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

Saturday, 7 August 2021

More Overhead at Talbot Square

Overhead wiring in place on the northbound curve at Talbot Square on 6th August

Following the installation of wiring on the southbound curve at Talbot Square, the overhead for the northbound curve to the Promenade has also been strung. A few fittings and frogs still need finalising, but the junction to all intents is now fully wired.

The view from Talbot Square showing both curves now fitted with overhead

Friday, 6 August 2021

Brush 631 named Reginald Dixon

Brush car 621 passing 631 at North Pier shortly after the naming ceremony
Brush car 631 has been named Reginald Dixon, after the organist who played the Wurlitzer organ in the Tower Ballroom for 40 years, from 1930 to 1970. The tram's new name was unveiled at a short naming ceremony at North Pier at 2pm on Friday 6th August. After the unveiling 631 took the official party on a trip north to Little Bispham and back.

Brush 631 at North Pier before the naming ceremony
The name "Reginald Dixon M.B.E." being unveiled on the side of Brush 631
An information display about Reginald Dixon on a window adjacent to the centre door
Balloon 717 on a Heritage Tour passing 631 before the naming ceremony
Brush 631 heading off to Little Bispham with the official party onboard

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Talbot Road Track & Overhead Update

Overhead wiring now installed on the southbound curve at Talbot Square
The new track at the North Station tramway extension terminus has started to be concreted in. The first section from the junction of Talbot Road and Dickson Road has been concreted as far as the scissors crossover. At the other end of the Talbot Road extension, the overhead wiring on the southbound curve from Talbot Square to the Promenade has now been installed, although it still needs finishing off with frogs, etc.

The trackwork at the North Station tramway terminus is now being concreted in
Tents near the scissors crossover to facilitate the track work
Another view of the new overhead wiring at Talbot Square with Boat 227 passing

Friday, 30 July 2021

A Colourful Enviro in Blackpool

ADL Enviro 400 demonstrator SN59AWX on Clifton Street
A look back to 2010, when Demonstrator SN59AWX was on trial in Blackpool. SN59AWX was an ADL Enviro 400, built in 2009 as a demonstrator for Alexander Dennis, and is seen here on Clifton Street in Blackpool, operating on Service 14 to Fleetwood Freeport on 4th September 2010.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Heavy Haulage Move in Thornton

Mammoet's Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAW on Stanah Road in Thornton at 10:30 on 25th July
A 178 tonne electricity transformer was moved from Preston Docks to the National Grid substation at Stanah in Thornton on 25th July. The transformer was shipped to Preston Docks by the cargo vessel River Trader on 24th July, and craned out of the ship by Ainscough Crane Hire. The next day Mammoet heavy transport moved the giant transformer from Preston to Stanah on their 16 axle, 240 tonne capacity, AL50 girder frame trailer, pulled and pushed by two massive Trojan 8870 tractor units. The transformer had a scheduled arrival time at Stanah of 13:30, but was already in the centre of Thornton at 10:30. The transformer finally entered the electricity substation site at Stanah at 11:10, after a last minute hiccup necessitated the lifting of a section of fence and gate at the entrance, to allow access for the enormous girder trailer.

The transporter negotiating the roundabout at the junction of Station Road and Stanah Road in Thornton
Mammoet's transporter continuing slowly along Stanah Road
Approaching the mini roundabout at the junction of Stanah Road and Hillylaid Road
Negotiating the roundabout at the junction of Stanah Road and Hillylaid Road
Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAZ at the rear, pushing the girder trailer and transformer
Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAZ coupled to the rear of the AL50 girder frame trailer
The rear steering position on the AL50 girder frame trailer
The transformer load on the 240 tonne capacity AL50 girder frame trailer
A close up of one of the two 64 wheel bogies on the girder frame trailer
The front of the trailer as it is pushed into the site access road by the rear Trojan 8870 tractor unit
The transformer being pushed into the site from Stanah Road by the rear tractor unit
The rear Trojan 8870 pushing the girder frame trailer and transformer into the site
The single Trojan 8870 at the rear, now left pushing the girder frame trailer
The solitary tractor unit pushing the transformer onto the National Grid substation site