Sunday, 1 September 2019

2019 Bus Driver of the Year

National Express West Midlands ADL Enviro400 MMC 6990


The National Final of the Bus Driver of the Year competition took place in Blackpool on Sunday 1st September. During the final, entrants gain points for successfully completing a series of tasks on the driving course, or correctly answering questions in the theory test. The driving part of the competition takes place along the North Promenade between Gynn Square and the Metropole Hotel, returning along Middle Walk where a further series of tests are set for the drivers.

Lothian Buses 1062, a Volvo B5TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Xplore Dundee 4905, an Alexander Dennis Enviro400 new to West Midlands


Stagecoach ADL Enviro400 MMC 11213


Go-Ahead Ireland 11588, a Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3


London United LT1000, the last 'Borismaster' to be built


Lothian Country 575, a Volvo B5LH Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Blackpool Transport ADL Enviro400 City 451


Bluestar ADL Enviro400 City 1245


Go North East Wright Streetdeck 6333


Stagecoach London ADL Enviro400 MMC 11033


East Coast Buses 20008, a Volvo B5TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Stagecoach ADL Enviro200 MMC 26083


Blackpool Transport ADL Enviro200 MMC 570

Friday, 30 August 2019

Northern Class 331 Launch at Blackpool

Class 331 EMU 011 on display at Blackpool North station


Northern had an official press launch for their new Class 331 EMU at Blackpool North railway station on 30th August. In the morning after the press launch 331011 made a round trip to Preston and return. The EMU was open for the public to inspect from 3.30 pm until 6.00 pm in the afternoon. The Class 331s are due to begin operating on the Blackpool North to Liverpool Lime Street service from 9th September, and will be introduced onto the Manchester route later on. The Class 331 Civity EMUs are manufactured by CAF at their Zaragoza factory in Spain.

331011 on display at Blackpool North railway station



EMUs 319367 and 331011 at Blackpool North station



A view showing the tables and seating arrangement



A view showing the doors at the driving end of the train



The location of the toilet compartment in the Class 331



A view of the driver's cab of 331011

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Merlin Entertainments advert on Flexity 001

Flexity 001 advertising the Incredible Hulk at Madame Tussauds


Flexity 001 entered service this week in one of Blackpool Transport's most colourful overall adverts yet. 001 is carrying a Merlin Entertainments advert for several of the group's local attractions, such as Blackpool Tower, the Sealife centre and Madame Tussauds waxworks. Of additional interest are the extra large fleet numbers applied to this tram, which are easily read from a great distance, although maybe black numerals should have been used on the cab side which is advertising Bar 380, as the white numbers are virtually invisible on the light background. The advert is a welcome addition to the tram fleet and is bound to become popular with the public.

Flexity 001 advertising the Sealife centre


001 advertising Mooky the clown at the Tower Circus


Flexity 001 at Cleveleys advertising various Merlin attractions


The centre section of the tram showing various attractions being advertised

Monday, 26 August 2019

Ribble Running Day at Lytham Hall

1931 Ribble Leyland Lion 1161


The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust held their annual running day and display based at Lytham Hall on August Bank Holiday Monday. A frequent free bus service was in operation throughout the day between Lytham Hall and St Annes Square via Fairhaven Lake using vintage buses. In addition to vehicles from the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust collection, there were preserved buses from other former local operators such as North Western, Lytham St Annes Corporation, Blackpool Corporation, Preston Corporation, Liverpool Corporation and Fishwick.

1936 Ribble Leyland Cheetah 1568


1934 Lytham St Annes 24, a Leyland Lion LT5A


1960 Ribble Leyland Atlantean 1686


Ribble 831, a 1980 Leyland National 2


North Western 1960 Leyland Tiger Cub 796 and 1962 Leyland Leopard 916


Fishwick 23, a 1975 Leyland Atlantean AN69


1968 Preston Corporation Leyland Panther 204

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Heritage Tram Depot Open Day

Blackpool PD3 516 passing Balloon 701 as it arrives to take part in the display


On Sunday 25th August Blackpool Heritage Trams held an open day at their Rigby Road depot. Bolton 66, Jubilee 761, Coronation 341 and Brush 634 were on display on the depot fan, along with several buses. Regular guided tours of the fitting shop, body shop and electrical compound were offered throughout the day for a small extra charge. A nice touch was all the illuminated feature cars being lined up together at the front of the depot, ie the Hovertram, Western Train, Rocket, Trawler and Frigate.

The Heritage Tour trams lined up in Hopton Road before departure


Brush 631 arriving with the first depot shuttle service of the day


The illuminated feature trams lined up


A line of Balloons in the depot


Brush car 634 on display


Coronation 304 on display on the depot fan


OMO 8 stored in the depot

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Trolleybus Museum 50th Anniversary

An impressive line-up of 14 trolleybuses greeted visitors on the Saturday


The Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft near Doncaster celebrated its 50th anniversary over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The event was a rare opportunity to see almost the complete fleet of trolleybuses on outside display. Virtually all the trolleybuses that could be moved were towed out of the sheds and either lined up for static display or used in service if they were operable. 
On the first day of the gala weekend a grand total of 17 vehicles ran on the Saturday, a first for Sandtoft, the most previously operated in one day was 16 during the 40th anniversary event. This impressive total was exceeded on the Bank Holiday Monday when a record 20 vehicles ran.

Huddersfield 631, a 1959 East Lancs bodied Sunbeam S7



London 1348, a 1939 all Leyland trolleybus



Maidstone 72, a 1947 Sunbeam with Northern Coachbuilders bodywork



Bradford 746, a 1949 Roe bodied BUT



Huddersfield 619, a 1956 East Lancs bodied BUT, at The Regal Cinema



Doncaster 375 operating a clockwise circuit



South Shields 204 and Huddersfield 541



Reading 144, a 1949 BUT with Park Royal bodywork



Manchester 1344, a 1955 BUT with Burlingham bodywork



Reading 113 departing for a run, leaving Reading 193 at the terminus



Nottingham 506, a 1950 BUT with Brush bodywork



Limoges (France) 5, a 1943 Vetra (Berliet) CB60 being rewired



South Shields 204 waiting for Bradford 792 on the turning circle



The replica 1911 Cedes-Stoll trackless trolley running on battery power



A 1981 Brown Boveri HR150G (GM T6H-5307) from Edmonton, Canada



Wellington (New Zealand) 82, a 1963 BUT with MCCW bodywork



Porto (Portugal) 140 and Liege (Belgium) 425 on static display



Reading 181 operated a one-off journey to end the days service