Friday 28 February 2014

Centenary 643 on the Move

Centenary 643 leaving Broadwater Caravan Park in Fleetwood for pastures new on 28th February
In a surprise move, Centenary 643 has left its home of the last two years for pastures new. 643 was originally transported to Broadwater Caravan Park in Fleetwood on 13th January 2012, today saw the tram removed by Scotts Heavy Haulage due to the park no longer having any requirement for it, despite having converted the interior into a cafe and repainted the outside of the tram into a pleasing green and cream colour scheme, reminiscent of the Coronation Cars. 643 left the caravan park on the back of Scotts low loader on the afternoon of 28th February.

Centenary 643 being winched onto Scotts low loader at Broadwater Caravan Park on 28th February
Centenary 643 departing its home for the past two years on the back of Scotts Heavy Haulage low loader
Scotts Heavy Haulage delivering Centenary 643 to Broadwater Caravan Park in Fleetwood on 13th January 2012

Thursday 27 February 2014

Blackpool 346 returns to Brinwell Road

Blackpool PD2 No 346 (PFR 346), parked outside the depot of Oakwood Travel in Brinwell Road, Marton on 27th Feb
A former Blackpool Corporation 1959 Leyland PD2/27 with a Metropolitan-Cammell FH35/24R body made a return to the resort today. Blackpool 346 (PFR 346) has been part of the collection of buses owned by the Lancastrian Transport Trust for several years, latterly the bus has been stored at the LTT premises in Weeton village. 346 survived in operation in Blackpool until 1975, at which point it was transferred to the Illuminations Department as a mobile mess room. The bus was sold for preservation in 1985, after three years of storage out of use, initially being owned by the North West Museum of Transport, the vehicle became surplus to their requirements in 2005 and was sold to the LTT. 346 was towed to Brinwell Road in Marton on 27th February, and was noted parked outside the premises of Oakwood Travel.

346 seen at Bispham in 1981, while being used as a mobile mess room by Blackpool Illuminations Department

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Mercedes Bendy Bus back in Action

Citaro MAL53 on a roadworks diversion, turning from Chapel St onto Central Drive bound for Mereside on 25th Feb
Mercedes-Benz Citaro MAL53 (BL52ODK) is back in service again on the Catch 22 route. The Citaro was initially trialled in passenger service on the 22 route back on 20th January, but has been off the road in the interim having a few problems resolved. The bus has now been fitted with vinyl lettering over the destination box which reads "Mereside Cleveleys Via Town Centre 22".

Citaro MAL53 southbound on Bispham Rd in Bispham on its first day back in service on the 22 since being repaired

Monday 24 February 2014

Third Week of Mercedes Demonstrator

Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI demonstrator BG63VVE departing from Freeport in Fleetwood on 24th February
The Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI demonstrator that is currently on trial with Blackpool Transport is now in its third week of use with the operator. BG63VVE has been working on the service 1 route along the Promenade since 10th February, the bus was noted at the route's northern terminus at Freeport in Fleetwood on 24th February. 

Mercedes Citaro demonstrator BG63VVE passes Stagecoach Solo 47484 on the 84 route at Freeport in Fleetwood
Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI demonstrator BG63VVE turning onto Fisherman's Walk in Fleetwood on service 1

Friday 21 February 2014

Balloon 703 sold to Beamish

Sunderland 101 (Blackpool 703) running down the main street at Beamish in November 2012
Balloon 703 (masquerading as Sunderland 101) has been on loan to Beamish Museum from the Lancastrian Transport Trust since September 2010. The tram was painted into Sunderland red and cream livery prior to its move north, inspired by Sunderland English Electric built centre entrance car 99, which resembled a less streamlined version of a Blackpool Balloon in appearance. Beamish have now announced that they have concluded a deal to purchase 703 from the LTT, thus ensuring its long term future at the museum as part of their well maintained collection of trams. There is now a possibility that 703 will at some point in the future revert to its former twin destination display layout, in order that the tram more closely resemble its predecessor Sunderland 99.

Balloon 703 on the Golden Mile at Blackpool, still wearing its attractive 1980s livery in September 2002

Sunday 16 February 2014

Seaton Tramway becomes latest storm victim

Replica Blackpool Boat car No 4 southbound on the embankment alongside the River Axe at Seaton in August 2002

The Seaton narrow gauge tramway in Devon has become one of the latest casualties of the stormy weather which has swept across the country over the last few weeks. The tramway runs right alongside the estuary of the River Axe for nearly a mile, and has suffered major damage to its infrastructure, with the trackbed and ballast being washed away for about half a mile and overhead poles uprooted due to the soil being completely washed away from their concrete foundations. The Riverside Depot also suffered from flooding, but the most serious damage is that which has been done to the track and overhead poles. The tramway are planning to run a reduced service between Colyford and Colyton until the trackbed southwards to Seaton can be rebuilt.

Seaton Boat car No 4 seen in August 2002 approaching the Riverside Depot that was flooded in the recent storms

Saturday 15 February 2014

Trailer Towing Car 671 changing ownership

Trailer Towing car 671 in the yard at Marton in Blackpool on 10th December 2013, where it has spent the last two years

Twin-Set Trailer Towing car 671, formerly part of the Lancastrian Transport Trust collection, is being acquired by a new preservation group called the Tyne Tees Transport Trust (TTTT), in a deal brokered between themselves, the LTT and the North Eastern Electrical Traction Trust (NEETT). The tram will initially be transported to Rigby Road where work is planned to be undertaken on it, before 671 moves on to its new home.

671 being moved by Scotts Haulage to open storage at Marton for the LTT two years ago on 7th February 2012

Thursday 13 February 2014

Tram and Bus shelters smashed in 90mph winds

Flexity 010 passing the damaged shelter at Sandhurst Avenue on 13th Feb, the promenade was closed off to all traffic
The Fylde Coast was in the Met Office red alert zone during the afternoon and evening of the 12th February, due to being in the path of a severe storm that was moving up the west coast of the country. 90mph winds tore into the Fylde Coast during the evening, causing havoc and destruction, with many brick walls, trees, windows and roofs being damaged or destroyed by the ferocity of the wind. Blackpool Transport were not immune to the weather, during the height of the storm in the evening all bus and tram services were suspended. At least two passenger shelters were severely damaged, a bus stop on Dickson Road behind the Hilton Hotel was totally destroyed, and one of the new tram shelters at Sandhurst Avenue on top of the cliffs was uprooted by the gales, causing the promenade to be closed to all road traffic in both directions the following day.

The tram shelter at Sandhurst Avenue that was uprooted by the 90mph winds on the evening of the 12th February
A bus shelter on Dickson Road behind the Hilton Hotel was totally destroyed by the gales on the evening of 12th Feb

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Pantograph 167 to visit Blackpool for Summer Season

Pantograph car 167 last visited Blackpool during 2010, a sight which will be able to be repeated again during 2014
Blackpool Transport and the National Tramway Museum have agreed on a tramcar exchange for 2014. Pantograph car 167, which is currently on loan to The Living Museum of the North at Beamish, is to be transported to Blackpool in April in time to enter service over the bank holiday weekend of 25th May. In return modernised purple Balloon 711 will be moved to Crich and operate there during 2014 in order to take the place of 167. Only one other Blackpool Balloon has ever operated in service at Crich, and that was 710 which was part of an exchange during the 1980s.

Balloon 711 will take the place of Pantograph car 167 at Crich, see here at Little Bispham in November 2012

The last Blackpool Balloon to operate in service at Crich was 710 in the 1980s, seen here at Town End in 1984

Monday 10 February 2014

Citaro Demonstrator in Blackpool

Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI demonstrator BG63VVE on trial on service 1 to Starr Gate at Cleveleys on 10th Feb
Blackpool Transport currently have a new Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI demonstrator on trial. Citaro BG63VVE was noted operating on the Starr Gate to Fleetwood service 1 on 10th February. The vehicle is painted overall silver, with black, yellow and red graphics on the sides.

Friday 7 February 2014

Heritage Tram Moves

Brush Car 631 on the Pleasure Beach loop, about to return to Rigby Road depot after its short stay at Starr Gate
Following Brush Car 631's visit to Starr Gate depot on 31st January, it returned back to Rigby Road depot on 7th February. Open-top Balloon 706 "Princess Alice" made the reverse journey on the same day, taking the place of Brush Car 631 at Starr Gate depot. 706 was followed by Engineering Car 754 on the way to Starr Gate, both trams being stabled in the running side of the depot. It is only seven days ago that 754 made the move from Starr Gate back to Rigby Road, it's not known how long both trams are going to stay in Starr Gate depot.

As 706 approached Starr Gate the trolley pole dewired after passing across an overhead frog close to the depot
Brush Car 631 departing the Pleasure Beach loop on its way back north to Rigby Road depot
The driver of 706 stows the pole after hooking the trolley pole back onto the overhead wire near Starr Gate
706 within the confines of Starr Gate depot, about to have the trolley pole turned before entering the depot building
Engineering Car 754 being transferred from Rigby Road depot to Starr Gate depot, passing Flexity 009

754 in Blundell Street

Engineering car 754 basking in the sunshine on the curve between Blundell Street and Hopton Road on 7th February
Recently repainted Engineering car 754 was parked in Blundell Street in the sunshine on Friday 7th February, affording the chance to get some decent shots of the tram since it received its first repaint late last year in a new lighter shade of yellow.

A broadside view of Engineering car 754 in Blundell Street, parked alongside the fitting shop wall
An end on view of Engineering car 754 parked alongside the fitting shop in Blundell Street

Monday 3 February 2014

Archway Village 80 in Preston

Archway Travel Dennis Dart MPD X503WRG departing from Preston Bus Station on the morning of 3rd February
Archway Travel's Dennis Dart MPD X503WRG was noted at Preston Bus Station this morning. The previous destination display of "Through the Villages" has been replaced with "Blackpool Preston via Poulton Gt Ecc The Villages Cottam UCLan", the vehicle has also been fitted with a yellow sun visor strip across the top of the windscreen. The wooden destination board has also been repositioned from on top of the dash panel to the top left-hand side of the windscreen.