Wednesday 30 March 2016

Second Volvo Centro in Palladium livery

Volvo 529 on service 5 turning into Whinpark Avenue at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Another of the Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLEs has been upgraded to Palladium standard and received the Citaro style grey and pale yellow colour scheme. Volvo 529 was noted in use on service 5 alongside the similarly liveried Mercedes Citaros. Centro 531 is the next of the Volvos in line for a Palladium repaint.

Volvo 529 approaching Blackpool Victoria Hospital along Whinney Heys Road
Volvo 529 leaving Victoria Hospital and turning into East Park Drive on service 5

Sunday 27 March 2016

Marton Box 31 at Easter

Marton Box Car 31 heading south at North Pier on its first day in Heritage Tour service
Marton Box Car 31 made its debut in Heritage Tram Tour service in Blackpool on Sunday 27th March over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Marton 31 has been swapped with Blackpool Standard 147 which has gone north to Beamish in County Durham for the season, 31 will be spending the year operating Heritage Tours on the Fylde Coast. The weather was rather unkind for the debut of the open-top tram on Easter Sunday, with the morning being blighted with heavy downpours and hail showers, although later on in the day the weather had picked up considerably, and blue skies were much in evidence during the afternoon.

Marton Box Car 31 southbound at Bispham on Heritage Tram Tour service
Marton Box 31 at Warley Road heading north towards Bispham
Marton Box Car 31 passing St Peter's Church in a very wet Fleetwood on Easter Sunday
Marton Box 31 in the pouring rain at Pharos Street in Fleetwood, with Balloon 715 running as a duplicate

Thursday 17 March 2016

Blackpool's elusive Open-Topper

Open-top Leyland Olympian 857 (D257 FYM) turning right into Market Street on 17th March
Former City Sightseeing Leyland Olympian 857 (D257 FYM) was noted out in use in Blackpool today. The last year of City Sightseeing tours in the resort was 2012, and Olympian 857 survived long after its sister vehicles had been sold for scrap. This elusive vehicle was painted in a 1980s Atlantean style livery of green and cream back in 2014, and retained for use on private hires. 857's limited use makes it a rather difficult bus to catch up with, however it was captured in full sunshine in the town centre on Thursday 17th March.

Olympian 857 seen in Fleetwood during the last year of Blackpool City Sightseeing operations in 2012

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Farewell to Ribble Running Day

One of the heritage buses planned to be used on 3rd April is ex Ribble Bristol VRT No 1997 (OCK 997K)
On Sunday 3rd April 2016 the Lancastrian Transport Trust have organised a free heritage bus service which will be operated by Catch22Bus Ltd to introduce passengers to their new service 24 and extended service 22 between Cleveleys and Fleetwood. The heritage service has been planned to mark the passing of Ribble (Stagecoach) operations within the Wyre Borough area.

Ribble Running Day Timetable on Sunday 3rd April

Service 24 Cleveleys to Poulton
Cleveleys Bus station 11:50 12:50 13:50 14:50 15:50
Thornton Health Centre 11:58 12:58 13:58 14:58 15:58
Thornton Centre 12:05 13:05 14:05 15:05 16:05
Poulton Church 12:17 13:17 14:17 15:17 16:17

Poulton Church 12:20 13:20 14:20 15:20

Thornton Centre 12:32 13:32 14:32 15:32
Thornton Health Centre 12:38 13:38 14:38 15:38
Cleveleys Bus station 12:48 13:48 14:48 15:48

Service 22 Cleveleys to Fleetwood

Cleveleys Bus Station 11:50 12:50 13:50 14:50
Fleetwood (Queens Terrace) 12:17 13:17 14:17 15:17

Fleetwood (Queens Terrace) 12:20 13:20 14:20 15:20
Cleveleys Bus Station 12:48 13:48 14:48 15:48

(The heritage journeys will be free of charge, with normal fares applying on all other Catch22Bus routes, including the service 22 between Mereside and Cleveleys).

Former Ribble Bristol RESL OCK 366K is planned to be used on the heritage service on 3rd April 2016

Monday 14 March 2016

Centro 527 goes Grey

Palladium branded Centro bodied Volvo 527 seen leaving Market St in Blackpool for Lytham on service 11

Since Blackpool Transport took delivery of their ten Palladium branded grey and yellow Mercedes Citaros last year, they have decided to extend the grey and pale yellow look to other vehicles in the fleet. 527 (BF60 UVL), a Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLE new to Blackpool in 2010, is the first of the existing bus fleet to be upgraded to Palladium standard, and has been outshopped in the same colour scheme as the Citaros, along with an upgraded interior and free onboard Wi-Fi. Volvo 527 has been noted in use on services 7 and 11 since it returned to service in its new guise.

Palladium branded Volvo 527 turning into Market Street in Blackpool on the service 11 to Lytham

Sunday 6 March 2016

Balloons on Blue

Balloon 715 heading north at Warley Road, with the snow covered Lakeland Fells visible over 30 miles away
Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th March saw the Heritage Tram Tours operating on a blue timetable. The output over the weekend consisted of Balloons 715 and 717 operating the service on both days. The two trams shuttled backwards and forwards between North Pier and the Pleasure Beach for most of the day, with four trips timetabled to run north to the Cabin.

Balloons 715 and 717 passing each other near the St Chads tram stop
Balloon 715 southbound at Wilton Parade, returning from a timetabled run to the Cabin
Balloon 717 near St Chads, heading south towards the Pleasure Beach

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Marton 31 arrives in Blackpool

Marton Box Car 31 turning off Lytham Road after its mid-afternoon arrival in Blackpool
The second half of the tram swap between Beamish and Blackpool was completed when Marton Box 31 was delivered to Blundell Street by Calkeld Heavy Haulage on the afternoon of 2nd March. After Standard 147's complicated and lengthy journey north to Beamish over the previous two days, via 'A' roads and 'B' roads, the delivery of Marton 31 was a relatively straightforward affair, with much of the journey being completed via motorway due to the reduced height of the tram, which had also had its trolley mast removed in order to facilitate the journey. 31 arrived in Blundell Street at 1510, and after a swift unloading the tram was soon shunted into the depot by Unimog 939.

The low loader with 31 onboard making the turn from Rigby Road into Blundell Street
The transporter of Calkeld Heavy Haulage passing the transport offices as it arrives in Blundell Street
The low loader parked up in the unloading position in Blundell Street
Marton 31 on the low loader trailer after the tractor unit had been disconnected
Marton Box 31 being pulled off the low loader trailer by Unimog 939
Marton Box Car 31 touching down on Blackpool rails courtesy of Unimog 939
Unimog 939 towing Marton Box 31 from Blundell Street into Hopton Road
Marton 31 being shunted into Rigby Road tram depot by Unimog 939