Sunday 6 December 2015

Metrolink to Exchange Square

Metrolink 3104 at the new Exchange Square stop adjacent to the Corn Exchange and the Arndale Centre
Sunday 6th December saw the opening of the first section of the new Second City Crossing line on Manchester's Metrolink system, that will eventually run all the way between Victoria Station and St. Peter's Square by 2017. The initial section of the line between Victoria Station and the new Exchange Square stop on Corporation Street commenced operation early on the morning of the 6th. The Sunday service runs between Exchange Square and Rochdale, for the rest of the week (Monday to Saturday) the route will operate a shorter service terminating at Shaw and Crompton.

3088 to Exchange Square crossing over the junction at Victoria Station towards the new Corporation St line
Metrolink 3105 leaving Exchange Square bound for Rochdale along Corporation Street
Metrolink 3085 passing the Printworks on Corporation Street as it nears the new Exchange Square stop
Metrolink 3103 from Rochdale pulling up at the new Exchange Square stop in Corporation Street
3085 at Exchange Square alongside The Roast Hog Lounge Bar which is part of the 2015 Christmas Market
3085 departing from the Exchange Square stop empty after it has unloaded its passengers
A bird's eye view of tram 3075 approaching the northbound platform of the new stop at Exchange Square
Metrolink 3085 at the current terminus of the line just south of the Exchange Square stop in Corporation Street

Wednesday 25 November 2015

X70 Red Rocket

Dennis Dart W371 VHB, new to Cardiff Bus in 2000, waiting to depart from stand 3 at Blackpool Coach Station
Catch22Bus resumed operation of their X70 Red Rocket Express from Blackpool to Manchester on 21st November. Plaxton bodied Dennis Dart W371 VHB has been painted in an overall red livery for use on the express route. The seasonal service is currently operating on a daily basis, and more information and bus times can be found on

The Red Rocket Express has to leave Blackpool via Chapel St car park due to Seasiders Way being closed

Sunday 1 November 2015

Blackpool Atlantean on route 22

Atlantean 334 seen heading along Anchorsholme Lane in rather murky conditions in Cleveleys
Former Blackpool Leyland Atlantean 334 (AHG 334V) made a brief foray in service on the 22 from Mereside to Cleveleys and return on Sunday 1st November. This short outing was the first time that an Atlantean has been used on the 22 route since 2001.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

New Trident Driver Trainer

Dennis Trident 974 (ex 304) the new driver training bus, seen heading south on Clifton Drive
Some more views of grey and yellow Dennis Trident 974, Blackpool Transport's new driver training vehicle.

The rear off-side of Dennis Trident 974 as it returns back to Rigby Rd depot after use on driver tuition

Monday 12 October 2015

Palladium Trident

Dennis Trident 974 (ex 304) seen in its new role as a driver training bus on Rigby Road
Dennis Trident 304 is now in use as a driver training vehicle. 304 has been renumbered to 974 and is painted in a grey and pale yellow colour scheme, based on the livery that was first used on the ten new 'Palladium' branded Mercedes Citaros that entered service at the end of May.

Palladium Mercedes Citaro 550, showing where the inspiration came from for the new driver training livery

Thursday 8 October 2015

DRS Class 37 at Preston

Direct Rail Services 37422 at Preston Station at the head of the 2C47 to Barrow-in-Furness on 8th October

While out on a shopping trip, I accidently came across a Class 37 on a passenger working at Preston Station. Direct Rail Services 37422 was operating the 2C47, departing from Preston at 1004 for Barrow-in-Furness. Unfortunately the weather wasn't very conducive to photography as it was raining when I arrived and then it started lashing down as the train departed from the station!

Direct Rail Services 37422 departing from Preston Station at 1004 on the 2C47 to Barrow in heavy rain
Direct Rail Services 37422 at Preston Station, waiting to depart for Barrow-in-Furness on the 2C47

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Wright Streetdeck Demonstrator

Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15 ZGP southbound on route 1 on the Promenade at Waterloo Road
Blackpool Transport currently have one of the new 'Stealth' styled Wrightbus Streetdeck integral demonstrators on loan. The Streetdeck has been in use on the coastal route 1 between Starr Gate and Fleetwood since it arrived in the resort last week. SL15 ZGP was new in June, and is currently in its second week of use on the Fylde Coast. One notable feature of this demonstrator is the glazed staircase, similar to that used on London's Borismasters, however most production Streetdecks omit this option and are constructed with normal panelling in this area.

Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15 ZGP near Ash St. in Fleetwood, clearly showing the fully glazed staircase
A rear three-quarter view of Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15 ZGP at Cleveleys

The lower deck of Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15 ZGP, showing the glazed staircase area
The upper deck of Wrightbus Streetdeck demonstrator SL15 ZGP

Flexity 002 receives advertising

Flexity 002 with its new side advert for Fleetwood Market
Flexity 002 has received side advertising for Fleetwood Market. Previous to the advert being applied, 002 was one of the few Flexity trams remaining in unadorned fleet livery. The advert is rather uninspiring, with the writing being so small on the roof panels that at first glance from a distance it is not obvious what it's meant to be promoting.

Sunday 4 October 2015

2015 Wirral Bus & Tram Show

Baby Grand 245 passing two former Liverpool buses, 1953 AEC Regent III A36 and 1957 AEC Regent V A267
Sunday 4th October saw the annual Wirral Bus & Tram Show taking place, based around the Wirral Heritage Tramway in Birkenhead. The event was blessed with sunshine for much of the day, with the highlight being Liverpool Baby Grand tram 245 making its debut at the annual show. Liverpool 245 had only had its public service launch three weeks before the event, and the tram was unsurprisingly extremely popular, running with heavy passenger loadings throughout the day.

Wallasey No 1, the first production Leyland Atlantean from 1958, passing 1920 Wallasey tramcar No 78
Liverpool 245 with a Mersey Tunnel ventilation tower on the left and Liver Building in Liverpool in the background
1920 Wallasey Bellamy car No 78 with its slogan celebrating the Queen being our longest reigning monarch

1900 Birkenhead Milnes car No 20 approaching the end of Shore Road
1930s Liverpool bogie car No 762 heading down the incline towards Woodside Ferry Terminal
1930 built Lisbon tram 730 heading towards Woodside Ferry along Shore Road   
1956 Crossley bodied Liverpool Corporation Leyland Titan PD2 L255 near the Woodside Ferry Terminal
1951 Wallasey Leyland Titan PD2/1 No 54 heading away from the Woodside Ferry Terminal
1967 Birkenhead Leyland Titan PD2 No 152 with a Massey body, passing the old dock entrance on Shore Rd
1950 Crosville Bristol L6B KW172 fitted with dual purpose ECW bodywork
1968 Llandudno Urban District Council Dennis PAX FJC 736F

Stagecoach Gold Enviro 400 bodied Scania 15228, which operates on the Preston to Bolton service 125

The two Hong Kong built trams masquerading as Birkenhead 70 and 69 in front of the Pacific Road building

Saturday 3 October 2015

2015 Blackpool Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally

A line-up of traction engines on Blackpool South Car Park on the afternoon of Saturday 3rd October
The second Blackpool Steam and Vintage Vehicle Rally took place on the South Car Park over the weekend of 3rd and 4th October. There were a variety of exhibits again, including traction engines, steam lorries, miniature traction engines and steam lorries, tractors, commercial vehicles, military vehicles and classic cars, etc. On Saturday evening several of the traction engines and steam lorries took part in a road run to Central Pier and parked up on the adjacent headland.

A line-up of Sentinel steam lorries, from left to right, an eight-wheel DG8, six-wheel DG6 and four-wheel Super
Traction engines and steam lorries on the South Car Park in Blackpool
1916 Fowler showman's engine "Yorkshire Belle"
A line-up of preserved farm tractors
A 1940 Leyland Cub fire engine, formerly belonging to Windermere Urban District Council Fire Brigade
A line-up of preserved lorries
A 1925 Morris Commercial T-Type charabanc bus
A 1961 Ford Zephyr and 1966 Wolseley 1100 in the classic car display area

Sunday 27 September 2015

Blackpool 130th - Rigby Road Depot

Engineering Car 754 seen on Blundell Street while it was being used to shunt display trams into postition on Sunday
As part of the Tramway's 130th  celebrations, a series of depot tours were organised for both the Saturday and Sunday, with these having to be pre-booked in advance. All the tours were completely sold out well before the event, with several heritage trams being strategically positioned around Rigby Road depot especially for the open days. On Sunday the depot tour first visited the electrical compound, where Balloon 700 was stabled, waiting to take up its duties on the depot shuttle service. A visit to the paint shop saw Dennis Trident 333 in grey primer paint before being painted into fleet livery, OMO Car 8 was also on view in the paint shop, although this tram is very much a long term project due having a fractured underframe, and it could be 10 years before it re-enters service again. Next door in the body shop, preserved Leyland Atlantean 364 was awaiting attention, alongside it was unvestibuled Standard Car 143. Standard 143 had a significant amount of restoration work done to it while under the care of the Lancastrian Transport Trust, and there is a possibility that this tram's restoration could be finally completed over the coming winter in time for it to enter heritage service in 2016, if the necessary finance is made available. Moving on to the fitting shop there were two more long term projects on display, Brush Car 259, the former permanent way tram, and Railcoach 279, which is to be restored back into its original streamlined English Electric configuration.

The main storage shed at Rigby Road, with Unimog 938 and the red rotary snowbroom attachment off Unimog 939
OMO Car 8 was on display in the body shop, this tram is now a long term project due to a fractured underframe
Dennis Trident 333 in grey undercoat in the Paint Shop as part of a full repaint into fleet livery
Leyland Atlantean 364 and unvestibuled Standard 143 on display in the body shop
Former PW Brush Car 259, this very long term project could see the recreation of a Brush Car in original condition
English Electric Railcoach 279 in the fitting shop, showing the work that had been undertaken on the tram by the LTT
The Rocket was positioned on the depot fan for display on the Sunday
Twin Set 676/686, which is currently in storage, pulled out onto the depot fan for display on the Sunday