Tuesday, 8 October 2019

A Glimpse of Croatian Railways

Croatian Railways (HZ) class 1141 electric loco 301 at Rijeka on the 13:58 to Zagreb


A visit to Rijeka in Croatia on 8th October provided the opportunity for a brief look at Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Åželjeznice). Although Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia, spending some time at the main railway station would lead you to believe otherwise. Apart from the occasional container train passing through on their way to or from the docks, there was very little in the way of passenger train activity. The class 1141 25kV electric locos still in use by Croatian Railways are based on a 1960s design by Swedish company ASEA, they were originally built for Yugoslav Railways prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992.

Two HZ Cargo class 1141 electric locos on a container train at Rijeka, with 221 leading


Graffiti covered class 6111 EMU 005 at Rijeka station


Croatian Railways class 1141 electric loco 310 at Rijeka station


Class 2132 shunter 310 on an empty container train passing through the city


PPD Transport class 2044 diesel loco 005 outside Rijeka station


Former Yugoslav Railways 2-6-2T steam loco 51-032 on display at the station

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Ancona Trolleybuses

Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 012 in Piazza Camillo Benso di Cavour


Ancona is a seaport on the Adriatic coast of Italy and its trolleybus system is comprised of a single route. Route 1/4 runs from Piazza IV Novembre to Tavernelle and is operated by a small fleet of 9 trolleybuses. Three Solaris Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses were purchased in 2013 and numbered 010 to 012, the following year six AnsaldoBreda F22s entered service. The AnsaldoBreda F22 trolleybuses had originally been built for the city of Nancy in France in 2002, but due to technical difficulties they never entered service there and were returned to the manufacturer in 2011. After a lengthy modification and re-certification process the F22s entered service in Ancona in 2014 with the fleet numbers 013 to 018. Service 1/4 is rather unusual for a trolleybus route in that the majority of the vehicles operating the route are actually motorbuses, with a small number of trolleybuses making up the balance of buses in service.

Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 012 on Corso Stamira


Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 011 on Via XXIX Settembre


A rear view of Solaris trolleybus 012 on Via XXIX Settembre


AnsaldoBreda F22 trolleybus 013 on Via XXIX Settembre


A rear view of AnsalsoBreda F22 trolleybus 013


Iveco CityClass 287 is an example of one of the motorbuses in use on route 1/4

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Standard 143 on display

Standard 143, on display at North Pier in all its glory



This weekend saw the now annual September Spectacular weekend put on by Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours. Standard 143 put in its second showing of the week on the Promenade, unfortunately this time as a static exhibit at North Pier, due to the motor problems that had become apparent after its launch on Monday. The early morning weather on Saturday was atrocious, with leaden skies and heavy rain, luckily shortly after 10:00 this had blown over to be replaced by wall to wall sunshine for several hours. The clear weather meant that Standard 143 could be viewed in all its gleaming glory for most of the day, and what a pleasant sight it was.

Standard 143, unfortunately left rather too close to 718 for photography


A broadside view of Standard 143



Railcoach 680 passing Standard 143 at North Pier



Standard 143 and 718 which was in use as the Heritage Tram Tours shop

Friday, 27 September 2019

FTS Illuminations Tour

Bolton 66 at Fleetwood with Balloon 717 on the Fish & Chips special behind


The Fylde Tramway Society had planned a tour of Blackpool Illuminations, including two trips to Fleetwood, on newly restored Standard 143 on the evening of Friday 27th September. Unfortunately things didn't exactly go according to plan right from the off, it transpired that the problems 143 had been experiencing during its launch event on the previous Monday were caused by a defective motor. With 143 sadly out of commission it was left to Bolton 66 to take up the reins. The tour arrived at Fleetwood Ferry somewhat later than planned, but unfortunately Bolton 66 could not continue due to suffering from a hot axle box. The group decamped from Bolton 66 and returned to Manchester Square on service Flexity 014. The tour was finally completed using the third tram of the evening, as Centenary 648 was brought out of the depot to collect the awaiting passengers at Manchester Square.

Bolton 66 at Fleetwood at dusk before the tram was abandoned here

Monday, 23 September 2019

Launch of Standard 143

Standard 143 at North Pier before the short launch ceremony


The launch event for newly restored Blackpool Standard 143 took place on the evening of Monday 23rd September. 143 departed Rigby Road shortly before 6pm and made the short journey to the siding at North Pier. Jane Cole, the Managing Director of Blackpool Transport, officially launched the tram with a bottle of bubbly, before the invited guests boarded 143 for a run to the Pleasure Beach. At the Pleasure Beach the guests crossed the road for the official launch evening which took place in the White Tower Restaurant. After the celebrations were over the guests returned to 143 for a tour of the illuminations.

Standard 143 leaving Rigby Road tram depot for the launch event


143 being launched by Jane Cole, the Managing Director of Blackpool Transport


143 at the Pleasure Beach lit up by the lights of the illuminated Frigate tram


143 at the Pleasure Beach, with Balloon 718 and Engineering Car 754


A special cake was made to commemorate the launch event


Standard 143 at North Pier alongside Flexitys 012 & 013

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Balloon 711 on Specials

Balloon 711 loading at North Pier on 16th September


Balloon 711 has been working on afternoon and evening specials for the last couple of weeks, supplementing the normal Flexity LRT service. The general routine has been for 711 to leave Rigby Road depot around 15:00, work a round trip Starr Gate to Little Bispham service, with the crew then taking their break at Starr Gate. After the crew break 711 has been operating more Starr Gate to Little Bispham and return workings during the evening.

Balloon 711 and Flexity 006 at Starr Gate


Balloon 711 at Central Pier


Balloon 711 and Flexity 011 at Starr Gate



711 beginning its southbound run from Little Bispham on 16th September



711 entering the loop at Little Bispham with Flexity 010 passing by southbound



Balloon 711 northbound at the Cabin on 11th September



Balloon 711 heading south at Bispham on 11th September



Balloon 711 loading at the Tower tram stop on 11th September



711 using the crossover at Starr Gate to enter the depot confines and await its departure time



Balloon 711 waiting to enter service from Starr Gate depot with Flexity 004 passing

Sunday, 1 September 2019

2019 Bus Driver of the Year

National Express West Midlands ADL Enviro400 MMC 6990


The National Final of the Bus Driver of the Year competition took place in Blackpool on Sunday 1st September. During the final, entrants gain points for successfully completing a series of tasks on the driving course, or correctly answering questions in the theory test. The driving part of the competition takes place along the North Promenade between Gynn Square and the Metropole Hotel, returning along Middle Walk where a further series of tests are set for the drivers.

Lothian Buses 1062, a Volvo B5TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Xplore Dundee 4905, an Alexander Dennis Enviro400 new to West Midlands


Stagecoach ADL Enviro400 MMC 11213


Go-Ahead Ireland 11588, a Volvo B5TL Wright Gemini 3


London United LT1000, the last 'Borismaster' to be built


Lothian Country 575, a Volvo B5LH Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Blackpool Transport ADL Enviro400 City 451


Bluestar ADL Enviro400 City 1245


Go North East Wright Streetdeck 6333


Stagecoach London ADL Enviro400 MMC 11033


East Coast Buses 20008, a Volvo B5TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 3


Stagecoach ADL Enviro200 MMC 26083


Blackpool Transport ADL Enviro200 MMC 570