transport Dennis Trident 319 (PN04XDE) heading out for an afternoon school run on 11th May
W757DWX, a Volvo B7TL with Alexander body, new to Yorkshire Rider, leaving Archway's yard on 5th March
Former Stagecoach Scotland Volvo East Lancs ST52NTU on a morning school run on Bourne Way in Thornton
Ex Metroline London Volvo B7TL Plaxton President X635LLX on Fleetwood Road North in Thornton

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Flexity

Platinum Jubilee Flexity 010 at Fleetwood Ferry on the afternoon of 10th May
In addition to the two buses that are already wearing purple stripes to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year, Blackpool Transport have also given Flexity 010 the purple treatment too. Sadly an opportunity has been missed to give the tram an imaginatively designed overall vinyl wrap, instead the two end sections of the Flexity simply have a purple banner along the roof with text on, and the centre section is purple with more text and a crown logo. What's worse is that a Flexity has been used with cabs ends that have faded from their original purple into a drab shade of plum.

Flexity 010 heading north on Lord Street in Fleetwood on 10th May
The centre section of Flexity 010 with a simple crown logo applied
Arriva Southport 4579, showing what can be achieved with a bit of creative flair

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Queen's Platinum Jubilee Bus

Platinum Jubilee Enviro 422 turning right out of New Bonny Street on 16th April
Blackpool Transport have given two of their ADL Enviro 400 City buses purple stripes and special adverts to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year. Enviros 422 and 423 have both been noted working on route 17 that operates between Blackpool town centre and Lytham.

Enviro 422 heading south on Bank Hey Street on its way back to Lytham

Enviro 422 passing Coral Island on route 17 to Blackpool town centre