Tuesday 26 February 2013

Flexity 003 in Starr Gate Sanding Bay

Flexity 003 in the sanding bay area at Starr Gate depot, with the sand plant filler nozzles visible
Flexity 003 is seen waiting in the sanding bay at Starr Gate depot on 26th February. The sand plant area of the new depot is used for filling up the sanders on the Flexity 2 trams.

An end view of Flexity 003 in the sanding bay, with the sand refilling nozzles seen either side of the tram

Saturday 16 February 2013

First Flexity 2 Tram is Named

Flexity 002 at Cleveleys on its first day in passenger service after being named "Alderman E.E. Wynne" yesterday

Flexity 002 was named "Alderman E.E. Wynne" in a ceremony at Starr Gate depot on Friday 15th February. After the naming ceremony the invited guests were treated to a ride along the promenade onboard 002. Subsequent to yesterday's naming ceremony, 002 re-entered normal passenger service today. It is to be hoped that the tram manages to stay in service for a bit longer than the few days it managed on its first outing in service three weeks ago, after its return from Bombardier in Germany back in November. Alderman Edmund Ernest Wynne served on Blackpool Council for 38 years, and was the Mayor of Blackpool from 1972 to 1973. Mr Wynne was also the chairman of the Transport Committee for six years in the late 1950s.

Flexity 002 at Cleveleys displaying its new name of "Alderman E.E. Wynne" on the cab end panels
Flexity 002 pauses to pick up passengers at the Victoria Street tram stop in North Albert Street, Fleetwood
Southbound Flexity 002 at Cleveleys, with northbound 016 on the opposite platform
Flexity 002 southbound at Cleveleys, with 016 departing northwards for Fleetwood Ferry

Thursday 14 February 2013

Western Train on Private Hire

The Western Train at Norbreck during a private hire on the morning of February 14th
The Western Train was in use on a private hire on the morning of the 14th February, giving a party of children a tour of the system between the Pleasure Beach and Little Bispham.

The Western Train southbound at Central Pier on its way back to Rigby Road depot
The Western Train concluding its morning tour by running into the depot along Lytham Road

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Snow hits Blackpool again

Flexity 007 heading south through the falling snow at Central Pier
Snow showers hit Blackpool again this morning, with the snow beginning to fall around 9.00 am, and continuing until just after 11:00 am, by which time it began turning to sleet and then rain, with the snow starting to vanish quickly from the promenade by around midday. This time the amount of snow didn't warrant using the snowplough, especially as the forecast was for the snow to begin turning into rain at lunchtime. Again the new Flexities coped very well with the relatively short period of snow. Flexity 002 was noted out on test in the morning, having been notably absent from the promenade since its brief entry into passenger service a couple of weeks ago. Flexity 003 was seen on a short working to Thornton Gate during the late morning.

Flexity 012 heading north at Central Pier
Flexity 012 on the pristine white central promenade on its way to Fleetwood Ferry
Flexity 009 southbound at Central Pier, with the Tower obscured by the falling snow in the background
Flexities 006 and 008 unloading passengers at the Tower tram stop
Flexity 002 heading north on test near the Tower, with the words "Sorry Not In Service" on the destination display
Flexity 009 at the Tower tram stop with 014 on its way south towards Central Pier
Flexity 016 southbound at North Pier
Flexity 003 on a short working to Thornton Gate at North Pier

Thursday 7 February 2013

Darts and Deckers

Alexander bodied Dennis Dart T145 AUA (ex Metroline of London) has just entered service on the Catch 22 route
Former Metroline of London Alexander bodied Dennis Dart T145 AUA is the latest Classic Bus North West vehicle to join the Catch 22 fleet, entering service on the route in February. The 22 route has seen double-deckers operating on it recently, due to two Dennis Darts currently being off the road. 

Ex Dublin Bus Volvo Olympian N324 NHG on Anchorsholme Lane, approaching the Cleveleys terminus of the 22
Ex Lothian Buses Volvo Olympian P269 PSX entering New Bonny Street on the Catch 22 route
Ex Metroline Alexander bodied Dennis Dart T145 AUA on Bank Hey Street in Blackpool
Ex Dublin Bus Volvo Olympian N324 NHG  heading southbound past the Tower on the 22 route

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Pensioner hit by tram in Cleveleys

Flexity 004 returning to Starr Gate depot after the accident with the pedestrian in Cleveleys
A pensioner was clipped by Flexity 004 between West Drive and Beach Road in Cleveleys this morning as she crossed the tram track. Because of this incident northbound trams were being turned back at Cleveleys for about an hour until the tramway was cleared. Flexity 004 was noted southbound at Gynn Square at 12:55, returning back to Starr Gate depot with an engineering crew on board and displaying the message "Sorry Not In Service" on the destination screen. Flexity 016 was noted working a short service to Thornton Gate after the tram tracks were cleared, presumably for positioning reasons to try and regain a normal service frequency.

Flexity 015 passing track works at Manchester Square, on the temporary short service to Cleveleys due to the incident
Northbound Flexity 016 at the Tower on a short working service to Thornton Gate due to the service disruption
Flexity 004 at Wilton Parade, returning back to Starr Gate depot with an engineering crew on board

Monday 4 February 2013

Flexity Round-up

Flexity 006 is now back in service again, seen here passing a wind damaged Madame Tussauds on January 31st
The last week has seen a few Flexities appearing back in service that have been absent from the operating fleet for a while. On Friday 25th January, Flexity 002 was noted back in passenger service for the first time since it had returned from Bombardier in Germany on 1st November, it had been confined to driver training duties in the interim. Flexity 006 also returned to the operational fleet last week, having spent five months laid up in Starr Gate depot as the 'spares' tram, being robbed of parts to keep the rest of the fleet operational. 001 was noted out on test during the week, and both this tram and 005 have now returned to use again after a period of absence.

Flexity 001 venturing out on test on 31st January after being absent from passenger service for some time
Flexity 005 at St Chad's Road on 2nd February after a period of absence out of use
Flexity 009 being held up by drain pipe laying work across the tramway at Manchester Square on January 15th
Flexity 008 having salt washed off the driver's rear view cameras at Starr Gate during gales on 31st January