Saturday, 24 September 2016

Four Class 40s at the ELR Diesel Gala

Visiting Class 40 locomotive D213 'Andania' arriving at Ramsbottom on the 11:50 train from Bury
The 2016 Autumn Diesel Gala at the East Lancashire Railway took place over the weekend of 24th & 25th September. The highlight was undoubtedly the rare spectacle of four operational preserved Class 40 locomotives making an appearance at the same event. The locomotives in question were 40106 'Atlantic Conveyor', 40135 and 345 (40145), based on the ELR and belonging to the Class 40 Preservation Society, and the immaculate D213 (40013) 'Andania', which was making a guest appearance for the weekend. Also in use over the weekend were Sulzer powered Peak 45108 from the Midland Railway Centre, Class 37 37109, Class 50 50015 'Valiant', Warship D832 'Onslaught', Hymek D7076 and former EWS Class 31 31466. The photographs accompanying this report are a selection of the first generation BR diesels that were in use on the Saturday.

40135 passing over the level crossing at Ramsbottom ready for the 11:34 shuttle service to Bury
40106 'Atlantic Conveyor' pulling into Ramsbottom station for the 15:04 shuttle to Bury

Class 40 No 345 (40145) at Ramsbottom station on the 14:30 from Bury to Rawtenstall
45108 departing from Ramsbottom on the 11:18 service to Rawtenstall
37109 on the 12:24 shuttle from Bury, moving to the siding north of the station at Ramsbottom

Friday, 23 September 2016

New Enviro 400s begin to receive Advertising

Enviro 400 City bus 401 seen in Cleveleys with side advertising for the mobile network EE
Blackpool Transport Services new Palladium branded ADL Enviro 400 City buses have begun to appear in service with side advertising. 401 was noted recently carrying a side advert for the mobile phone company EE.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Hovertram Returns Home

735 travelling along the Promenade on the low-loader of Calkeld Heavy Haulage
Hovertram 735 has returned to Blackpool for a period of extended loan. The tram was transported from its former home in Sunderland by Calkeld Heavy Haulage on 22nd September, arriving in the resort shortly after 6pm. The unloading process took around an hour, and later that evening the Hovertram was shunted into Rigby Road depot by Unimog 939. The North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust (NEETT) have agreed that 735 can become part of the Blackpool Heritage Trust fleet for a minimum period of 20 years.

735 approaching the road junction at Manchester Square
 735 waiting to turn right at the traffic lights at Manchester Square
735 crossing over the tram tracks into Rigby Road at Manchester Square
735 making the turn into Rigby Road
735 negotiating the tight junction between Rigby Road and Blundell Street
735 being hauled off the low-loader trailer by Unimog 939
The Hovertram being shunted into Rigby Road depot by Unimog 939
Hopefully one day the Hovertram can appear again on the promenade, as seen here in 1981

Monday, 19 September 2016

Heritage on Hire

Balloon 715 negotiating the rarely used crossover near the Tower
Railcoach 680 and Balloon 715 were used for a private hire on Monday 19th September. In the morning 680 made a tour of the system from Rigby Road depot to Pleasure Beach, Fleetwood and Starr Gate, before returning to the depot for a crew break. After lunch it was the turn of Balloon 715 which made various runs, venturing as far south as Starr Gate and Cleveleys to the north. Marton 31 was also hired for an evening run through the Illuminations.

A future Heritage Tour destination? Balloon 715 with "North Station Blackpool" displayed on the blind
Balloon 715 at Cleveleys with one of the new Enviro 400 City buses passing by
Railcoach 680 at Starr Gate terminus during its morning charter on 19th September

Sunday, 4 September 2016

30th Anniversary Livery

BTS Volvo B7RLE 524 carrying its new 30th Anniversary green and cream livery, seen at Cleveleys
Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE No. 524 has been painted in a 1990s style green and cream livery to commemorate 30 years passing since Blackpool Transport Services was formed. 524 has been in use on the service 7 between Cleveleys and Lytham for the last couple of days.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Midland Metro

Trams 30 and 22 passing each other at the junction of Bull St and Corporation St in Birmingham
Midland Metro is a 13 mile long light rail line running between St George's tram station in Wolverhampton and Grand Central Station, next to Birmingham New Street railway station. The tramway is operated by National Express using a fleet of 21 Spanish built CAF Urbos 3 articulated trams. Most of the alignment of the route uses the former Birmingham Snow Hill to Wolverhampton Low Level line, with street running at either end, along Bilston Road in Wolverhampton and in the streets of Birmingham city centre.
 
Tram 37 named "Ozzy Osbourne", among new office buildings on Bull Street in Birmingham

Tram 35 on the grass tramway reservation near the Snow Hill tram stop in Birmingham
Tram 28 running along Corporation Street in the heart of Birmingham city centre
35 at the Priestfield stop in Wolverhampton, which is the last station on the former railway alignment
Tram 22 passing The New Inn on Bilston Road in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton bound tram 23 passing beneath a railway bridge on Bilston Road
28 showing its vertical articulation as it crosses the canal bridge on Bilston Road in Wolverhampton

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Seville Trams

Seville 304 heading south on the catenary free Avenida de la Constitución
Seville is the capital of Andalucia in Spain, and since 2007 has operated a short tramway in the city centre that goes under the name MetroCentro. The line is only 2.2 km long with five stops, and since 2011 the section that runs through the historic quarter past the cathedral has been catenary free. The original cars that were purchased to operate the route were replaced in 2011 with five new Urbos 3 articulated trams manufactured by CAF. The new trams run in battery mode on the catenary free section, charging up at the tram stops via a pantograph that raises to connect with a short section of overhead.

Seville 304 on the Avenida de la Constitución with the cathedral at the right
Seville 301 arriving at the Archivo de Indias tram stop
Seville 302 leaving the Plaza Nueva tram station at the northern end of the line
Seville 301 northbound on the catenary free Avenida de la Constitución
Seville 301 charging its batteries via the pantograph at the Archivo de Indias tram stop