Saturday, 20 December 2014

2014 Santa Special

The Western Train parked on the siding at North Pier as the sun slowly sets below below the horizon
On Saturday 20th December the Western Train was parked on the siding at North Pier from 1000 to 1600 with Santa and his helpers onboard so that children could pay him a visit and also receive a present. After a very busy day, Santa Claus and his elves rounded off the proceedings with a well patronised return trip to Little Bispham and back.

The Western Train on the siding at North Pier where it was parked all day in order that children could visit Santa Claus
The Western Train preparing to depart from North Pier with nearly a full load of passengers on board
The Western Train departing from North Pier just after 1600 on its return trip to Little Bispham and back
The Western Train at Bispham tram station on the return leg of the journey from Little Bispham to North Pier
The Western Train heading back to North Pier, with Santa and his elves on the rear platform of the carriage

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Routemaster Snowplough

Snowplough equipped Balloon 701 at the front of Rigby Rd depot on the 7th Dec, with 700, 723 and 754 also in view
Balloon 701 was noted carrying its usual seasonal snowplough at the front of Rigby Road tram depot on 7th December, despite the tram now being classed as part of the heritage fleet. It will be very interesting to see if 701 is still fitted with the snowplough when it operates the Fylde Tramway Society's 2014 Christmas Tour on 28th December.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Oakwood Travel Has Ceased To Be

Ex Lothian Buses Volvo Olympian P269 PSX southbound on the service 22 to Mereside on 2nd December 2014

When is a bus not a Classic Bus, that's the Catch 22 question. Former Lothian Buses Olympian P269 PSX was still operating with the Classic Bus North West logo on the upper deck windscreen on 2nd December, over a year after the company ceased to exist and a day after its successor company was renamed. Classic Bus North West Ltd ceased trading in December 2013, with their buses coming under the umbrella of Oakwood Travel Services Ltd. It was announced earlier this week that with effect from 1st December, Oakwood Travel Services would henceforth be known as Catch22Bus Ltd. Several of the single deckers have already been repainted and rebranded into the new Catch22Bus orange and turquoise livery, hopefully the rest of the fleet will receive the corporate livery in the not too distant future before another name change takes effect.

Former Metroline of London Dennis Dart T143 AUA in the full Catch22Bus livery and branding on December 2nd

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Oakwood's former London United Volvo B7TL

Ex London United Volvo W139EON passing Coral Island on Oakwood Travel's Catch 22 service on 2nd December
Former London United Volvo B7TL W139 EON (ex VA103) with two door Alexander ALX400 bodywork made its debut on Oakwood Travel's Catch 22 service three weeks ago. 139 has also been noted operating on the seasonal Red Rocket service to Manchester, which is running a single daily round trip on Saturday and Sundays during the run up to Christmas.

Former London United Volvo W139EON heading for Mereside on Oakwood Travel's service 22 on December 2nd
Oakwood's Volvo B7TL W139EON leaving Blackpool on the Red Rocket service to Manchester on November 29th

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Brush 631 on Driver Training

Brush Car 631 heading south on driver training duties at Thornton Gate on 18th November

In scenes more reminiscent of the days of traditional tramcar operation, a Brush Car has been seen running with training vehicle 'L' plates on for the first two days of this week. On Monday November 17th, Brush Car 631 from the heritage fleet was noted out on the tramway wearing 'L' plates, and the following day 631 was again seen on driver training duties. Note, the photo of 625 below illustrates how the bumpers have been fitted in the incorrect position on 631 during its restoration, they are too far inboard and should have been positioned further back around the sides of the cab.

Brush Car 625 on driver training at the same location but 11 years earlier, on 11th April 2003

Brush Car 636 northbound at the Cabin on driver training duties in May 2003

Friday, 14 November 2014

Brush Car 631 on Private Hire

Brush Car 631 at North Pier while being used for filming on November 13th, with Flexity 006 passing by southbound
Brush Car 631 was noted in use on a private hire on the Promenade on Thursday 13th November. A film crew were planning to capture the tram passing the Tower.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Jail Break for Fleetwood Trams

Calkeld Heavy Haulage manoeuvring Centenary Car 641 around at tight corner as they leave Kirkham Prison
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust had been given notice that the remaining trams that they had stored at Kirkham Prison in Lancashire needed to be removed from the premises. Beginning on Monday 10th November the trams began to be transported away to other storage facilities. Twin Set motor car 673 and Centenary 641 were both moved to the groups open compound within the private port complex at Fleetwood Fish Dock. The two trams would then be reunited with the other FHLT trams, Balloons 710 & 726, Railcoach 678, Twin Set trailer 683 and Centenary 643. All the photos used in this report are by kind courtesy of Colin Macleod and the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust.

Centenary Car 641 all loaded up on the trailer of Calkeld Heavy Haulage and ready to depart Kirkham Prison
Centenary Car 641 after it had been unloaded at Fleetwood Fish Dock, the tram being reunited with sister car 643
Twin Set motor car 673 being loaded onto the trailer of Calkeld Heavy Haulage at Kirkham Prison
Twin Set motor car 673 safely stowed on the low loader trailer of Calkeld Heavy Haulage at Kirkham Prison
Twin Set motor car 673 on the back of the low loader of Calkeld Heavy Haulage, ready to depart Kirkham Prison