Friday, 24 February 2017

Enviro 400 Demonstrator

ADL Enviro 400 City SN66 WLK in Bold Street in Fleetwood on the Service 1 to Freeport
Blackpool Transport have had an Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 City demonstrator on loan during the last week. SN66 WLK arrived on Monday 20th February, and has been in passenger service on various routes throughout the week. The blue demonstrator features three large glazed rooflights in the upper deck roof, plus other detail differences to the Enviro 400s currently in the BTS fleet.

ADL Enviro 400 City demonstrator SN66 WLK in Lord Street Fleetwood on Service 1 to Starr Gate
ADL Enviro 400 City demonstartor SN66 WLK on its way out of Freeport Fleetwood
A rear view of ADL Enviro 400 City demonstartor SN66 WLK leaving Freeport

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Paisley 16

The lower saloon of former open-top tram 16 of Paisley District Tramways outside the fitting shop
During early December 2016 an old tram body appeared outside the fitting shop at Rigby Road depot. The new arrival is the lower saloon of open-top car 16, which was part of a batch of 40 trams built by the British Electric Car Company in 1904 for the newly electrified routes of Paisley District Tramways. 16 later became 1016 in the fleet of Glasgow Corporation Tramways, after the Paisley system was absorbed by the larger operator in 1923. The lower saloon, truck and various other equipment belonging to the tram have been acquired by the Blackpool Heritage Trust from the Scottish International Tramway Association, being transported from Glasgow to Blackpool on 3rd December last year. This tram is obviously going to be a very long term restoration project, given the number of other trams that are currently awaiting restoration at Rigby Road and the limited manpower available.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Winter Heritage Gold

Balloon 713 at Norbreck on the first Heritage Tram Tour of the day to Fleetwood
The first winter Heritage Tram Tour event of 2017 took place over the weekend of 28th & 29th January, with six trams running a gold timetable service. The six car output on Sunday 29th consisted of duty A: Balloon 713, duty B: Balloon 700, duty C: Balloon 717, duty D: Frigate 736, duty E: Balloon 723 and duty F: Railcoach 680.

Frigate 736 at Gynn Square heading towards the Pleasure Beach
Railcoach 680 heading south at Norbreck
Balloon 717 and Frigate 736 passing at Cavendish Road
Balloon 717 approaching the Cavendish Road stop on its way to Little Bispham
Balloon 723 heading south near the former Miner's Home
Balloon 700 stopping at Bispham on its way to Fleetwood

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Second Versa enters service with Catch22Bus

Optare Versa YJ10MGU on Alexandra Road in Thornton on the service 24 to Poulton
The second of three 10.8m Optare Versas has entered service with Catch22Bus. Unlike YJ61JHH, the first Versa to see use, YJ10MGU is in the standard all-over turquoise livery with orange lining. Both new Optare Versas are currently being used on the service 24 between Cleveleys and Poulton.

Optare Versa YJ10MGU on Fleetwood Road North in Thornton on service 24 to Cleveleys

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Farewell to the Routemaster

Routemasters and other vehicles preparing to enter service at the Catch22Bus depot on 31st December
Saturday 31st December was the final day that non DDA compliant buses were allowed to be used on stage carriage services. To commemorate this historic and sad occasion, Catch22Bus operated a fully step entrance heritage bus service on their Coastliner 21 route, that runs between between Cleveleys and St Annes. The vehicles rostered for use on the day were former London Routemasters RML887 and RM1583 (recently repainted out of its Blackpool livery into London red), ex Blackpool PD3 516 and ex Ribble Bristol VR 1997. During the morning the Lancastrian Transport Trust ran their former Ribble Atlantean 1805 as an extra on the route, providing free trips for passengers. After a crew break PD3 516 was swapped for former Blackpool PD3 529, to add even more variety to the service. As all these buses will now no longer be permitted to run in passenger service, in future they will be limited to private hires and other occasional outings.

RM1583 parked in St Annes waiting to commence service on the Coastliner 21 to Cleveleys
RM1583 in St Annes, with former Ribble Atlantean 1805 running as an extra on service 21X
Former Blackpool Leyland PD3 516 near the Pleasure Beach on its way to St Annes
Ex Blackpool PD3 516 picking up passengers in Blackpool on its run south to St Annes
RML887 passing South Pier on its way north towards Cleveleys
Leyland PD3 529 and Bristol VR 1997 pausing at a stop in Blackpool with BTS Trident 368 heading north
RM1583 near North Pier in Blackpool heading towards Cleveleys
Former Blackpool PD3 529 heading south through Talbot Square in Blackpool
Former Ribble Bristol VR 1997 turning round in Cleveleys to head back south again to St Annes
RM1583 arriving at Cleveleys after its run from St Annes
Ex Blackpool PD3 529 laying over at the southern terminus of service 21 in St Annes
RML887 in Cleveleys at the start of its run south along the Fylde Coast to St Annes

Saturday, 17 December 2016

New Optare Versa for Catch22Bus

Optare Versa YJ61JHH turning out of Alexandra Road in Thornton on the way to Poulton
The first Optare Versa, of a recently acquired batch of three, entered passenger service with Catch22Bus Ltd this morning. YJ61JHH is one of three Versas that had previously been on a five year lease to APH (Airport Parking & Hotels), the vehicle made its debut on service 24 between Cleveleys and Poulton.

Poulton bound Optare Versa YJ61JHH on Rough Lea Road in Cleveleys

RM special to Manchester Markets

RML887 on Rough Lea Road in Cleveleys, on its way to pick up passengers in Blackpool
With the days of step entrance buses in passenger service drawing to a close, Catch22Bus Ltd used one of their Routemasters on a special excursion to Manchester on 17th December. RML887 operated a shoppers special to the Manchester Christmas Markets, departing from Cleveleys Bus Station at 10:15 before picking up in Blackpool at 10:30. The service gave passengers the opportunity to spend a day Christmas shopping in Manchester, before returning to the Fylde Coast early on Saturday evening.