Wednesday 25 December 2019

First BTS Enviro 400 buses withdrawn

Enviro 401 wearing its Remembrance Day poppy in November 2016

In a surprise move, Blackpool Transport Services have withdrawn two of their first batch of  Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 City buses from passenger service for disposal. Enviros 401 and 402 were delivered new in 2016, and entered service in July of the same year, they were last used earlier in December. See for further information.

401 prior to entering service, during the Bus Driver of the Year in July 2016

401 in Cleveleys in August 2016, shortly after entering passenger serice

Monday 16 December 2019

Blackpool's Christmas Bus

Enviro 564 in Talbot Square on service 7 to Clifton Hospital

Blackpool Transport have applied a Christmas vinyl wrap to one of their 11.8m ADL Enviro 200 single deck buses. The Christmas wrap covers most of the sides and rear of Enviro 564.

An offside view of 564 at the service 7 stop in Market Street

A rear view of 564 in Market Street

Saturday 14 December 2019

Northern Class 142 Pacer

142031 at Layton on a service to Manchester Oxford Road in July 2018

With the imminent demise of the Class 142 Pacers in service with Northern, here are a selection of photos taken around the Fylde in 2018.

142004 on the approach to Blackpool North in July 2018

142067 leaving Poulton-le-Fylde on a train to Manchester Oxford Road in June 2018

Saturday 7 December 2019

The Last Day of Virgin Trains

Pendolino 390013 "Blackpool Belle" passing through Layton Station, Blackpool in July 2018

Virgin Trains last day of operation on the West Coast Main Line was on Saturday 7th December, as of Sunday 8th December the service will be rebranded Avanti West Coast operated by First Trenitalia. The last few weeks of Virgin Pendolino operation saw the trains running in an unbranded grey livery in preparation for the franchise change. Virgin Voyagers could still be seen operating in the Virgin colour scheme, although mostly without the Virgin name on the side. Note, all photos were taken on the last day of operation of Virgin Trains apart from the view at Layton Station, which was taken in 2018.

Pendolino 390134 at Preston on a Euston Train with its rear coupling door open
Pendolino 390136 at Preston on a Glasgow Train

Pendolino 390047 on a London Euston train at Preston

Super Voyager 221106 on a southbound train at Preston

Pendolino 390008 departing Preston for Glasgow Central

Pendolino 390008 on a Glasgow bound train at Preston

Pendolino 390002 at Preston leaving for Glasgow

Friday 8 November 2019

The Poppy Bus

Enviro 218 on service 4 at Mereside bound for Cleveleys

Blackpool Transport have decorated ADL Enviro 218 with vinyls to represent a cascade of poppies flowing along the sides and rear of the bus in order to commemorate Remembrance Day on 11th November.

Enviro 218 in Cleveleys on service 4 to Mereside

Enviro 218 turning into Langdale Road at Mereside

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Trackwork completed on new Trafford Park Metrolink line

The new line crossing over Barton Dock Road to the Trafford Centre (left)

The final concrete pour took place today on the track for the new Metrolink extension to the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Low speed testing can now begin on the new line before driver training is due to commence in the New Year. The Trafford Park line is scheduled to open to the public in the first half of 2020.

The Trafford Centre tram stop (and terminus) of the new line

The Event City tram stop on the new Trafford Park line

An aerial view of the new line crossing over Barton Dock Road to the terminus

Sunday 3 November 2019

North Fylde Running Day

Ribble 1805, 1997 & 366 at Cleveleys bus station

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ribble Motors, the Fylde Transport Trust decided to recreate some local bus routes from the 1970s based around the Cleveleys area on 3rd November. The North Fylde Running Day saw the following routes being operated out of Cleveleys bus station, 91 Cleveleys to Stanah, 92 Cleveleys to Poulton and 186 Cleveleys to Fleetwood Ferry. In addition to the former Ribble routes, Blackpool PD3 number 529 ran from Cleveleys to Bispham on route 22, returning as route 9 back to Cleveleys. The former Ribble vehicles in use were lowbridge Atlantean 1805, Bristol VR 1997 and newly repainted Bristol RE 366.

Ribble 1997 and 366 at Cleveleys bus station

Blackpool 529 in Cleveleys on route 22 to Bispham

Saturday 2 November 2019

Tornado railtour to Blackpool North

The Illuminati railtour ready to leave Blackpool North behind Tornado

West Coast Railways in conjunction with the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust operated a railtour from Birmingham to Blackpool Illuminations on 2nd November called 'The Illuminati". The train was hauled from Birmingham to Preston by Peppercorn A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado, with a diesel locomotive taking over at Preston so that Tornado could be turned around ready for the return trip. Shortly after 7pm Tornado departed from Blackpool North with the railtour for the return journey to Birmingham New Street.

A1 Pacific 60163 Tornado waiting for the off at Blackpool North

Tornado letting off steam at Blackpool North station

Tuesday 8 October 2019

A Glimpse of Croatian Railways

Croatian Railways (HZ) class 1141 electric loco 301 at Rijeka on the 13:58 to Zagreb

A visit to Rijeka in Croatia on 8th October provided the opportunity for a brief look at Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Åželjeznice). Although Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia, spending some time at the main railway station would lead you to believe otherwise. Apart from the occasional container train passing through on their way to or from the docks, there was very little in the way of passenger train activity. The class 1141 25kV electric locos still in use by Croatian Railways are based on a 1960s design by Swedish company ASEA, they were originally built for Yugoslav Railways prior to the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992.

Two HZ Cargo class 1141 electric locos on a container train at Rijeka, with 221 leading

Graffiti covered class 6111 EMU 005 at Rijeka station

Croatian Railways class 1141 electric loco 310 at Rijeka station

Class 2132 shunter 310 on an empty container train passing through the city

PPD Transport class 2044 diesel loco 005 outside Rijeka station

Former Yugoslav Railways 2-6-2T steam loco 51-032 on display at the station

Saturday 5 October 2019

Ancona Trolleybuses

Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 012 in Piazza Camillo Benso di Cavour

Ancona is a seaport on the Adriatic coast of Italy and its trolleybus system is comprised of a single route. Route 1/4 runs from Piazza IV Novembre to Tavernelle and is operated by a small fleet of 9 trolleybuses. Three Solaris Trollino 18 articulated trolleybuses were purchased in 2013 and numbered 010 to 012, the following year six AnsaldoBreda F22s entered service. The AnsaldoBreda F22 trolleybuses had originally been built for the city of Nancy in France in 2002, but due to technical difficulties they never entered service there and were returned to the manufacturer in 2011. After a lengthy modification and re-certification process the F22s entered service in Ancona in 2014 with the fleet numbers 013 to 018. Service 1/4 is rather unusual for a trolleybus route in that the majority of the vehicles operating the route are actually motorbuses, with a small number of trolleybuses making up the balance of buses in service.

Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 012 on Corso Stamira

Solaris Trollino 18 trolleybus 011 on Via XXIX Settembre

A rear view of Solaris trolleybus 012 on Via XXIX Settembre

AnsaldoBreda F22 trolleybus 013 on Via XXIX Settembre

A rear view of AnsalsoBreda F22 trolleybus 013

Iveco CityClass 287 is an example of one of the motorbuses in use on route 1/4

Saturday 28 September 2019

Standard 143 on display

Standard 143, on display at North Pier in all its glory

This weekend saw the now annual September Spectacular weekend put on by Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours. Standard 143 put in its second showing of the week on the Promenade, unfortunately this time as a static exhibit at North Pier, due to the motor problems that had become apparent after its launch on Monday. The early morning weather on Saturday was atrocious, with leaden skies and heavy rain, luckily shortly after 10:00 this had blown over to be replaced by wall to wall sunshine for several hours. The clear weather meant that Standard 143 could be viewed in all its gleaming glory for most of the day, and what a pleasant sight it was.

Standard 143, unfortunately left rather too close to 718 for photography

A broadside view of Standard 143

Railcoach 680 passing Standard 143 at North Pier

Standard 143 and 718 which was in use as the Heritage Tram Tours shop

Friday 27 September 2019

FTS Illuminations Tour

Bolton 66 at Fleetwood with Balloon 717 on the Fish & Chips special behind

The Fylde Tramway Society had planned a tour of Blackpool Illuminations, including two trips to Fleetwood, on newly restored Standard 143 on the evening of Friday 27th September. Unfortunately things didn't exactly go according to plan right from the off, it transpired that the problems 143 had been experiencing during its launch event on the previous Monday were caused by a defective motor. With 143 sadly out of commission it was left to Bolton 66 to take up the reins. The tour arrived at Fleetwood Ferry somewhat later than planned, but unfortunately Bolton 66 could not continue due to suffering from a hot axle box. The group decamped from Bolton 66 and returned to Manchester Square on service Flexity 014. The tour was finally completed using the third tram of the evening, as Centenary 648 was brought out of the depot to collect the awaiting passengers at Manchester Square.

Bolton 66 at Fleetwood at dusk before the tram was abandoned here