Sunday 28 September 2014

More Flexity Adverts

Flexity 015 passing the Hilton Hotel carrying a new advert promoting the BTS Blackpool1 discount travel tickets
More of the Flexity 2 trams have received new adverts this week, 014 is carrying a red advert inviting businesses to advertise on the trams and buses, and Flexity 015 is now advertising the Blackpool1 Tickets which are available for discount travel on the buses and trams of Blackpool Transport. Both trams previously carried Pleasure Beach advertising, 014 had a photo of the Big One rollercoaster on the centre section and 015 used to advertise Nickelodeon Land.

Flexity 014 at North Pier with a new advert which is promoting advertising space on the trams and buses
A close up of the centre section on Flexity 015
A close up of the centre section on Flexity 014

Friday 26 September 2014

701 Launched

Newly repainted Balloon 701 and former Blackpool Routemaster 521 pose together at Fleetwood Ferry
Balloon 701 was officially launched into heritage fleet service on Friday 26th September, with a short ceremony taking place on the loop at North Pier to mark the completion of the repaint into Blackpool Routemaster style livery. Some short speeches were made by Harold Blythe, the Chairman of the Fylde Tramway Society, and Bob Mason, Director of Delivery for Blackpool Transport Services, before the tram loaded up with passengers and performed a special round trip to Fleetwood Ferry and return. After the tram returned to North Pier it then ran out of service to Rigby Road depot, where the crew took their crew break before 701 emerged again to take its place on the evening Illuminations Tours, operating from the Pleasure Beach loop.

Balloon 701 approaching North Pier on its way from Rigby Road depot to take part in the short launch ceremony
FTS Chairman Harold Blythe and BTS Director of Delivery Bob Mason shake hands after the speeches at North Pier
Three generations of vehicles lined up at Fleetwood Ferry, Balloon 701, Dennis Trident 322 and Routemaster 521
Balloon 701 posing for the photographers in the late afternoon sunshine at Fleetwood Ferry
Former Blackpool Routemaster 521 drawing up alongside Balloon 701 for a short photo session
Balloon 701 loading up at the Pleasure Beach for its first Illuminations Tour of the evening

Monday 22 September 2014

Flexity 005 receives new NHS advert

Flexity 005 in Pharos St showing the new NHS sponsored advert about memory loss that the tram is now carrying
Following the recently applied new advert on Flexity 006, sister tram 005 has now received an NHS sponsored advertising campaign asking "How Good is Your Memory?", on a blue background along one side of the tram only. Flexity 005 still has its existing advert for the Big Blue Hotel at Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the opposite side of the tram.

The NHS advert on Flexity 005's centre section with the slogan "How Good is Your Memory" below the windows

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Flexity 006 receives a new advert

Flexity 006 at Central Pier carrying new advertising for Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuits
Flexity 006 has been noted in service with new advertising. 006 previously carried adverts for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, but these have now been replaced by adverts on both sides of the tram for Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Biscuits.

The centre section of Flexity 006 showing the below the window advertising for Tunnock's

Sunday 14 September 2014

Electric 50 at Crich

Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car 2 at the head of the tram cavalcade on Saturday 13th September

Saturday 13th September saw the first day of the 'Electric 50' celebrations at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. The event was to celebrate 50 years of electric tramcar operation at the museum, and on both days a 25 tram cavalcade was due to take place. Day one saw the trams rostered in the cavalcade in the order that they had first operated at the museum. Blackpool and Fleetwood crossbench car No 2 was at the head of the cavalcade on the Saturday. Not only is this 1898 tram the oldest operational electric tram at the museum, it was also the first one to run under electrical power there, back in 1964. Bryan Lindop, Head of Blackpool Transport's heritage tram operations, was given the honour of sitting on the front seat of the lead tram in the procession. One of the highlights of the day was due to be the official launch of Blackpool Jubilee 762, which was then scheduled to enter passenger service for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the tram failed in service on its inaugural run north and had to be withdrawn from service for the rest of the day. Apart from the obvious disappointment of visitors being unable to sample rides on 762, the rest of the day's events ran smoothly, except for a rather long hiatus during the middle of the day while the 25 trams for the Electric 50 cavalcade were being assembled, this operation interrupted normal passenger service for some considerable time. This report includes a selection of views of all the Blackpool trams that were used during the first day's proceedings on Saturday 13th September.

Heading a line of double deck trams in the cavacade is Southampton 45, the first tram purchased by the TMS in 1949
Blackpool Standard 40 arriving at Town End on Saturday morning in readiness for entering passenger service
Brush Car 630 basks in the sun on the depot fan in the morning, the tram not being needed until the afternoon
Looking slightly out of place at Crich in its Flexity 2 livery is Blackpool Balloon 711, seen at the new stop at Glory Mine
Blackpool & Fleetwood Box Car 40 waiting at Stephenson Place before taking its turn to enter service for the day
Blackpool Toastrack 166 pauses at Stephenson Place in the morning, before continuing to Town End to enter service
The launch of Jubilee 762 took place on the depot fan on Saturday, but unfortunately it failed in service soon after
Balloon 711 and Box Car 40 next to the depot, both trams are at Crich on loan from their usual home in Blackpool
Blackpool Pantograph Car 167 passing the bandstand on the afternoon of Saturday 13th September
Blackpool Luxury Toastrack 236 with its illuminated strings of lights, stopped at the main entrance to the museum

Borismasters for Blackpool?

Arriva London Borismaster LT188 heading north at the Pleasure Beach on one of its demonstration trips on Sep 14th
Arriva London Borismaster LT188 was noted operating along the Promenade in Blackpool on 14th September. This silver liveried Borismaster's normal stamping ground is on the route 38 to Victoria Station in London, however the bus was seen running up and down Blackpool Promenade on Sunday 14th. Before anyone builds their hopes up too much, the Borismaster was not unfortunately a demonstrator operating with Blackpool Transport, it was merely offering demo rides from the Hilton Hotel using a London based driver, in conjunction with the Bus Driver of the Year 2014 competition that was taking place in the resort on the same day.

Arriva London Borismaster LT188 heading south at the Pleasure Beach on a demonstration run on 14th September

Saturday 6 September 2014

Wedding Tram

Balloon 717 heading back south approaching Gynn Square, after dropping off a wedding party at the Imperial Hotel
Balloon 717 was used on a private hire on Saturday 6th September. The tram was chartered for use by a wedding party, dropping them off at the Imperial Hotel before crossing over at the Cabin and heading back south again.

Friday 5 September 2014

Second Hong Kong Metrobus on Seafront 12

Former China Motor Bus 12m MCW Metrobus F326UJN operating on Oakwood's Seafront 12 service at Gynn Square
Former China Motor Bus 12m MCW Metrobus F326UJN (CMS fleet number ML326) made its debut on the Seafront service of Oakwood Travel on 5th September. This bus formerly operated on city sightseeing tours around London for The Big Bus Company until 2009 when it was retired, and was delivered new to China Motor Bus in Hong Kong in 1988. The vehicle has been in Classic Bus North West and Oakwood Travel ownership since February 2013, and sister vehicle F69SYE has been operating on the Promenade Seafront 12 route since June 2013. F326UJN has large adverts for Nickelodeon Land at the Pleasure Beach on the sides and rear of the bus, but is totally devoid of any Seafront 12 route branding at the moment.

A nearside view of Metrobus F326UJN showing the Pleasure Beach sponsored Nickelodeon Land advert
Another view of F326UJN showing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles advertised on the rear of the bus
Sister vehicle F69SYE passing the Rocket at Gynn Square roundabout on 12th June 2014