Monday 30 May 2016

Trams and Trees

Boat 230 at Fisherman's Walk returning from the last Heritage Tour of the day to Fleetwood
The Spring Bank Holiday Monday Heritage Tram output consisted of duty A: Boat 227, duty B: Railcoach 680, duty C: Twin Set 675/685, duty D: Marton Box 31, duty E: Boat 230 and duty F: Balloon 723. The day was warm and bright again, rounding off a very pleasant three days of enhanced timetable heritage service that saw open-top trams in regular use. The theme for today is "Trams and Trees", and while the concrete jungle that is Blackpool is rather short on greenery along the coast, a short distance to the north in neighbouring Wyre the lineside scenery is a lot more verdant.

Marton Box 31 heading south along Copse Road in Fleetwood
Boat 227 passing St Peter's Church on Lord Street, on the first Heritage Tour of the day to Fleetwood
Twin Set 675/685 at Fisherman's Walk in Fleetwood

Balloon 723 at the Heathfield Road stop in Fleetwood

Railcoach 680 at Rossall Square heading for Fleetwood

Sunday 29 May 2016

RVPT Morecambe Running Day

1950 Morecambe AEC Regent III 69, back on its old stamping ground on a service to Heysham Village
The Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust held their sixth 'Vintage Bus Running Day' at Morecambe on Sunday 29th May. The event comprised of static vehicle exhibits, sales stalls and the opportunity to ride on a wide variety of preserved buses from a number of local operators, including Ribble Motor Services. Free bus services were operated between Morecambe, Heysham and Carnforth, plus a frequent Bare Circular service and a mystery coach tour in the afternoon. The day was blessed throughout with glorious sunshine, which was the icing on the cake for what is now a popular annual event.

1931 Ribble Leyland Lion 1161, currently the oldest restored bus in the RVPT's collection
Ribble 1775, a 1962 Leyland PD3/5 with Metro-Cammell bodywork, passing Ribble Bristol RE 338
Ribble 338, a 1971 Bristol RE with ECW bodywork, passing the Midland Hotel
Ribble 1481, a 1980 ECW bodied Leyland Atlantean, passing the Midland Hotel on the way to Heysham

Ribble 1397, a Park Royal bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68 heading into Morecambe
Former Preston Corporation Leyland Panther 204
West Riding 724, a Leyland Tiger PS2 with Roe coach bodywork
Eastern Counties OT5, a 1972 Bristol VR with ECW open-top bodywork, new to Ribble as fleet number 1995
Fishwick 5, a 1958 Leyland Titan PD2 with lowbridge Weymann bodywork, on Morecambe Promenade
Blackpool 512, a 1967 Leyland Titan PD3, leaving Morecambe Winter Gardens on a run to Heysham
1939 Ribble Leyland TD5 2057 and 1950 Morecambe AEC Regent III 69 at the Happy Mount Park bus stop
Ribble 1036, a 1961 Leyland Leopard with a Cavalier coach body, with some other ex Ribble vehicles
1934 Lytham 24, a Leyland Lion LT5A, this bus was recovered from Canada in a totally derelict condition
Eastern Scottish XS750A, an Alexander bodied intercity coach on a Seddon Pennine chassis

Saturday 28 May 2016

Trams and Towers

Marton Box 31 turning from Pharos St into North Albert St, on the last Heritage Tour of the day to Fleetwood
The Spring Bank Holiday Heritage Tram Tour output on Saturday 28th May was duty A: Boat 230, duty B: Centenary 648, duty C: Twin Set 272/T2, duty D: Boat 600, duty E: Marton Box 31 and duty F: Balloon 715. The day was mostly bright and sunny, although it clouded over for a while around lunchtime. As the scaffolding that has hidden parts of Blackpool Tower for several years was finally removed at the end of March, the opportunity was taken to shoot a selection of Heritage Tram photos with the new clean look Tower as a backdrop.

Boat 230 heading south at Central Pier, with the now scaffolding free Tower in the background
Boat 600 southbound at Central Pier
Balloon 715 at Central Pier on a Heritage Tour running through to Fleetwood
Centenary 648 at Central Pier heading north to the Cabin
Twin Set 272/T2 passing the Carousel Amusements arcade near Central Pier
Marton Box 31 passing the Sealife Centre on its way to the Pleasure Beach

Tuesday 24 May 2016

40106 Atlantic Conveyor debuts on the ELR

40106 powering away on its first passenger journey on the ELR, with the 0930 from Bury to Heywood
English Electric Class 40 D306 (40106) 'Atlantic Conveyor' made its inaugural passenger outing on the East Lancashire Railway at Bury on Sunday 22nd May. 40106 was purchased last November by The Class 40 Preservation Society from the late Gerald Boden, but the loco was only moved to the ELR from its former home at the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway in Scotland last week. The CFPS now have three Class 40s at Bury representing the different styles of front end, D306 (40106) fitted with headcode discs, D335 (40135) with split headcode boxes and D345 (40145) with a centre headcode panel. 40106 operated the diesel diagram on the ELR on 22nd May, with its first run of the day being the 0930 departure from Bolton Street Station at Bury to Heywood.

40106 at Bolton Street Station in Bury, preparing for the inaugural 0930 departure to Heywood
40106 at the end of its first full run of the day, with the 1050 arrival at Rawtenstall from Heywood
40106 at Ramsbottom with Standard Class 4 tank 80080 arriving with the 1303 train to Heywood
40106 leaving Rawtenstall Station with the 1340 departure for Heywood

Monday 23 May 2016

Two Demonstrators in Blackpool

Mercedes Citaro demonstrator BP14 FJZ turning into Market Street on the service 5 to Halfway House
There were an interesting variety of vehicles in use on service 5 in Blackpool today, with two demonstrators being operated alongside the regular Palladium branded Mercedes Citaros. The Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 demonstrator (YX65 RKK) that was in evidence last week was still in use again, in addition to this bus there was a dark grey Mercedes Citaro demonstrator (BP14 FJZ) also operating on the route.

(The photos accompanying this report were all taken on Monday 23rd May)

Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 demonstrator YX65 RKK on service 5 in New Bonny Street
Mercedes Citaro 555 on Central Drive, with the now scaffolding free Blackpool Tower in the background

Thursday 19 May 2016

Third Plaxton Centro painted Grey

Volvo Centro 531 turning into Clifton Street on the service 5 to Blackpool Victoria Hospital
A third Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLE has been repainted into the Palladium grey and yellow livery. Centro 531 has been seen in use on service 5 this week, and follows on from Volvos 527 and 529 which have already received the Palladium branding.

Newly repainted Volvo Centro 531 on Talbot Road on service 5 to Halfway House

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Second Enviro 200 Demonstrator on loan

Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 demonstrator YX65 RKK turning from Talbot Road into Clifton Street
Blackpool Transport are evaluating their second Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 single deck demonstrator of the year. YX65 RKK is currently being used on the service 5, between Halfway House and Victoria Hospital. Another ADL Enviro 200 demonstrator (YX65 RLO) was in use with BTS earlier on in the year, in February.

ADL Enviro 200 demonstrator YX65 RKK on Talbot Road on the service 5 to Halfway House
ADL Enviro 200 demonstrator YX65 RKK heading up Talbot Road towards Victoria Hospital

Monday 16 May 2016

Cleveleys Connect 23

Newly repainted Dennis Dart V657 HEC on Pheasant Wood Drive in Thornton on the new service 23
Catch22Bus Ltd began operating their new Cleveleys Connect 23 local bus service on Monday 16th May, between Cleveleys Bus Station and the Pheasant Wood Estate in Thornton. Former Diamond Bus Company Dennis Dart V657 HEC has been repainted into an overall turquoise livery for use on the new route, and is planned to be dedicated for service on the 23.

Dennis Dart V657 HEC on Mayfield Avenue in Thornton, outbound towards Pheasants Wood
Dennis Dart V657 HEC on Pheasant Wood Drive on the new Cleveleys Connect service 23
Dart V657 HEC turning from Mayfield Ave onto Bourne Way, with the Pheasant Wood estate behind

Sunday 15 May 2016

723 Pictorial

Balloon 723 at Cleveleys, about to depart on its last Heritage Tour of the day terminating at the Tower
Here are a selection of views of Balloon 723, which was recently repainted into the 1980s style Blackpool fleet livery for use in the Heritage Tour fleet. All the photos were taken during the debut of the newly repainted tram over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

723 parked short of the heritage stop in Pharos Street, enabling a clear side view of the tram to be taken
Balloon 723 heading south on North Albert Street in Fleetwood towards the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 723 on the Pleasure Beach loop, loading up for a trip north to Fleetwood
Balloon 723 at Fleetwood Ferry on a Heritage Tour to the northern terminus of the tramway
A rare gathering of three green and cream Balloons, with 717, 715 and 723 parked at the Pleasure Beach
Balloon 723 passing the Imperial Hotel on its way north to Thornton Gate