Monday, 4 July 2022

The second week of North Station testing

Flexity 010 waiting for the traffic lights on Talbot Road at the junction with Abingdon Street
The first day of the second week of test running on the North Station tramway extension saw Flexity trams 005, 010 & 013 in use on the Talbot Road line.

Flexity 005 heads off down Talbot Road, passing Enviro 408 at the Dickson Road traffic lights

Flexity 005 leaving the North Station tram terminus
Flexity 013 approaching Talbot Square as it heads west down Talbot Road
Flexity 005 in Talbot Square with the choppy waters of the Irish Sea behind

Thursday, 30 June 2022

North Station route testing using two trams

Flexity 001 crossing over Dickson Road as it approaches the North Station terminus
The third day of the North Station daytime tramway testing (and last this week) saw two trams in use along Talbot Road. No testing had taken place on Wednesday due to faulty signalling, similar problems also saw the planned Friday tests cancelled. The trams in use on 30th June were all-over advert Flexity 001 and Flexity 011, which was the first of the new trams to be adorned with an advert back in June 2012, and has been carrying the same Redrow Homes advert for ten years.

Flexity 001 using the scissors crossing in the North Station terminus area

Flexity 011 passing Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church on Talbot Road
Flexity 001 waiting for the traffic lights at the junction with Dickson Road
Flexity 001 passing 11.8m ADL Enviro 561 on Talbot Road
Flexity 011 passing Enviro 400 City 416 on Talbot Road
Flexity 001 entering Talbot Road as it leaves North Station
Flexity 001 in Talbot Square
Flexity 001 waiting for a northbound service car, after turning right out of Talbot Square
Flexity 011 at the Talbot Square tram stop, seen from halfway up Talbot Road near the Abingdon St junction
Flexity 001 and Enviro 438 near the North Station tram terminus

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