Tuesday, 6 June 2023

And Then There Were Three

The scrapped remains of 678 sit between Brush 637 and Twin Set 673/683 at Wyre Dock

The number of Blackpool trams in open storage at Wyre Dock in Fleetwood has now been reduced to three. Last week Railcoach 678 was scrapped in situ at the dock, with some parts being saved to help secure the future of other preserved trams. Centenary Car 641 was removed from the site first before being dismantled, parts from this tram have also been salvaged and retrieved for further use. This leaves just Brush 637 and Twin Set 673/683 which are still looking for new homes.

A pile of remains from scrapped Railcoach 678 at Wyre Dock
More parts saved from the scrapping of Railcoach 678
Railcoach 678 looking in rather a sad state in February
The site in the storage yard that Centenary 641 was removed from last week
Centenary 641 in open storage at Wyre Dock in February 2023
Twin Set cars 683 and 673 still remain in storage at Wyre Dock

Monday, 29 May 2023

All Change at Little Bispham

Passengers leaving Flexity 003 at Little Bispham and heading for the northbound bus stop
Monday 29th May brought major problems for Blackpool Transport, the electrical power supply for the tramway was not working, meaning that both service trams and heritage trams were unable to run on what should have been a busy bank holiday. Fortunately by 11 am a partial service as far as Little Bispham was able to be operated, heritage trams also began to run to either Bispham or Little Bispham. A tramway replacement bus service was in operation between Little Bispham and Fleetwood, with the buses travelling south to Bispham to turn around and for their layover break. Open top Leyland Olympian 857 ran as a heritage tram replacement service, shuttling between Bispham and Fleetwood every hour. During the afternoon a normal tram service resumed, with Flexity 002 running the first through service to Fleetwood, departing from Starr Gate at 1430. Balloon 700 operated the first through heritage tour of the day to Fleetwood, leaving the Pleasure Beach at 1610.

Southbound passengers waiting to board Flexity 003 at Little Bispham
Enviro 458 arriving at Little Bispham from Fleetwood on the tram replacement service
Heritage Tram replacement open top Olympian 857 at Little Bispham
Flexity 006 turning around on the loop at Little Bispham
Enviro 442 on the tram replacement service at Red Bank Road, Bispham
Flexity 003 at Bispham with tram replacement buses 442 & 414 laying over
Enviro 427 arriving at Bispham on the tram replacement bus service
Heritage tram replacement Olympian 857 arriving at Bispham from Fleetwood
Tram replacement buses 414, 442 & 449 (left to right) at Bispham
Flexity 002 operated the first through service to Fleetwood, seen northbound at Bispham at 1500
Boat 600 heading south at Bispham
Balloon 723, Flexity 011 & Olympian 857 seen at Bispham mid afternoon
Balloon 700 on the first heritage tram trip of the day to Fleetwood, which left Pharos Street at 1715

Sunday, 21 May 2023

Cambridge City Sightseeing

Cambridge City Sightseeing 13808 passing Emmanuel College North Court gatehouse
A recent visit to East Anglia permitted a short visit to the university city of Cambridge. During several visits over the last few years, the City Sightseeing buses have always managed to elude me for one reason or another, not helped by the fact that the service was completely withdrawn for over a year during the Covid pandemic. In 2018 Stagecoach East took delivery of a batch of Volvo B5TLs with open top Wright Gemini 3 bodywork for their Cambridge City Sightseeing operation.

Cambridge City Sightseeing 13809 turning into St Andrew's Street in the centre of Cambridge
Cambridge City Sightseeing 13811 turning from Emmanuel Road into Parker Street
Cambridge City Sightseeing 13808 turning from Parker Street into Emmanuel Street
Cambridge City Sightseeing 13812 on Emmanuel Street
Cambridge City Sightseeing 13808 heading north along St Andrew's Street

Sunday, 7 May 2023

The King's Coronation Parade

The King's Coronation Parade approaching Manchester Square
To celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III, a cavalcade of trams along the Promenade was planned for Sunday 7th May, the day following the Coronation at Westminster Abbey in London. The heritage trams selected to take part in the King's Coronation Parade assembled on the inner and outer loops at the Pleasure Beach prior to the cavalcade. Passenger boarding began at 1345, with the trams departing at 1415. The eleven trams that took part in the procession were Boats 227 & 600, Brush 621, Railcoach 680, Bolton 66, Western Train, Trawler, HMS Blackpool and Balloons 717, 707 & 700. Seven of the trams carried paying passengers, with the route commencing at the Pleasure Beach, followed by a short pause alongside the Comedy Carpet in front of the Tower for photos, before continuing on to Little Bispham and then returning to the Pleasure Beach. Following the parade, four of the trams operated mini tours between the Pleasure Beach and North Pier.

Boats 225 & 600 with Brush 621 on the Pleasure Beach loop

HMS Blackpool arriving at the Pleasure Beach for the tram parade
The Western Train and Boat 225 at the head of the assembled trams
The parade of trams all gathered at the Pleasure Beach
Passengers boarding the parade trams on the Pleasure Beach loop
Boat 600 passing the Manchester with its flag waving passengers
Boat 600 leads the cavalcade of trams through Manchester Square
Balloons 717, 707 & 700 at Manchester Square, bringing up the rear of the tram parade
Balloon 717 heading north at Manchester Square
Balloon 707 near New Bonny Street
Balloon 700 at the rear of the King's Coronation tram parade
Brush Car 621 northbound at North Pier
Bolton 66 passing Regent Court on its way to Little Bispham
The Western Train heading north at Cocker Square
The Western Train at Cabin heading back to the Pleasure Beach
Railcoach 680 passing the demolished remains of the New Hacketts Hotel
The Trawler southbound at the Cabin

Friday, 28 April 2023

FTS tour to Fleetwood on Balloon 713

Balloon 713 parking up on the loop at Fleetwood Ferry

The first day of the Fylde Tramway Society Convention weekend this year on Friday 28th April included a guided visit around Rigby Road tram depot, followed by a tram tour on modernised Balloon 713. The first leg of the tour saw 713 departing Hopton Road with the FTS party onboard, before heading north for a short stop at Fleetwood Ferry. 713 then travelled all the way to Starr Gate, followed by a run north to Thornton Gate before returning back to the depot. The photos in this report were taken during the first leg of the tour to Fleetwood Ferry.

713 sat at the front of Rigby Road depot in readiness for the FTS tram tour
Balloon 713 at the northbound Heritage Tour stop at Cabin
713 turning right into Pharos Street at Fleetwood to collect the FTS party
The view across to Knott End from BTS Enviro 441 in Bold Street
713 turning into Lord Street from BTS Enviro 441 on route 14 to Blackpool
Balloon 713 at Fisherman's Walk as seen from the top deck of BTS Enviro 441