Friday 15 December 2017

Flexity 018 in Cleveleys

Flexity 018 in Cleveleys passing BTS Enviro 409 on the service 9 to Blackpool
The last of Blackpool Transport's two new Flexity trams completed its delivery journey from the Bombardier factory in Germany on Friday 15th December. The normal route to Starr Gate depot was unavailable to the hauliers because of Squires Gate Lane railway bridge being closed due to repair work. The route selected took the convoy and police escorts all the way north via trunk roads to Thornton-Cleveleys, then back south along the Promenade through Blackpool. In the centre of Cleveleys the low loader had to make a tricky manoeuvre at the junction of Victoria Road West and The Crescent. The transporter had to travel along the wrong side of the road through the traffic lights at Victoria Square, nosing into the tram tracks south of the junction, a reversing manoeuvre was then made across the square into Brighton Avenue, before heading south along The Crescent and on to Blackpool.

Flexity 018 passing through the traffic lights at Victoria Rd West on the wrong side of the road
Flexity 018 and transporter crossing over Victoria Square in Cleveleys
The low loader manoeuvring nose first into the tram tracks at Victoria Square, Cleveleys
The low loader straddled across the tram tracks in the centre of Cleveleys
The low loader reversing across Victoria Square in Cleveleys

Flexity 018 en route to Blackpool

Flexity 018 during a break at Rivington Services on the M61
Flexity 018 was spotted at Rivington Services on the M61 on the afternoon of Friday 15th December, the transporter was awaiting a police escort before continuing on the final leg of its journey. The last of the two new Flexity trams for Blackpool had departed from Hull at ten o'clock in the morning, after arriving from the continent on a North Sea ferry.

Flexity 018 on the back of the transporter at Rivington Services on the M61
A closer view of Flexity 018 on the back of the transporter

Friday 1 December 2017

Flexity 017 arrives in Blackpool

Universal Transport with Flexity 017 onboard heading south along the Golden Mile at 2050
One of the two additional trams that are being purchased for the North Station tramway extension arrived in Blackpool on the evening of Friday 1st December. Flexity 017 travelled via North Sea ferry to Hull, then followed the motorway network to the M55, leaving at junction 3 at Kirkham before continuing along the A585 towards Cleveleys, the transporter then headed south along the Promenade. Due to the ongoing roadworks at Talbot Square, the escorted convoy ran along the tram tracks from just north of the Metropole Hotel and then rejoined the Promenade south of the closed junction, arriving at Starr Gate shortly after 9pm. A rather long winded unloading process then took place, with the tram finally being driven into the depot confines under its own power just before 11pm. Between 2100 and 2300 some service trams were being turned back short at the Pleasure Beach loop, although at least 014 and 016 did make it through to Starr Gate, returning north on the southbound line past Flexity 017 which was being unloaded.

Universal Transport and convoy arriving at Starr Gate at 2105
Flexity 017 on the transporter shortly after arriving at Starr Gate
Flexity 001 departing Starr Gate for Fleetwood Ferry with 017 still waiting in the road
Flexity 017 sat in the middle of the road at Starr Gate
Universal Transport's transporter manoeuvring from the Promenade onto the tram tracks
Flexity 014 arriving at Starr Gate on a service from Fleetwood
Flexity 017 being winched off Universal Transport's low-loader trailer
Flexity 017 nearly completely unloaded from the trailer
Northbound service tram 016 running wrong line past unloaded Flexity 017
Flexity 017 parked in front of the engineering side of Starr Gate depot

Sunday 26 November 2017

Final Brush Car 80th Anniversary Day

 Brush Cars 621, 623, 630 & 631 lined up alongside the Lifeboat Station
The final day of the 80th Anniversary of the Brush Car celebrations took place on Sunday 26th November. The main event of the day was a line-up of four Brush Cars plus the Trawler on the Central Promenade in the morning. Brush 621, 623, 630, 631 & 737 parked line astern alongside the Lifeboat Station for a photo call, before each tram continued on its individual duties in Heritage Tram Tour service.

Brush Cars 621, 623, 630, 631 & 737 lined up on Central Promenade
Brush Cars 623, 630, 631 and Trawler 737 heading North
Brush Cars 630, 631 and Trawler 737 on the Golden Mile
 Brush 631 and Trawler 737 bring up the rear of the cavalcade

Sunday 12 November 2017

Latest Enviro 400 City buses on Rail Replacement

Enviro 452 approaching Blackpool North via a new access road behind Sainbury's filling station
Blackpool Transport's latest batch of 20 ADL Enviro 400 City buses entered service this weekend. Enviros 436 to 455 are being used on Blackpool to Preston rail replacement work until March 2018, after which time they will enter normal passenger service in Blackpool.

Enviro 453 heading for Preston on the A585 at Skippool near Poulton

Enviro 445 turning onto Talbot Road in Blackpool, bound for Preston
Enviro 442 departing from Blackpool North railway station

Enviro 452 on Garstang Road in Poulton heading towards Preston

Sunday 24 September 2017

Brush 621 Pictorial

Brush Car 621 with its fresh paintwork gleaming in the sunshine at the Pleasure Beach
Recently refurbished and repainted Brush Car 621 made its public debut this weekend, as part of the 80th Anniversary of the Blackpool Brush Car celebrations. There was very little sunshine in evidence throughout the three day event, especially during "Brush Car Friday" and on the Saturday. Sunday 24th forecast more of the same, but fortunately their were a few lighter patches of cloud which let the sun filter through on the odd occasion during the day. The following shots of 621 were taken at the Pleasure Beach, when the sun made a very brief appearance around 9.30 am on the Sunday morning.
Brush Car 621 leading the line-up at the Pleasure Beach on Sunday morning

Brush Cars 621, 623, 630 & 631 lined up in numerical order at the Pleasure Beach
A broadside view of 621 in hazy sunshine on Sunday morning

Friday 22 September 2017

Brush Car 621 Launch Day

Brush Car 621 being shunted around the depot prior to making its public debut
Brush Car 621 made its post restoration debut as part of the 80th Anniversary of the Blackpool Brush Car weekend, on Friday 22nd September. 621's entry into Heritage Tour use was as part of the Brush Car Friday specially timetable service, which saw four Brush cars operating on "Cleveleys Flyers" between the Pleasure Beach and Cleveleys. The trams used for this Brush Car only event were 621, 623, 630 and 631.

Brush Car 621 parked on Hopton Road
A line-up of Brush cars 621, 623, 630 and 631 on Hopton Road
A line-up of Brush cars 631, 630, 623 and 621 on Hopton Road
Brush Car 621 at Cleveleys on the first "Cleveleys Flyer" of the day

Monday 18 September 2017

Brush 630 arrives for 80th Anniversary Event

The low loader of Scotts Heavy Haulage reversing from Lytham Road into Hopton Road
Brush Car 630 arrived in Blackpool during the early evening of 18th September, after making the journey from the National Tramway Museum at Crich on the low loader of Scotts Heavy Haulage. Brush 630 is on loan from the Tramway Museum Society in order that it can take part in the 80th Anniversary of the Blackpool Brush Car event that is taking place this coming weekend. 630 was unloaded during the hours of darkness and in rather wet weather.
Scotts low loader reversing into Blundell Street past Balloon 715 waiting to leave on a private hire

Scotts low loader reversing from Hopton Road into Blundell Street
Scotts low loader reversing along Blundell Street
Brush Car 630 being pulled off the low loader trailer by Unimog 939

Monday 28 August 2017

Ribble Running Day at Lytham

1939 Ribble Leyland 2057 contrasts with a 2017 Blackpool ADL Enviro 400 in Lytham town centre
The fourth Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust annual running day and display at Lytham Hall was held on Monday 28th August. The event enables enthusiasts to photograph and ride a selection of preserved buses from various local operators, and a regular free bus service was operated from Lytham Hall around Lytham St Annes. In addition to buses from the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust's own collection, there were preserved vehicles from other local operators such as Lytham St Annes Corporation, Blackpool Corporation, Liverpool Corporation and Fishwick's of Leyland amongst others. Many of the buses on display around the hall were used during the running day, providing a colourful sight for the locals enjoying a quiet sunny afternoon in Lytham town centre.

1934 Lytham Leyland Lion LT5A No 24 on Clifton Street in the centre of Lytham
1962 Ribble Leyland PD3 1775 on Park Street in Lytham town centre
1976 Park Royal bodied Ribble Atlantean 1397 on Park Street in Lytham
1972 Ribble Bristol VR 1995 at the main entrance of Lytham Hall
1957 Liverpool Corporation AEC Regent A267 on Clifton Street in Lytham
Stagecoach Ribble Volvo Olympian 2234 negotiating the narrow entrance arch of Lytham Hall
Stagecoach Dennis Trident 17012 in its new White Lady livery arriving at the entrance to Lytham Hall