Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Flexity 006 receives a new advert

Flexity 006 at Central Pier carrying new advertising for Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuits
Flexity 006 has been noted in service with new advertising. 006 previously carried adverts for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, but these have now been replaced by adverts on both sides of the tram for Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuits.

The centre section of Flexity 006 showing the below the window advertising for Tunnock's

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Electric 50 at Crich

Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car 2 at the head of the tram cavalcade on Saturday 13th September

Saturday 13th September saw the first day of the 'Electric 50' celebrations at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. The event was to celebrate 50 years of electric tramcar operation at the museum, and on both days a 25 tram cavalcade was due to take place. Day one saw the trams rostered in the cavalcade in the order that they had first operated at the museum. Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car No 2 was at the head of the cavalcade on the Saturday. Not only is this 1898 tram the oldest operational electric tram at the museum, it was also the first one to run under electrical power there, back in 1964. Bryan Lindop, Head of Blackpool Transport's heritage tram operations, was given the honour of sitting on the front seat of the lead tram in the procession. One of the highlights of the day was due to be the official launch of Blackpool Jubilee 762, which was then scheduled to enter passenger service for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the tram failed in service on its inaugural run north and had to be withdrawn from service for the rest of the day. Apart from the obvious disappointment of visitors being unable to sample rides on 762, the rest of the day's events ran smoothly, except for a rather long hiatus during the middle of the day while the 25 trams for the Electric 50 cavalcade were being assembled, this operation interrupted normal passenger service for some considerable time. This report includes a selection of views of all the Blackpool trams that were used during the first day's proceedings on Saturday 13th September.

Heading a line of double deck trams in the cavacade is Southampton 45, the first tram purchased by the TMS in 1949
Blackpool Standard 40 arriving at Town End on Saturday morning in readiness for entering passenger service
Brush Car 630 basks in the sun on the depot fan in the morning, the tram not being needed until the afternoon
Looking slightly out of place at Crich in its Flexity 2 livery is Blackpool Balloon 711, seen at the new stop at Glory Mine
Blackpool & Fleetwood Box Car 40 waiting at Stephenson Place before taking its turn to enter service for the day
Blackpool Toastrack 166 pauses at Stephenson Place in the morning, before continuing to Town End to enter service
The launch of Jubilee 762 took place on the depot fan on Saturday, but unfortunately it failed in service soon after
Balloon 711 and Box Car 40 next to the depot, both trams are at Crich on loan from their usual home in Blackpool
Blackpool Pantograph Car 167 passing the bandstand on the afternoon of Saturday 13th September
Blackpool Luxury Toastrack 236 with its illuminated strings of lights, stopped at the main entrance to the museum

Borismasters for Blackpool?

Arriva London Borismaster LT188 heading north at the Pleasure Beach on one of its demonstration trips on Sep 14th
Arriva London Borismaster LT188 was noted operating along the Promenade in Blackpool on 14th September. This silver liveried Borismaster's normal stamping ground is on the route 38 to Victoria Station in London, however the bus was seen running up and down Blackpool Promenade on Sunday 14th. Before anyone builds their hopes up too much, the Borismaster was not unfortunately a demonstrator operating with Blackpool Transport, it was merely offering demo rides from the Hilton Hotel using a London based driver, in conjunction with the Bus Driver of the Year 2014 competition that was taking place in the resort on the same day.

Arriva London Borismaster LT188 heading south at the Pleasure Beach on a demonstration run on 14th September

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wedding Tram

Balloon 717 heading back south approaching Gynn Square, after dropping off a wedding party at the Imperial Hotel
Balloon 717 was used on a private hire on Saturday 6th September. The tram was chartered for use by a wedding party, dropping them off at the Imperial Hotel before crossing over at the Cabin and heading back south again.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Second Hong Kong Metrobus on Seafront 12

Former China Motor Bus 12m MCW Metrobus F326UJN operating on Oakwood's Seafront 12 service at Gynn Square
Former China Motor Bus 12m MCW Metrobus F326UJN (CMS fleet number ML326) made its debut on the Seafront service of Oakwood Travel on 5th September. This bus formerly operated on city sightseeing tours around London for The Big Bus Company until 2009 when it was retired, and was delivered new to China Motor Bus in Hong Kong in 1988. The vehicle has been in Classic Bus North West and Oakwood Travel ownership since February 2013, and sister vehicle F69SYE has been operating on the Promenade Seafront 12 route since June 2013. F326UJN has large adverts for Nickelodeon Land at the Pleasure Beach on the sides and rear of the bus, but is totally devoid of any Seafront 12 route branding at the moment.

A nearside view of Metrobus F326UJN showing the Pleasure Beach sponsored Nickelodeon Land advert
Another view of F326UJN showing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles advertised on the rear of the bus
Sister vehicle F69SYE passing the Rocket at Gynn Square roundabout on 12th June 2014

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Fleetwood group trams at risk

Jubilee 761 southbound at Central Pier in April 2011, this is one of the FHLT trams potentially at risk of being lost
The Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust are looking at possibly reducing and consolidating their tram collection by potentially disposing of several of their trams unless new homes can be found for them. The trams on the hit list are Brush Car 621, Centenary 641 and Jubilee 761. The reason for these trams being at risk is that 621 and 641 are currently located in Kirkham Prison, and need to be moved by the end of the year. Jubilee 761 is being temporarily stored in Rigby Road depot, and this tram also needs to vacate its premises early in 2015. While it would be unfortunate to lose 621 and 641 to preservation, these trams are duplicates of vehicles already in the Blackpool Heritage Tram collection, however the potential loss of Jubilee 761 would be a more serious matter if anything were to happen to it due to lack of finances. More information can be found on the FHLT website.

Centenary 641 on a short working to Cleveleys in May 2010
Brush Car 621 northbound at the Tower in June 2002
Brush Car 621 about to become an inmate at Kirkham Prison in December 2011
Jubilee 761 being loaded onto Scotts trailer in December 2013, bound for temporary storage at Rigby Road depot

Scotts Heavy Haulage auction sale

Only a day after Scotts Heavy Haulage moved Pantograph Car 167 from Blackpool to the National Tramway Museum at Crich, an auction of many of their vehicles took place on Saturday 30th August due to company director Bryan Scott's decision to retire. Included in the auction was the Broshuis extending low loader trailer 'ST5' that has been exclusively used during the transport of trams for several years. Scotts Heavy Haulage are based at Alfreton in Derbyshire, which put them in an ideal position to act as hauliers for the preserved tramcars that required moving to and from the National Tramway Museum at Crich. Scotts have had a very long association with Crich, and have also won contracts to move many other preserved trams around the country over the years. If this key asset that was used for moving trams is sold during the auction, it remains to be seen whether Scotts will remain in the business of transporting trams.

Broshuis extending low loader trailer 'ST5' that has been used for transporting preserved trams for several years
Scotts ERF ECX MX05TYK being used to move Balloon 710 to Fleetwood's 'Tram Sunday', seen on 16th July 2011
Scotts Renault Premium Privilege EU07TVJ moving Centenary 643 to Broadwater Caravan Park on 13th Jan 2012
Scotts Scania S800SHH moving Brush Car 637 to Knowsley on 6th Feb 2012 after it had been sold to Merseytravel
Scotts Iveco Stralis 560 SP08EEO moving the Rocket to Blackpool Illuminations Department on 9th July 2012
Scotts MAN GN56HWK reversing Coronation 304 into a yard at Fleetwood on 8th Mar 2013, after its loan to Beamish
Scotts Scania R500 SF57UJL returning LTT OMO Car 8 from open storage in Marton on 11th June 2013

Scotts MAN V377DJU moving Balloon 702 to Heaton Park on 29th April 2014 after storage at the East Lancs Railway