Thursday, 29 October 2020

Gothenburg Trams

M29 trams 848 & 824 on Line 2 at Drottningtorget
Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden and has a busy tram system comprising twelve routes running over 100 miles of track. The city's bus network is operated by a mixture of diesel, natural gas and electric powered vehicles. All the photos were taken during a visit in May 2018.

M29 tram 825 & M28 762 on Line 3 on Ostra Hamngatan
A pair of M28 trams led by 766 on Line 6 on Norra Hamngatan
M29 tram 823 & M28 702 on Line 3 at Drottningtorget
M29 tram 850 & M28 728 on Line 2 on Ostra Hamngatan
ASEA/MGB M31 tram 337 on Line 6 on Sodra Hamngatan
ASEA/MGB M31 tram 364 on Line 6 on Norra Hamngatan
AnsaldoBreda M32 tram 435 on Line 9 on Jarntorgsgatan
Preserved 1961 Hägglund M25 tram 582
Single M29 car 854 on driver training duties at Drottningtorget
Volvo 7500 articulated bus 3896 on route 16 on Norra Hamngatan
Solaris Urbino 15 LE CNG 2089 on route 50 at Stenpiren Resecentrum
Volvo electric bus 2038 on route 55 on Ostra Hamngatan
Volvo electric bus 2031 on route 55 on Ostra Hamngatan

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Trident Driver Trainer

Dennis Trident Driver Trainer 973 on the Promenade near the Imperial Hotel

Dennis Trident Driver Trainer 973 (ex 303) was spotted passing Wilton Parade on the Promenade while on driver training duties on 14th October.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Cambridge Busway

13.4m tri-axle Volvo B8L 13901 leaving Histon heading towards Cambridge

The Cambridgeshire Busway is the longest guided busway in the world, with the guided sections of the route totalling 16 miles. The Busway opened in 2011, with the concrete guide tracks laid mostly on former railway alignments. There were two routes operating on the Busway at the time of my visit, Route A operates between St Ives and Trumpington Park & Ride, south of Cambridge, Route B runs between Hinchingbrooke Hospital at Huntingdon and Central Cambridge. The services are operated by Stagecoach East who have invested £5 million in the purchase of 18 new buses for use on the Busway, comprising twelve 13.4 metre tri-axle Volvo B8Ls with ADL Enviro 400XLB twin-door double-deck bodies (13901-13912) and six Volvo B8RLEs with MCV Evora single-deck bodywork (21363-21368).

Volvo B7RLE 21227 having just left the Histon busway stop.

Volvo B7RLE 21232 at Histon

Volvo B8L 13911 crossing Station Road in Histon

Volvo B8RLE 21367 with MCV Evora bodywork at Histon

Volvo B8L 13910 arriving in Histon

Volvo B7RLE 21228 crossing Station Road in Histon

Volvo B8L 13904 entering the guided track heading north at Histon

Volvo B8L 13902 rejoining the guided busway at Histon


Thursday, 10 September 2020

Grand Central Blackpool to London Service Scrapped

DB 90039 with Grand Central test train 3P51 approaching Blackpool North on 20th March


Sadly the proposed new Grand Central rail service from Blackpool North to London Euston has been shelved due to the poor economic situation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in the year, in March, several route learning trains had been run to Blackpool North using Class 90 electric locos hauling former LNER Mark 4 coaches. The test trains were suspended due to Covid-19, but unfortunately this latest news seals the fate of what would have been a bright new venture in rail travel from Blackpool.

DVT 82231 leading Grand Central test train 3K83 through Poulton-le-Fylde on 20th March


DB 90039 on Grand Central test train 3K83, passing Layton station on 16th March


DB 90019 leading Grand Central test train 3K83 into Kirkham & Wesham on 6th March

Monday, 7 September 2020

Sorry Tram Full

Flexity 018 at the Gynn already displaying "Sorry Tram Full" on its destination screen on 30th August


The August Bank Holiday Weekend in Blackpool was dry, if somewhat cool for the time of year. As a consequence of the foreign travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, Blackpool has been enjoying somewhat of a mini-boom with staycation visits by tourists and daytrippers. As a result of the social distancing rules in place on public transport, that were introduced because of Covid-19, it was inevitable that during this busy weekend trams and buses would be reaching their reduced maximum capacities. Over the three days of the Bank Holiday, many trams and buses were already displaying "Sorry Tram Full" or "Sorry Bus Full" before they had loaded up passengers in the busy North Shore hotel area from the Cabin southwards. As a result many trams were sailing past the stops leaving scores of passengers to find their own way to their destinations, with many people even resorting to walking (shock, horror!).

ADL Enviro 452 displaying "Sorry, Bus Full due to Social Distancing" on 29th August


Overall advert Flexity 001 showing "Sorry Tram Full" on Sunday 30th August

Monday, 31 August 2020

Blackpool Heritage Tours Return

Balloon 717 passing the replica Spitfire at the Gynn on Bank Holiday Monday
August Bank Holiday Weekend saw the return of Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours to the Promenade, but not in their usual format due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. There was no hop-on, hop-off allowed this time, no chance for families to spontaneously take a ride on the old trams as in previous years, and while the open Boats looked very tempting over the fine weekend, only pre-booked journeys were possible. Instead of trams running approximately every 15 minutes, there were only five tours during the whole day. Two types of tour were on offer, the Promenade Tour from North Pier to Bispham, Pleasure Beach and back to North Pier, and the Coastal Tour, running through to Fleetwood instead of Bispham. The 1030 Bispham and 1300 Fleetwood tours were operated by Balloons, the 1130 Bispham tour used a vintage tram, and the afternoon tours at 1400 and 1530 saw Boats in use each day. All trips needed to be pre-booked online in advance via the Heritage Tram Tours website, and the mandatory wearing of face masks was required (apart from people who were exempt). Trams could only be boarded at North Pier, although those wishing to leave a tour could do so at any of the heritage stops.

Balloon 717 at Gynn Square on the first tour of the day on 31st August



Brush Car 621 on driver refresher duties on 30th August



Standard 147 at Gynn Square on a Promenade Tour on 31st August



Boat 227 passing the Spitfire at Gynn Square on 30th August



Boat 600 at Little Bispham on Bank Holiday Monday



Bolton 66 at Gynn Square on the vintage Promenade Tour on 30th August



Balloon 715 returning from the Coastal Tour to Fleetwood on 30th August

Monday, 24 August 2020

Coronation 663 returns to Blackpool

Coronation 663 on its low loader in Lytham Road after arriving from Heywood


Blackpool Coronation 663 has returned from Riley & Son Locomotive Engineers in Heywood, near Bury, where it's been since 22nd August 2018. The work done at Riley's was a complete rebuild of the Maley & Taunton HS44 bogies, using many new components. Following completion of the bogie work, 663 was transported back to Blackpool on a low loader of Reid Freight Services of Stoke-on-Trent, using the same truck that moved the tram to Heywood in 2018. Coronation 663 was loaded onto the transporter at Heywood on the morning of Monday 24th August, on arrival at Blackpool around 1:30 pm the tram was unloaded and moved into the depot, with the aid of Engineering Car 754.

Reid's low loader reversing from Lytham Road into Hopton Road


Reid's Mercedes-Benz Arocs 4158 SLT and low loader reversing along Hopton Road


Reid's low loader manoeuvring into position in Blundell Street


Coronation 663 beginning to descend the unloading ramp


Coronation 663 half way down the unloading ramp


BTS Enviro 230 on staff bus duty passing Coronation 663 back on Blackpool rails


Engineering Car 754 leaving the tram depot to collect Coronation 663


Coronation 663 being pushed along Hopton Road by Engineering Car 754


Engineering Car 754 shunting Coronation 663 into Rigby Road tram depot