Friday 30 March 2012

Ghost Running

Flexity 005 passing St Peter's Church in Fleetwood on the first day of ghost service running
Following the successful testing of the track and overhead in Fleetwood on Tuesday by Flexity 003, and the inspection trip made yesterday using 009, the long awaited ghost service has finally commenced over the full length of the tramway, from Starr Gate to Fleetwood Ferry. Between 09:00 and 10:30 this morning, Flexities 004, 008, 007, 002, 001 and 005 (in that order) were all noted making their debut on the streets of Fleetwood, and are pictured below.

004 passing the Victoria Street stop in North Albert Street
007 heading into North Albert Street
001 rounding the curve from North Albert Street into Lord Street
002 rounding the curve alongside St Peter's Church
005 heading south on Lord Street past the stop at London Street
008 approaching the London Street stop, heading north on Lord Street
005 accelerating up the incline past the annual daffodil display at Anchorsholme
001 awaiting its departure time at Starr Gate terminus

Thursday 29 March 2012

Flexity 009 to Fleetwood Ferry

Flexity 009 passes former Bus Vannin Dennis Trident 346 at the clock tower
Flexity 009 made an inspection trip over the street track in Fleetwood this afternoon, arriving at the new Fleetwood Ferry tram stop in Bold Street just before 1.00pm. The outer loop at the Ferry was tested this time, two days previously 003 has used the straight through inner track on the inaugural Flexity trip to the Ferry.

009 leaving Bold Street and about to enter the outer loop at the Ferry
009 on the outer loop at Fleetwood Ferry
009 alongside the lighthouse in Pharos Street

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Flexity 004 receives branding

Flexity 004 fresh into driver training with new fleet branding, seen at Fisherman's Walk
Flexity 004 made its debut today with full fleet branding, and is seen here at Fisherman's Walk in Fleetwood on a training run.

Flexities reach the Ferry

Flexity 003 paused at the Ferry during its testing of the new street track in Fleetwood
After yesterday's successful testing of the street track in Fleetwood by Balloons 709 and 713, 003 had the honour of being the first Flexity to make a trial run through to Fleetwood Ferry, arriving at the new tram stop in Bold Street at 1.30pm this afternoon. The Unimog and overhead crew had been in Fleetwood during the morning, making adjustments to the overhead and fitting new tie-bars over the crossover in North Albert Street near to Kent Street. This work was all completed by 10.00am, but it was a full three hours later before a Flexity finally turned up to test the street track and overhead. Appropriately the tram chosen for this auspicious occasion was 003, which has only just entered driver training wearing full fleet branding.

003 passing St Peter's Church on Lord Street

003 at the new Fleetwood Ferry stop in Bold Street with the relocated bus stop and shelter in the foreground

003 at the Fleetwood Ferry stop in Bold Street with the new substation on the left

003 emerging from Bold Street onto The Esplanade
003 passing The Corner Cafe as it enters Pharos Street

003 turning from Pharos Street into North Albert Street
The classic Fleetwood shot of the clock tower and shops where North Albert Street joins Lord Street 
003 running down Lord Street towards Ash Street

Monday 26 March 2012

Flexity 003 in fleet branding

003 seen passing the Pleasure Beach wearing new route branding and fleet numbers
Flexity 003 was noted out on driver training today wearing full branding and fleet numbers.

Trams return to the Ferry

709 in North Albert Street, returning from its trip around the Ferry loop
Today saw the return of trams to Fleetwood Ferry for the first time since 2009, when Balloons 709 and 713 tested out the track and overhead from Ash Street to the Ferry loop and back again to Ash Street. 709 is seen rounding the curve from North Albert Street into Lord Street, being the first of the two trams to traverse the Ferry loop.

Balloon 713 at the new Fleetwood Ferry tram stop in Bold Street

713 nosing out of Bold Street onto The Esplanade
713 followed next and is seen above at the new Fleetwood Ferry tram stop in Bold Street, the name on the adjacent bus shelter reading "Bold Street Interchange". Passengers will no longer be picked up at the Ferry itself or in Pharos Street at the old cast iron shelter, the Bold Street platform being the only tram stop on the loop now.
713 rounding the curve from the Ferry into Pharos Street

713 with its pantograph at full stretch in Pharos Street

Both trams made a single round trip from Ash Street, 713 is seen above rounding the curve from the Ferry into Pharos Street. When exiting Pharos Street, the pantograph on 713 seemed to be at full stretch (see left). Both trams met up again at Ash Street, where after a crew lunch break they headed back south.

713 having just run the full length of Lord Street concludes the testing for the day
713 passes 709 at Ash Street after the testing of the street track and overhead had been completed

Friday 23 March 2012

Flexity 011 arrives

Flexity 2 011 crossing Squires Gate Lane dual carriageway to avoid the right angled bend at the traffic lights
Flexity 011 arrived at lunchtime today, following the usual pattern of Thursday or Friday arrivals, although its earlier than usual arrival caught some people off guard.

011 being driven into Starr Gate depot under its own power, as has been the norm for the last few deliveries

Cardiff 131 leaves for Crich

Cardiff 131 returning from a photo shoot by the Tower
Cardiff water car 131 departed for Crich today, marking the end of its period of loan to Blackpool. 
131 was driven from Starr Gate depot to the Tower, where it paused for photo opportunities before heading back to Blundell Street for loading onto the back of Scotts low loader.

131 turning from Lytham Road into Hopton Road, heading for Scotts low loader in Blundell Street

Cardiff 131 made two trips down Lytham Road today within the space of a few hours, the first time under its own power to take itself to Blundell Street, the second time at the start of a rather longer journey, on the back of Scotts low loader for the long trip home to Crich tramway museum.

131 heading off down Lytham Road on the back of Scotts low loader bound for Crich

Thursday 22 March 2012

Fleetwood Flexities Day 3

Trident 330 on route 14 passes Flexity 002 at the start of Lord Street in Fleetwood
Flexity 008 at Ash Street with 002 arriving from the south
The steel fence enclosed work compound at the entrance to Lord Street in Fleetwood has now been cleared away, affording better photographic opportunities at this location. Early morning lighting enabled the above shot to be captured of Trident 330 passing Flexity 002 sat at the current northernmost limit of the driver training. The view at the left shows 002 having just arrived at Ash Street while Flexity 008 waits to head off south.
008 running past the crossing points, watched by a pair of seagulls sat on the clock tower

Flexity 008 sat outside Lord Street Post Office before returning south over the crossover
001 outside "Cafe 3 one 6", the sight of Flexities in Lord Street was generating a lot of interest amongst the locals

Rigby Road Ramblings

All cream MTMS owned Railcoach 680 at the front of the depot with Unimog G262SCK at the right
The big tram shunt that took place at Rigby Road depot two days ago has seen the Manchester Transport Museum Society owned all cream Railcoach 680 move to the front of the depot. At the right is Unimog G262SCK that was loaned from AC Price Engineering to act as cover after Unimog 939's accident a couple of years ago.

706 on trolley pole turning training duties in Hopton Road
Other goings on today saw open-top Balloon 706 "Princess Alice" on Hopton Road, being used to train the conductor school in the art of how to turn a trolley pole. It's a positive sign that 706 was brought out to perform this duty as it proves that the tram is functional and hopefully still fit enough to become part of the heritage fleet this year

Upgrade progress

There is still quite a bit of work to do on the overhead wiring at the Ferry loop before trams can return
Fence replacement work at Cleveleys
It could be a few days yet before trams reach Fleetwood Ferry as there is still quite a lot of work to do before all the overhead wiring is complete, the outer loop still only has hangars in place while the inner loop is currently being rewired.
Fence replacement work is still ongoing at the northern end of the line to finally rid the reserved track sections of the old rusty and broken fencing panels that have been a feature now for many years.

Flexity 005 now sporting new branding

005 is the latest Flexity in the fleet to sport full branding and fleet numbers, seen here at Gynn Square
003 having its new decals applied at Starr Gate
Flexity 005 was noted at Gynn Square today heading northbound decked out with full branding and fleet numbers, and at Starr Gate depot 003 was also in the process of having its new decals applied. The application of fleet branding appears to be on track in readiness for the launch of public service on April 4th.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Flexity training reaches Fleetwood

Flexity 009 becomes the first tram in 2012 on the driver training programme to reach Fleetwood
009 noses into Lord Street to reverse on the crossover
After the successful testing of the line from Thornton Gate to Ash Street by Balloons 709 and 723 yesterday, Flexity driver training has now been extended through to Fleetwood from today. Very appropriately 009, the newest tram to be commissioned for the driver training programme, still with its Bombardier delivery paper stuck to the windscreen, became the first tram to reach Ash Street this morning. It is seen at the left, entering Lord Street to clear the points so it can reverse on the crossover.

009 at Broadwater road crossing, returning from its first trip to Fleetwood
009 at Bispham being passed by Balloon 709
Flexity 009 reversed onto the centre track when it reached Bispham, being passed by Balloon 709 which was out on test, see photo at left. 
Perhaps it was also appropriate that 001, the inaugural Flexity 2, should become the second tram of the day to reach Ash Street, it is seen in the photo below at Fisherman's Walk.

001, the second Flexity of the day to reach Fisherman's Walk