Sunday 16 June 2024

First Service Tram to North Station

Flexity 015 stopping to pick up passengers at Talbot Square for the very first time at 07:14
Sunday 16th June saw the first day of passenger service on the Talbot Road tramway extension to North Station. Flexity 015 had the honour of being the first tram to North Station. 015 was due to leave Starr Gate at 06:55 on route "T2 North Station", stopping at Talbot Square at 07:14 before making a timetabled arrival at North Station at 07:19. Flexity 015 departed from North Station a few minutes later at 07:30 on route "T3 Fleetwood Ferry".

Flexity 015 turning into Talbot Square to become the first service tram to use the new tramway extension

Riding onboard Flexity 015 between Talbot Square and North Station on the debut run
Flexity 015 departed from North Station on service "T3 Fleetwood Ferry" at 07:30
A public information sign at North Pier advertising the new tram service

Saturday 15 June 2024

Balloon 700 to North Station

Balloon 700 in Talbot Square on its way to the North Station interchange.
Saturday 15th June saw Balloon 700 operating several full system tours of the tramway, that included a run along the Talbot Road extension to the North Station interchange station. The photos in this post are of the 15:55 Balloon tour from Starr Gate.

Balloon 700 leaving the North Station tram stop using the scissors crossing

Balloon 700 starting its short run up Talbot Road to the terminus at North Station
Balloon 700 making its way back down Talbot Road

Friday 14 June 2024

LRT Talbot Road Extension Tour

Flexity 018 using the scissors crossing as it leaves the North Station terminus
Following the official opening of the Talbot Road tramway extension on Wednesday 12th June, a series of events to celebrate the occasion were planned over the following three days, including depot tours, full system tram tours, etc. On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday a number of full system tours had been planned, using Flexity trams on all three days, with the addition of heritage double deck tram tours on Saturday 15th June. The photos shown here are of Flexity 018 operating the 15:55 LRT Talbot Road Extension Tour from Starr Gate on Friday 14th June.

Flexity 018 entering Talbot Square on its way to North Station

Flexity 018 passing Mercedes Citaro 558 on route 3 to Mereside on Talbot Road
Flexi 018 crossing over Dickson Road as it heads off down Talbot Road towards Fleetwood

Wednesday 12 June 2024

First Passenger Flexity to North Station

Flexity 018 just after it had arrived at the North Station tram stop at 11:10
On Wednesday 12th June the first passenger carrying Flexity made the inaugural run from Starr Gate to North Station, arriving at the new terminus of the Talbot Road tramway extension at 11:10. Last minute preparations of warning signs and markings were still taking place in Talbot Square at 09:00, and yet still an errant motorist managed to turn off the promenade and drove through the clearly marked no entry signs onto the tramway reservation. Before the tram was due to arrive there was chaos and gridlock on Talbot Road, Clifton Street and Abingdon Street due to a protest by Blackpool taxi drivers, who had jammed all three roads with dozens of their vehicles. It was feared that the debut tram run may have to be delayed, but in the end the taxi drivers were persuaded to move on peacefully by the police. Flexity 018 was the tram which had been selected for this auspicious occasion, and had vinyls on the advert boards saying "From Tram to Train" and "From Train to Tram", with a graphic of a merged tram and train on the centre section of the tram. After Flexity 018 had arrived at the North Station stop, the passengers and invited guests were treated to brunch at Marco’s New York Italian restaurant, adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel.

Flexity 018 crossing Dickson Road, passing a Transpora bus on service 21 to North Pier
Flexity 018 beginning to make its short run up Talbot Road to the North Station terminus
Flexity 018 at the North Station tram terminus next to the Holiday Inn
The tram/train graphic on the centre section of Flexity 018
Blackpool taxi drivers completely blocking the tram tracks on Talbot Road during a peaceful protest
A motorist who decided to ignore the tramway no entry signs at Talbot Square at 09:00

Wednesday 5 June 2024

ADL Battery Electric Demonstrator bus on test in Blackpool

ADL Enviro400EV Battery Electric Demonstrator AD24 BEV on route 14 in Fleetwood on June 5th
Blackpool Transport had an Alexander Dennis electric demonstrator bus operating in passenger service this week. 11.1m ADL Enviro400EV battery-electric demonstrator AD24 BEV was timetabled to be in daytime passenger service on route 14 to Fleetwood, from 0500 until 1816 on Wednesday 5th June. A roadshow was also planned for the 6th and 7th June, where the bus was scheduled to be on static display to the public at various venues throughout the BTS operating area for an hour at a time, but this part of its visit was inexplicably postponed.

The Enviro400EV demonstrator turning right out of Bold Street in Fleetwood on route 14 to Blackpool

The battery electric demonstrator near Ash Street in Fleetwood, returning to Blackpool on route 14
The ADL electric demonstrator on Bold Street in Fleetwood alongside Flexity 017

Monday 27 May 2024

Spring Bank Holiday Heritage

Boat 227 and Balloon 717 at the North Pier heritage stops with Flexity 011 heading north
Spring bank holiday Monday in Blackpool saw six heritage trams in use during various parts of the day. The core service was provided by Boat 227 (tram A), Bolton 66 (tram B), Balloon 717 (tram C) and wartime liveried Balloon 700 (tram D). During the afternoon a fifth tram entered service, this being flat fronted Balloon 718, which later replaced Boat 227 which suffered a technical fault. Last of all Brush 631 was noted in service at Little Bispham at 1600, making it the sixth heritage tram that had operated during the day. Note all photos were taken on Monday 27th May.

Balloon 717 passsing 718 at the North Pier heritage stop
Balloon 700 turning out of Pharos Street on the 1300 Coastal Tour from Fleetwood
Bolton 66 heading south along the Promenade at North Shore
Boat 227 and Balloon 700 passing at the Gynn
Balloon 718 turning into Bold Street on the 1610 Coastal Tour from the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 700 passing the Cherry Blossom hotel on Warley Road
Bolton 66 passing Boat 227 at North Pier
Balloon 717 at Cocker Square on the 1455 Coastal Tour to Fleetwood
Brush 631 heading south at Little Bispham at 1600

Sunday 19 May 2024

Morecambe Vintage Bus Running Day

A 1934 Lytham Leyland Lion and 1953 Brighton, Hove & District Bristol KSW6G at the football stadium
The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust held their annual Vintage Bus Running Day at Morecambe on Sunday 19th May. The event comprised of static vehicle displays, sales stalls and free rides on a wide variety of preserved buses, including several open toppers, which proved very popular under the wall to wall sunshine that greeted visiting enthusiasts. The RVPT operated free bus services from Carnforth railway station, Happy Mount Park and Heysham Village to the Morecambe Football Club and Promenade every 10 to 15 minutes throughout the event. There was also a Bare Circular that operated a frequent service from outside the Winter Gardens on the Promenade, stopping at Happy Mount Park and Bare.

Stagecoach ADL Enviro400 MMC 11146 on service 6A with a 1950 Morecambe & Heysham AEC Regent III

1962 Ribble Leyland PD3/5 1775 leaving the Mazuma stadium on the free bus service to Carnforth
1972 Ribble open top Bristol VR 1995 returning to the football stadium
1956 Ribble Leyland PD2/12 1467 loading up for the Bare Circular at the football stadium
1948 Lytham St Annes Leyland PD2/1 10 operating a free bus service
Economic Coaches of Whitburn 1948 Albion Valiant CX39N
1959 Crosville Bristol Lodekka LD6B DLB978 operating on the free bus service
1950 Todmorden Corporation Leyland PD2/1 18 with a Leyland lowbridge body
Barrow Transport Group partial open top Volvo B10M 928 with Ribble 1467 passing
1954 London Transport AEC Regent III RT4548
1958 Fishwick Leyland PD2/40 with a Weymann lowbridge body
1967 Blackpool PD3 512 and former Stagecoach open top Dennis Trident 17012
Morecambe 1951 Weymann bodied 73 and 1950 Park Royal bodied 72, both AEC Regent IIIs
1987 Blackpool open top Leyland Olympian 857
1970 Fylde Borough Transport Leyland Atlantean 77 with Nottingham style bodywork