Saturday, 27 November 2021

Storm Arwen Curtails Tram Service

Manually changing the points at North Pier with a point iron
Storm Arwen caused Blackpool's tram service to be cut back to North Pier from Saturday 27th November. A partially collapsed building on the corner of Springfield Road and Brighton Parade forced police to close the Promenade around the back of the Metropole Hotel. A partial tram service was in operation between Starr Gate and the North Pier tram stop, with trams reversing direction using the crossover near North Pier.

Flexity 002 crossing over to the southbound line at North Pier
Flexity 002 approaching the temporary northern terminus at North Pier
The partially collapsed building on the corner of Springfield Road
A close-up of the collapsed gable end on the wind damaged building

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Magical Express Tour 723

Balloon 723 heading north past Coral Island on Sunday 21st November
Balloon 723 has received an overall vinyl wrap for a new festive seasonal service called The Magical Express Tour. The new tour takes 25 minutes and runs from the loop at North Pier to Pleasure Beach and return. The service operates every half hour on selected dates, commencing on 19th November through to Monday 3rd January 2022. Sadly 723 has lost its 1980s green and cream livery, which was repainted for the 2016 heritage season, after the removal of a black vinyl wrap overall advert for The Sands Venue that it wore for a few years. Until the application of the Sands advert, 723 had previously worn the 1980s style livery since 2008. Sadly upon removal of the Sands vinyls, the paintwork on 723 was badly damaged necessitating a repaint.

723 northbound at Central Pier on The Magical Express Tour
Balloon 723 at North Pier about to cross over to the southbound track
723 southbound on the Golden Mile with the new Star Flyer ride on the Tower Headland
The North Pole Tram Stop where The Magical Express Tour commences
Balloon 723 at Cleveleys in 2016 after being repainted into 1980s livery again
723 on heritage service at Cleveleys in 2013 wearing a vinyl advert for The Sands Venue
723 on Lord Street in Fleetwood in 2009 after it had been painted into 1980s livery the previous year

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Stagecoach Poppy Bus

Stagecoach 10534 on Carlisle Street near Preston bus station
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC 10534 is wearing a special livery for the 2021 Royal British Legion poppy appeal. 10534 was noted working on service 59 between Preston and Royal Blackburn Hospital on 4th November.

10534 turning out of Pole Street onto Lords Walk in Preston

Sunday, 7 November 2021

Route 14 to Fleetwood Running Day

Leyland PD3 No. 516 passing Marsh Mill in Thornton on Fleetwood Road North
The Fylde Transport Trust held a "14s to Fleetwood" vintage bus running day on Sunday 7th November, operating on Route 14 from Blackpool to Fleetwood, as part of the 100 years of Blackpool Buses celebrations. The vehicles taking part in the event were four former Blackpool Corporation Transport buses, PD3s 516 and 529, Atlantean 334 and AEC Swift 570. The buses operated a 30 minute service between Blackpool North Pier and Fleetwood during the afternoon, starting at 1200 with the last bus due to return to North Pier at 1716.

Leyland Atlantean 334 passing Marsh Mill in Thornton on its way to Blackpool
PD3 No. 529 heading north in Thornton past Marsh Mill on Fleetwood Road North
AEC Swift 570 in Thornton heading north to Fleetwood

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Preston route branding on Service 23

Preston Bus Wright Streetdeck 40807 showing the new branding for route 23
Preston Bus have introduced special branding for route 23 to Asda to mark 100 years of service on the route (as of next year). The side advert panels show a summary of the history of the route since it commenced operation in 1922. All the photos shown here were taken during a visit to Preston on 15th October.

The offside of Wright Streetdeck 40807 showing the route 23 branding
Streetdeck 40808 showing the application of the route branding on the rear of the bus
Streetdeck 40806 turning out of Pole Street on the approach to the bus station
Streetdeck 40719 (without route branding) on Lords Walk on route 23 to the bus station
Diamond Bus 40842 leaving the bus station on route 23 to Asda

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Heritage Anniversary Weekend

Brush car 631 'Reginald Dixon' at Ash Street in Fleetwood, on the last heritage tour of the weekend
The 25th & 26th September 2021 saw Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours put on a special weekend of tram tours and events to mark the 136th Anniversary of the Blackpool Tramway. The trams that were in operation over the two days sometimes deviated from the planned output due to technical problems, etc. As well as the heritage trams operating on the Promenade, there were trams on static display in Blundell Street and on the depot track fan, in addition bus tours to Thornton and Lytham were on offer each day. A selection of the trams that were in operation over the weekend are illustrated here, with the notable exception of the Western Train, which I missed by the time it came out later on Sunday afternoon.

Brush 621 southbound on the Promenade near North Pier

Balloon 715 northbound at Foxhall Square on a Coastal Tour to Fleetwood

Boat 227 loading at the Heritage Tram Tour stop at North Pier

Balloon 717 at Cocker Square heading north to Cleveleys

Bolton 66 and Balloon 701 at the temporary heritage stops at Manchester Square

Flat fronted Balloon 707 at North Pier on shop duty

Bolton 66 southbound at the Tower

Centenary 642 at North Pier on its way to Starr Gate

Boat 600 at Foxhall Square heading for Bispham

Frigate 736 southbound at Gynn Square

Coronation 663 on display on the depot track fan

OMO 8 on static display in Blundell Street, between the Trawler & Engineering Car 754

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

London Duck Tours

1944 DUKW "Titania" (RSL602) turning right into Parliament Square while on a tour
London Duck Tours is a sightseeing company that had been operating a fleet of former World War Two American built amphibious GMC DUKWs around London since 2002, including a sail along the River Thames as part of their tour. Unfortunately the slipway that the company used to access the river was compulsorily purchased by Thames Water in September 2017, as it was needed for construction of the new Thames Tideway Tunnel (a large super sewer). The loss of their slipway at Vauxhall prevented London Duck Tours from being able to operate on the Thames anymore, and their fleet of vintage DUKWs had to be put into storage until such a time in the future that the slipway becomes available again, possibly in 2022. At the time that these photographs were taken in December 2015, the DUKWs were already over 70 years old and still in daily use.

1943 DUKW "Beatrice" (ESL660) on a tour in Parliament Square
1944 DUKW "Miranda" (157YUF) crossing Westminster Bridge on a tour