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