Wednesday 16 March 2022

Trams to North Station

Flexity 017 crossing over Dickson Road into the North Station tram terminus
The last time that regular service trams operated along Talbot Road was in 1936, when the Layton tram route closed, although the track was used for the occasional tram movement up until the early 1950s, when the line was eventually tarmaced over. Route testing of the new North Station tramway extension along Talbot Road commenced on the evening of Wednesday 16th March. Two trams were used for the late night testing, Flexity 012, which was pre-positioned on the loop at North Pier, and Flexity 017, which had been waiting on the centre track at Bispham. Shortly after 2200, Flexity 012 left the North Pier siding and turning right crossed over into Talbot Square, before pulling up at the eastbound platform adjacent to the Trilogy nightclub. Flexity 017 made its way south from Bispham and turned left across the new junction into Talbot Square, pulling up behind Flexity 012. After a lengthy delay while sand was being cleaned out of the rail grooves along the route, Flexity 012 made its way along Talbot Road before entering the building site at the junction of Dickson Road and Talbot Road. Once within the secure compound, Flexity 012 used the scissors crossover to terminate on the right hand track at the new tram station, with Flexity 017 following shortly afterwards, terminating on the left hand track at the North Station terminus. After another interlude, Flexity 017 left North Station, using the scissors crossing to cross over to the westbound line, before pulling up in Talbot Square, shortly followed by Flexity 012 which stopped behind it. The next stage of testing involved Flexity 017 turning south onto the Promenade, before returning and stopping in Talbot Square alongside Flexity 012, at which point clearance checks were made between the two trams on the curved section of track. Some time after, Engineering Car 754 ran up Talbot Road in trolley pole mode, but by that time I had already left.

Flexity 012 waiting at the eastbound platform in Talbot Square
Flexity 012 at the eastbound tram stop in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 having just arrived in Talbot Square from Bisham
Flexity 012 on Talbot Road approaching the traffic lights at the junction with Dickson Road
Flexity 017 passing Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Talbot Road
Flexity 012 & 017 at the North Station tram terminus inside the builders compound
Flexity 017 crossing over to the westbound line using the scissors crossover at North Station
Flexity 017 arriving back in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 with Flexity 012 close behind it in Talbot Square
Flexity 012 in Talbot Square after its short run from North Station
Flexity 012 and Flexity 017 parked side by side in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 & 012 in Talbot Square while clearance checks are being made on the curve


  1. Extremally brilliant photos by Alan,once again.Although the last service trams finished in 1936,trams did run occasionally from North Station/ Dickson Road to Talbot Sq,notably a ‘Santa’ tram and I myself saw shiny tracks in Talbot Sq around 1951,as a 7 year old.

    1. Thanks for the additional info Colin, I have amended the text accordingly.