Thursday, 18 October 2018

Birkenhead 20 on Tour

Birkenhead 20 on a private hire on the Golden Mile

Birkenhead 20, a 1900 Milnes built open-top tram, originally arrived in Blackpool on loan way back in July 2017. Thursday 18th October 2018 finally saw its first outing on the tramway carrying passengers. The trials and tribulations of Birkenhead 20's unproductive time in Blackpool are well documented, but rather belatedly it has at long last been used. The tram's first outing was on a private hire for the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society, who normally operate the tram on the Wirral Tramway in Birkenhead. Unfortunately it seems likely that Birkenhead 20 will be making its way back home to the Wirral after the end of the Illuminations, which is rather a shame as it has been unused for most of its 15 month visit.

Birkenhead 20 being brought out of the depot ready for its private hire

Birkenhead 20 beginning its afternoon tour at Manchester Square

Birkenhead 20 using the crossover at Foxhall to return to the Pleasure Beach

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Catch22Bus Optare Versa Round-up

Versa YJ61JHH crossing Victoria Square in Cleveleys on service 24 to Fleetwood

Catch22Bus repainted their 11.1m Optare Versa YJ61JHH into an eye-catching livery of lime green and monsoon blue earlier this year. A fourth Optare Versa has now been added to the fleet, this being YJ10EYZ, a 10.4m example formerly operated by Helms of Eastham, the bus is currently running in a plain white livery until it receives a repaint.

10.4m Versa YJ10EYZ at Victoria Square in Cleveleys on service 24 to Fleetwood

Versa YJ61JHH exiting Rough Lea Road in Cleveleys on service 24 to Poulton

Versa YJ61JHE on the Coastliner 21 service in Cleveleys

10.4m Versa YJ10EYZ on Meadows Avenue in Cleveleys on service 24 to Fleetwood

Teal liveried Versa YJ10MGU on Alexandra Road in Thornton on service 24 to Poulton

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

JD advert on Flexity 014

Flexity 014 southbound at Anchorsholme Crossing

Flexity 014 has entered service this week carrying an overall advert for JD Sports. The advert is on a black background with the "JD" logo in large white discs on the tram ends and sides, with contravision in use on three sections of the tram. Again similar to 003 & 016, the tram has entered service without any external fleet numbers.

Flexity 014 departing from Cleveleys tram station

Flexity 014 approaching the Broadwater stop in Fleetwood

Flexity 014 heading north at the Gynn

An end view of 014 at the Bold Street terminus in Fleetwood

Sunday, 23 September 2018

September Spectacular

Centenary 642 leaving the Pleasure Beach on a heritage tour to Little Bispham and back

September 22nd & 23rd saw the annual September Spectacular event for the heritage trams being held in Blackpool. Of the two days Sunday saw the best of the weather, and here are some photos taken during a few hours spent around the Pleasure Beach on the Sunday.

Boat 600 and Box Car 40 head up two lines of trams at the Pleasure Beach

Railcoach 680 and Balloon 717 at the Pleasure Beach

Bolton 66 leaving the Pleasure Beach for a heritage tour to Bispham

A selection of tram front ends on the Pleasure Beach loop

Railcoach 680 and Boat 600 waiting for their turns of duty at the Pleasure Beach

Balloon 701 at North Pier as seen from Boat 600

Brush Car 621 at the temporary Heritage Tour stop just north of Manchester Square

Friday, 31 August 2018

Numberless no more

Flexity 003 at Cocker Square with its newly applied fleet numbers

Flexities 003 and 016, which have recently received pink vinyl wrap overall adverts for, have been running around this week without any fleet numbers. Both trams have now received fleet numbering, and were noted in passenger service today with their newly applied numbers.

Flexity 016 northbound at the Tower with its new fleet numbers

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Pretty Little Flexity 003

Flexity 003 turning short at the Cabin on a truncated tram service

After the emergence of Flexity 016 with its new overall advert for fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing on Saturday, Flexity 003 entered service in an identical advert this week. The fact that neither tram is carrying external fleet numbers makes cursory identification rather difficult, only on closer inspection are there very subtle differences between the two trams. Flexity 003 is seen at the Cabin operating on the southern portion of the split tram service on 29th August, due to a traffic accident at Cavendish Road which blocked the tramway for several hours.

Various shades of purple and pink on 003 and 009 at the Cabin

Flexity 003 terminating at the Cabin on Wednesday 29th August

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Car accident at Cavendish Road causes major disruption.

The BMW car blocking the tram line at Cavendish Road

There was major disruption to the Flexity tram service in Blackpool this afternoon. A BMW saloon car swerved off the Promenade at the Cavendish Road tram stop, demolished a length of the concrete fencing, scattering broken concrete across both tracks, and came to rest on the southbound line. According to eye witness accounts, the BMW had been seen speeding and overtaking other traffic prior to the incident, near Cavendish Road it had to make a sudden swerve to the left to avoid another car. Due to the car and debris being spread across both tram tracks, the Flexity service had to be split into two halves, with trams to the north of the accident turning at Bispham and cars to the south reversing at Cabin. After a while it was decided to link the two halves of the tram service with replacement buses. The disruption to the tram service lasted for several hours, until the debris and damaged car were removed from the tracks.

Flexity 009 held up at Cavendish Rd due to the debris strewn across the tram tracks

Look both ways before crossing the tramway!

A close up of the damaged BMW at Cavendish Road