Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Rail Grinder visits Blackpool

The German rail grinder in use near the Lifeboat Station on Central Promenade
A Swiss made Meili VM8000 rail grinder belonging to Goldschmidt Thermit Railservice of Germany is in Blackpool this week. The vehicle was being used to grind the rails of the southbound track between the Tower and Central Pier on 20th March. When in use the VM8000 deploys four retractable rail wheels in order to run along the track, the road wheels being lifted clear of the ground. The grinding work was being done in between the normal Flexity tram service, with the vehicle raising its rail wheels and driving clear of the tram track on its road wheels to let each service car pass by.

Grinding the southbound rails opposite the Sealife Centre
The rail grinder in use near the Tower tram stop
A close up of the grinding mechanism and rail wheels
The rail grinder is operated via two remote control consoles

Monday, 19 March 2018

Blackpool's Newest Flexity

Flexity 018 at Anchorsholme Crossing
Flexity 018, which was newly delivered on 15th December last year, was noted in passenger service today. Here are a few views taken on the northern half of the tramway on Monday 19th March. The two new trams look quite smart in their factory fresh shiny finish, and they contrast quite markedly with the now faded purple cabs on the original sixteen Flexities.

Flexity 018 on Pharos Street in Fleetwood
Flexity 018 heading north along Lord Street in Fleetwood

Monday, 5 March 2018

Large Logo Class 37 at Preston

DRS 37402 about to depart from Preston Station on the 2C47 to Barrow-in-Furness
Direct Rail Services 37402, wearing the BR large logo heritage livery, was noted operating the 2C47 from Preston to Barrow-in-Furness on Monday 5th March.

DRS 37402 ready to leave Preston on the 1004 to Barrow

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Balloons on Private Hire

Balloons 718, 717 & 723 loading up with passengers at the Imperial Hotel
Three of the heritage tram fleet took part in a private hire on the evening of 27th February. Balloons 717, 718 & 723 picked up a large party of guests from the Imperial Hotel shortly before 18:00, just after sunset. The plan was for the three trams to run south down to Starr Gate, then return their passengers back to the Imperial Hotel.

Balloons 723, 717 & 718 on a private hire at the Imperial Hotel

Open Topper on the Coastliner 21

Sightseeing Manchester open top Trident W501 RBB in Cleveleys on the Coastliner 21
Due to a temporary vehicle shortage on the Coastliner 21, one of the Sightseeing Manchester open top Tridents was noted in service on the Fylde Coast on Tuesday 27th February. W501 RBB, an Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident, was rather a long way from its usual stamping ground in Manchester, but was a pleasant diversion from the usual run of the mill buses to be seen running along the Promenade.

Sightseeing Manchester Trident W501 RBB in Cleveleys on the 21 to St Annes
Sightseeing Manchester open top Trident W501 RBB at Cleveleys Bus Station

Monday, 26 February 2018

Old Layton tram route track

Old tram tracks revealed on Talbot Road near the junction with Abingdon Street on 25th February
The realignment of essential gas, water and electric pipes along Talbot Road, to make way for the new tram extension to North Station occasionally unearth some of the old tram track. Utility work excavations have have recently revealed a short section of the former Layton route track close to the junction with Abingdon Street.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Heritage on the South Promenade

Brush Car 621 at Starr Gate about to leave for Fleetwood on Saturday
The February Winter Gold weekend began on Saturday 24th February, with clear blue skies being the order of the day. The timetabled service operated between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry, with trams 623, 715, 631, 621, 701 and 717 in use throughout the day, with Balloon 700 serving as the heritage shop stationed on the loop near North Pier. Sunday saw more of the same fine sunny weather, with trams 701, 713, 680, 630, 723 & 718 running the tours. Around midday Railcoach 680 was taken out of heritage service and replace by Brush Car 621.

Balloon 717 bound for Starr Gate along the South Promenade
Brush Car 631 rounding the curve on the approach to the Starr Gate terminus
Balloon 715 heading for Starr Gate along the South Promenade
Brush Car 623 setting off from Starr Gate on a run to Little Bispham
Balloon 701 approaching the Pleasure Beach on a tour through to Fleetwood
Balloon 723 at Starr Gate heading north on a Heritage Tour on Sunday morning
Railcoach 680 at the Pleasure Beach on the first run of the day to Starr Gate
Balloon 713 at the Pleasure Beach heading north towards Little Bispham
718 at Starr Gate after unloading its passengers at the temporary Heritage Tour stop
Brush 630, on loan from the Tramway Museum at Crich, on South Promenade