Wednesday 29 April 2015

Dennis Dart Updates

Former Select Bus of Swansea Dennis Dart T144 DAX on Langdale Road in the Mereside estate on 29th April
Former Cardiff Bus Dennis Dart T144 DAX entered passenger service with Catch22Bus this week. The vehicle was latterly owned by Select Bus of Swansea, and has entered service on route 22 in this operator's white with blue relief livery. Earlier in April, former Whittle Dennis Dart W466 UAG entered service, freshly repainted in the Catch22Bus turquoise and orange fleet livery.

Former Select Bus of Swansea Dennis Dart T144 DAX turning from Bispham Road into Warbreck Hill Road
Former Whittle Dennis Dart W466 UAG on Talbot Road on 11th April, shortly after entering service after a repaint

Sunday 26 April 2015

Blackpool 280 launched at Heaton Park

Railcoach 280 after its official launch into passenger service, seen heading towards the Lakeside terminus
The Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester hosted a Blackpool themed event on Sunday 26th April. The reason for the occasion was the official inauguration of Blackpool Railcoach 280 (680) into the operational passenger fleet. All the Blackpool trams were brought out for the public to view, with Balloon 702 being displayed in front of the Middleton Road depot and Railgrinder 1 parked on the spur siding at the former Lakeside terminus. Around lunchtime a cavalcade of the four Blackpool passenger trams, 702, 619, 280 and 623 ran from the Middleton Road gates to the hill behind the museum building where they were parked for a photo opportunity. Later in the afternoon 702, 280 and 623 were lined up in front of the Lakeside depot for another photo call. Trams used in passenger service at various times during the day were 619, 623, 280 and Manchester 765.

A photo line-up of the four Blackpool passenger trams on the steep hill behind the Middleton Road depot
Balloon 702 on display in front of the Middleton Road depot
Replica Vanguard 619 in a sylvan setting in Heaton Park
Brush Car 623 emerging from the reserved track that runs through the trees in Heaton Park
Railcoach 280 rounding the curve at the bottom of the hill behind Middleton Road depot
Manchester 765 departing from the terminus at Lakeside
Brush Car 623 arriving on the track fan in front of Lakeside depot
Blackpool Railgrinder 1 parked on the stub siding at the location of the old Lakeside terminus
The cavalcade of four Blackpool trams making their way along the tramway from the Middleton Road gates
Blackpool 623, 280 and 702 lined up outside the Lakeside depot building

Monday 20 April 2015

New Sealife Advert

Dennis Trident 328 leaving Freeport in Fleetwood with a new advert for Sealife Blackpool
Blackpool Transport have given Dennis Trident 328 a new vinyl wrap advert for Sealife Blackpool. The previous Sealife overall advert was applied to Trident 314 in 2012, and prior to that the Sealife advert was carried by flat-fronted Balloon 709.

An offside view of the new Sealife advert on Dennis Trident 328 as it heads south in Fleetwood
A rear three-quarter view of Trident 328 pulling up opposite the Cliffs Hotel

Sunday 19 April 2015

Wirral Heritage Tramway 20th Anniversary

Hong Kong built tram No 70 being driven out of Taylor Street depot at the start of the afternoon's proceedings
The Wirral Tramway celebrated 20 years of operation during the past week. The anniversary was commemorated on Saturday 18th April, with the normal two tram service being enhanced by the swapping of trams, so that a total of four of the operational tram fleet were in use at some point during the afternoon. Hong Kong built tram 70 was brought out and stabled on the spur track at the Taylor Street end of the line.The trams that operated in passenger service were Hong Kong built 69, Liverpool 762, Birkenhead open-top tram 20 and Lisbon 730.

Liverpool 762 at the Taylor Street end of the tramway, with Birkenhead 20 in the background
Hong Kong built tram No 69 departing from the Woodside Ferry terminus with the Liver Building in the background
The conductor of Hong Kong built 69 preparing to hand over the single line token at the mid-line crossing point
Birkenhead 20 and Lisbon 730 at the crossing point of the line at Pacific Road

1900 Milnes built Birkenhead 20 passing the Egerton lift bridge as the tram heads back to the Taylor Street terminus

Lisbon 730 with the Liver Building and the Liverpool skyline visible in the distance across the River Mersey

Liverpool Baby Grand 245 should hopefully make its debut into passenger service at some point during the year
Wallasey 78 and Liverpool Baby Grand 245 in storage at Taylor Street depot
Liverpool horse car 43 is being temporarily stored at Taylor Street while work is ongoing at the Pacific Road building

Warrington Milnes built tram No 2 is currently under restoration in the Taylor Street depot

Saturday 18 April 2015

Sunny Saturday Boating

Boats 230 and 600 pass at Manchester Square on their first runs of the day on the Heritage Tour service on 18th April

All this talk of lovely warm weather that the country has been basking in for the last couple of weeks has been rather lost on people who happen to live on the Fylde Coast. The conditions have been unremarkably gloomy and cool on the Lancashire coastline of late, with no sign at all of the alleged "heatwave" that the rest of the country has supposedly been basking in. Saturday 18th April however managed to give us clear blue skies all day long, although it was rather cool due to the easterly wind. The sunny weather was the perfect opportunity to allocate Boat trams for use on the blue timetabled Heritage Tour service, and proper green and cream liveried Boats 230 and 600 shuttled backwards and forwards all day between the North Pier and the Pleasure Beach.

Boat 600 departing empty from the Pleasure Beach on an early morning weekend Heritage Tour run

Boat 230 passing South Pier on the blue timetable Heritage Tours on Saturday 18th April

Friday 17 April 2015

New Mercedes Citaros Revealed

New BTS Mercedes Citaro 557 (BG15 BTY) undergoing driver familiarisation training at Rigby Road depot
Blackpool Transport had a staff launch of their new Mercedes Citaro Euro VI buses yesterday. There are 10 buses in the batch, and all are now believed to have been delivered to BTS. The buses used for the launch ceremony were 556 (BJ15 BEU) and 557 (BG15 BTY), both buses are in a grey and pale yellow livery, with full branding including free Wi-Fi logos and the brand name "Palladium" in three positions. The new buses are going to be used on service 5 from Victoria Hospital to Halfway House via Blackpool Town Centre, and will be receiving a public launch in May. These exclusive photos of the two staff launch buses were captured at Rigby Road depot this afternoon.

A rear view of BTS Mercedes Citaro 557 (BG15 BTY) undergoing driver training in the yard at Rigby Road depot
A front view of BTS Mercedes Citaro 557 (BG15 BTY) undergoing driver training in the yard at Rigby Road depot
New BTS Mercedes Citaros 556 (BJ15 BEU) and 557 (BG15 BTY) parked up in the yard at Rigby Road depot

Sunday 12 April 2015

2015 Great North Steam Fair

Sunderland 16 loading up just after the museum opened on 10th April, with Newcastle 114 arriving from the depot
The 2015 Great North Steam Fair at Beamish took place for four days from Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th April. This event is one of the highlights of the year at The Living Museum of the North, and this year was no exception with a wide range of road and rail vehicles visiting over the fours days. The fair was blessed with bright and sunny weather, apart from the very last day which turned out to be wet. All the photos used in this report were taken during a visit to the event on Friday 10th April.

A 1913 AEC London B-type bus restored as a WW1 "Battle Bus" to commemorate the centenary of the Great War
A 1935 Oporto tram masquerading as South Shields 196 on the main street in the Edwardian Town at Beamish
A solid tyred 1915 Dennis fire engine from Aberdeen passing Ravensworth Terrace
Blackpool Marton Box car No 31 passing a 1929 Chevrolet lorry parked next to the bank in the Edwardian Town
A 1915 Robey traction engine towing a trailer on its way to perform a demonstation run around the site
Sunderland tram No 16 arriving in the Edwardian Town with a load of passengers from the museum entrance
A 1925 Vulcan VSC lorry (built in Southport) returning to the events field after a demonstration run
The Beamish replica Daimler bus arriving at the bus stop in the Edwardian Town street
An immaculate 1900 Allchin steam roller leaving the coaling yard at Beamish
A 1909 Yorkshire steam wagon preparing for a demonstration road run around the site at Beamish
Beamish's resident 1928 Northern SOS QL bus sitting in front of the tram depot in between demonstration road runs
The unique 1929 Sentinel DG8 eight wheel Tarmac steam lorry heading towards the Edwardian Town
One of the Beamish replica buses arriving at the pit village with a load of passengers
A 1928 Fowler road crane descending the steep hill down to the pit village
A 1931 Foden steam wagon arriving at the pit village to go on display next to the mine
An Erie steam shovel was giving demonstrations throughout the day