Sunday 14 April 2024

Elmer the Tram Elephant

Elmer Tram basking in the sunshine at North Pier on Sunday 14th April
In conjunction with Brian House Children's Hospice, a series of colourful elephant sculpures have been positioned around the town centre and promenade, collectively called Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool. The sculptures are inspired by the character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant from the children's books writted by David McKee. Of particular interest to tramway enthusiasts will be the elephant that has been placed outside North Pier, called "Elmer Tram" sponsored by Blackpool Transport. Elmer Tram is painted in green and cream, reminiscent of a 1930s Balloon car such as heritage tram 717. The elephant sculptures will remain on display from 13th April until 9th June.

Elmer Tram on a quiet Sunday morning on 14th April
A rear three-quarter view of Elmer Tram at North Pier
The description board on the Elmer Tram sculpture
The inspiration for Elmer Tram seen on South Promenade in February 2018

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Tramway overhead damaged by wind near Norbreck

Flexity 015 was the last southbound tram to pass before repair work commenced
Strong westerly winds along the Fylde Coast saw part of the tramway closed due to overhead line damage on Tuesday 9th April. Just before 5.30 pm Blackpool Transport posted on their social media pages "Due to damage to the overhead wires in the Norbreck area trams are only running between Starr Gate and Bispham until further notice."  Unimog 939 was despatched to attend the incident, which was located between the Sandhurst Avenue and Norbreck tram stops. The overhead crew waited for southbound service trams to clear the area before they could commence work repairing the damage, which was on the northbound line. A bracket arm support wire had snapped off, causing the bracket arm and overhead to sag downwards. After the broken tensioner wire had been successfully replaced, Blackpool Transport announced that the trams would begin running again from Fleetwood Ferry at 21:15.

The snapped bracket arm tensioner wire wrapped around the traction pole

Unimog 939 in attendance with the overhead line crew effecting repair work
The bracket arm safely fixed with a new tensioner wire

Monday 1 April 2024

More photos of the Coral Island advert on Flexity 016

Flexity 016 at Fleetwood Ferry on Easter Sunday afternoon
Some more photos of Flexity 016 wearing its new 'yellow brick road' advert for the Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool. These photos were all taken in Fleetwood on Easter Sunday.

Flexity 016 heading north past the clock tower at Ash Street in Fleetwood on 31st March

The faint brickwork pattern, just about visible in this view of the centre section of 016

Saturday 30 March 2024

It's All Kicking Off In Fleetwood

Fleetwood Police laying in wait for Balloon 717 on Lord Street on 30th March
Easter Saturday saw two heritage trams in Fleetwood in the morning instead of just the one timetabled Coastal Tour. A trip to Fleetwood to see Balloon 717 on the morning run saw Brush 631 paying a visit to the town at the same time. Brush 631 was on a private hire to Fleetwood and had a long layover at the Ferry loop. During a visit to Blackpool in the afternoon, Brush 631 was noted running on the Mini Prom Tours with Bolton 66 in charge of the Promenade Tours.

Balloon 717 arriving in Fleetwood on the morning Coastal Tour on 29th March

717 on Fleetwood Ferry loop with Brush 631 pulling in behind on a private hire
Balloon 717 heading down Pharos Street on its way back to Blackpool on 30th March
Flexity 018 passing Brush 631 parked up in the loop at Fleetwood Ferry
Brush 631 turning out of Pharos Street into North Albert Street
Bolton 66 heads off on the first Promenade Tour of the afternoon on 30th March

Friday 29 March 2024

New overall advert for Flexity 016

Flexity 016 at Fleetwood Ferry on 29th March, wearing its new yellow advert for Coral Island
Flexity 016 has received a new overall advert for Coral Island. The tram is basically all-over yellow, with Coral Island logos on the ends and above and below the windows along the sides, with contravision text covering the windows on three sections of the tram. The advert is rather unimaginative and bland compared to previous ambitious advert schemes that have graced the Flexity trams. On much closer inspection, the apparently plain yellow background contains an extremely faint brick wall pattern, this is so subtle as to be almost invislble unless viewed at very close quarters, and seems rather pointless. Flexity 016 previously carried a pink overall advert for the fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing which was applied in 2018.

Flexity 016 heading north at Cleveleys on 29th March

Flexity 016 turning right out of Bold Street in Fleetwood
Flexity 016 at Victoria Square in Cleveleys
The centre section of 016, showing the barely visible brick wall effect on the yellow
Flexity 016 in its previous advert livery at Cleveleys in August 2018

Friday 22 March 2024

Rainbow Crossings on Dickson Road

ADL Enviro200 MMC 230 crossing the traffic lights at Springfield Road

Several pedestrian crossings on Dickson Road in Blackpool have been given a colourful facelift this week. The rainbow crossings appeared overnight earlier in the week as part of a Blackpool Council ‘Be Who You Want To Be’ Action Plan. The crossings that have been repainted so far are two zebra crossings near the junctions at Cocker Street and Banks Street, and a four-way multicoloured crossing at the Springfield Road traffic light controlled junction.

Mercedes Citaro 559 heading north along Dickson Road at Cocker Street

Mercedes Citaro 555 at the Springfield Road traffic lights
Mercedes Citaro 557 passing the junction with Cocker Street

Monday 19 February 2024

North Station Tram Stop Subway

The new pedestrian subway as viewed from the railway station side

Work is nearing completion on the new pedestrian subway which will connect the yet to be opened North Station tram stop with Blackpool North railway station. Leaving the new tram stop, the left two thirds of the width of the subway is level, before reaching five steps which take you up to the zebra crossing which crosses the station access road. At the right hand side of the subway is a long ramp for the use of prams, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, etc. The opening date for the Talbot Road tramway extension has still not been announced yet, but the new Holiday Inn hotel above the subway is taking room bookings from Monday 6th May onwards.

A view through the subway showing the North Station tram stop (with the black seats)
The exit to North Station, with the sloping ramp visible in the foreground