Saturday 27 June 2015

Armed Forces Day

Royal Navy Lynx ZD566 taking off from the Tower Headland before performing a short aerial display routine
To commemorate Armed Forces Day in Blackpool on Saturday 27th June, a replica Spitfire was on display in St. John's Square and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter was also on display on the Tower Headland. The heritage tram service during the day was handled by Boat cars 230 and 600 due to the pleasant weather. The Royal Navy Westland Lynx on public display next to the Comedy Carpet was ZD566 of 815 Squadron, based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset. Just before 3.45pm the Lynx took off from the Tower Headland and performed a short aerial display between Central Pier and North Pier before departing.

Royal Navy Westland Lynx ZD566 leaving the Tower Headland to perform a short aerial display before departing

A replica RAF Spitfire was on display to the public in St. John's Square during Armed Forces Day

Boat 600 heading south past the Tower

Boat 230 heading south at Coral Island

Boat 230 heading towards North Pier as the Royal Navy Lynx begins its preparations for taking off

Sunday 21 June 2015

Heritage Trams operate to Starr Gate

Balloons 717 and 715 loading at the temporary heritage tram stop on the main running line at the Pleasure Beach
Sunday 21st June was meant to have been the day that the annual Totally Transport event took place on the South Promenade in Blackpool, unfortunately the event had to be cancelled this year due to financial problems. To coincide with the Totally Transport rally, Blackpool Transport had planned a gold timetable Heritage Tram Tour operating day utilising six trams. In the event it was decided to go ahead with the enhanced heritage tram service, despite the fact that the transport rally was not taking place. As part of the gold timetabled service, temporary heritage tram stops were located at Starr Gate and also on the main running line at the Pleasure Beach, as the loop was not in use for most of the day. A roughly 20 minute tram service was in operation from the temporary Starr Gate terminus, with frequent journeys running through to Fleetwood Ferry. The heritage service was operated by a 100% green and cream tram fleet, using trams 147, 272+T2, 631, 648, 715 & 717.

Brush Car 631 at the temporary Starr Gate heritage stop, before operating the first tour of the day through to Fleetwood
Standard 147 passing Flexity 003 waiting for its departure time at Starr Gate terminus
Twin Set 272+T2 passing the mirror ball on New South Promenade on a heritage service from Starr Gate to Bispham
Centenary 648 departing the Pleasure Beach, with passengers waiting at the temporary northbound heritage stop
Balloon 715 heading south at Anchorsholme with Starr Gate on the blinds, returning from a run to Fleetwood Ferry
Standard 147 heading south along Lord Street on the last heritage tour of the day to operate through to Fleetwood
Brush Cars at the Pleasure Beach, 631 taking a crew break on the loop and 290 sat on its short display track

Railcoach 680 on loan to Blackpool

Railcoach 680 at the Pleasure Beach in 1992, in the livery that the tram is due to be repainted into
Railcoach 680, which is currently based on the Heaton Park Tramway, is due to return to Blackpool to operate as part of the heritage fleet for an initial loan period of two years. In a deal struck between the Manchester Transport Museum Society and Blackpool Transport, the former trailer towing car will return to Blackpool in time for the tramway's 130th anniversary celebrations in September. It is planned to repaint 680 back into the 1990s livery of green and cream with black window surrounds, the tram will also will refitted with a pantograph upon its return to Blackpool.

Railcoach 680 seen during its launch event at Heaton Park in April, with the tram carrying the former fleet No of 280
Railcoach 680 and Pantograph 167 in March 2014 while both trams were on loan to Beamish

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Blackpool PD3 on Zoo Bus

Former Blackpool Corporation 1968 Leyland Titan PD3 No 529 awaiting passengers in Adelaide Street West
The new service 21 bus route to Blackpool Zoo is fast becoming a very interesting stage carriage route on which to be able to sample a ride on a variety of preserved heritage buses. After being operated by a London AEC Routemaster and Ribble Bristol RE, this week has seen former Blackpool Corporation 1968 Leyland Titan PD3 No 529 in use on the service. 529 is part of the collection of vehicles owned by the Lancastrian Transport Trust, and looked completely at home operating on its old stamping ground again.

PD3 No 529 crossing over Whitegate Drive at Mere Road, heading back towards Blackpool Tower
Former Blackpool Corporation PD3 No 529 turning from Coronation Street into Hornby Road on the way to the Zoo
PD3 No 529 in New Bonny Street on the way back to the Tower, with Zoo still displayed on the destination blind

Monday 8 June 2015

Brush 625 leaves Merseyside

Brush Car 625 with Fleetwood on the blind, arriving at the fish dock on the back of Calkeld's low loader
The first of the former Merseytravel owned Blackpool trams that have recently been secured for preservation arrived safely back on the Fylde Coast today. Brush Car 625 was delivered to the fish dock at Fleetwood on the back of a low loader belonging to Calkeld Heavy Haulage, arriving at the fishing port at 1830 on the evening of Monday 8th June. The tram will be stored in the same open compound on the docks that is currently used by the Fleetwood Heritage Leisure Trust.

Calkeld Heavy Haulage and 625 awaiting security clearance before entering the fishing port at Fleetwood
Brush Car 625 after it had passed through the security gate into the private fish dock at Fleetwood
Brush Car 625 at the fish dock in Fleetwood alongside Balloon 726, both trams now belonging to the same owner

Thursday 4 June 2015

Bristol RE on the Zoo Bus

Former Ribble Bristol RE OCK 366K in New Bonny Street while in use on the Service 21 zoo route
As promised the new Service 21 route to Blackpool Zoo is using heritage vehicles, the first two days of operation saw former London Routemaster RML 887 being used, today it was the turn of an ex Ribble bus to operate the service. 1972 Bristol RESL OCK 366K was new to Ribble Motor Services as fleet number 366 in 1972, the bus has been part of the Lancastrian Transport Trust collection since 2008, and is preserved in poppy red livery.

Former Ribble Bristol RE OCK 366K seen heading outbound towards Blackpool Zoo on the new Service 21

Tower Circus Advert

Dennis Trident 332 near the Tower with a new overall advert for The Blackpool Tower Circus
A new overall advert for The Blackpool Tower Circus has appeared on Dennis Trident 332, making this the fifth BTS bus this year to receive overall advertising vinyls.

A rear view of Dennis Trident 332 at Bold St in Fleetwood with a new overall advert for The Blackpool Tower Circus
Dennis Trident 332 at Fleetwood Ferry showing its new overall advert for The Blackpool Tower Circus

Wednesday 3 June 2015

New Tower Wagon

The Hako Multicar M31 H being used in rail wheel mode, waiting behind a Flexity at the Manchester Square tram stop
Blackpool Transport's new mini tower wagon was out on the Promenade today. The vehicle is a Hako Multicar M31 H built in Germany, it was being used in rail wheel mode running along the tram track, having to wait behind service trams as they pulled up at stops to load and unload.

Zoo Bus

RML 887 just after dropping passengers off at Stanley Park Gates on the new Service 21 to Blackpool Zoo
This week saw the start of another new bus route operated by Catch22Bus Ltd, this being the fourth route that they are operating on the Fylde Coast. The new Service 21 operates every 40 minutes between the Tower and Blackpool Zoo, via Stanley Park and the Model Village. The aim is to use heritage vehicles on the new service whenever they are available. The route begins near the Tower at a stop on the Promenade opposite the Sands Venue, then turns inland running via Hornby Road, West Park Drive and East Park Drive to the Zoo.

RML 887 heading east along Mere Road towards Stanley Park on the new Service 21 of Catch22Bus Ltd
RML 887 returning from Blackpool Zoo along East Park Drive on its way back to the Tower

Monday 1 June 2015

Dennis SPDs on Seafront 12

Former Cardiff Bus 11.3m Dennis SPD S319 SHB in an all cream livery, northbound on the Seafront 12 at the Tower
The Seafront 12 service resumed operations on 1st June, and two recently acquired Dennis Darts with 11.3m Super Pointer Dart bodies are now in use on this route. The two buses originated with Cardiff Bus, and their registrations are S316 SHB and S319 SHB, 319 is running in an all cream livery, while 316 has been repainted in the Catch22Bus turquoise and orange fleet livery.

Former China Motor Bus MCW Metrobus F69 SYE southbound at the Tower, with BTS Trident 331 heading north
Former Cardiff Bus 11.3m Dennis SPD S316 SHB in the Catch22Bus fleet livery, northbound at the Imperial Hotel