Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Harrow Place to Cabin Tram Service

Flexity 013 having crossed over to the northbound track, just north of Starr Gate tram depot
Service on the Blackpool Tramway was suspended from Sunday 14th February until Sunday 21st February due to engineering work. From Monday 22nd February until Saturday 27th February, a partial service between Harrow Place and Cabin will be in operation, due to ongoing engineering work continuing both north and south of this section of the tramway. Northbound trams used the crossover just beyond the Cabin tram stop to reverse, while southbound trams continued empty past Harrow Place to the crossover just north of Starr Gate tram depot to reverse.

Flexity 008 crossing over at Cabin, notice the barriers on the northbound line

Flexity 015 beginning its northbound run at Harrow Place on 22nd February

Flexity 008 arriving at the southern terminus at Harrow Place

The socially distanced seating arrangements in Flexity 013

Flexity 013 using the crossover to the north of Starr Gate tram depot on 22nd February

Southbound Flexity 003 using the crossover near Starr Gate tram depot at 08:15 on 23rd February

Flexity trams 005 and 018 at the Cabin on 23rd February

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Moving the Tamper from track to track

The Plasser tamper being loaded from the southbound line onto its transporter at Cabin

The Plasser tamper currently in use in Blackpool was moved from the southbound to the northbound track today. The tamping machine failed to negotiate the crossover at the Cabin yesterday, due to it's long wheelbase and fixed (non-bogie) wheel arrangement. The only way to effect the transfer was to load the tamper onto its low-loader, move the truck across to the northbound line and unload it again.

The tamper and transporter lining up over the northbound track

The Plasser tamper sat on its jacks after the transporter had been moved out of the way

The tamping machine being lowered down on its hydraulic jacks

The Tamper sat on the northbound line near Cabin, ready to continue work again

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Plasser Tamper on the Tramway

The Plasser 09/16 CAT ZW Tamper in action near Admiral Point
The third day of track maintenance work on the Blackpool tramway saw the arrival of a tamping machine. A Trackwork Plasser 09/16 CAT ZW Tamper was in operation all day on 17th February, tamping the ballast on the southbound track between Little Bispham and Cabin. An attempt was made to switch the tamper to the northbound line at the Cabin, but it got stuck on the crossover.

Blackpool Transport Enviro 445 heading north past the tamping machine

The Plasser tamper working its way south along Queen's Promenade

A close-up of the complicated tamping machinery in operation

The Plasser tamper working slowly southwards from Little Bispham

A broadside view of the Plasser 09/16 CAT ZW Tamper in action

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

New Rail at Little Bispham

New lengths of rail being delivered at Little Bispham
As part of the ongoing track maintenance on the Blackpool tramway this week, new rail was being delivered for laying on the main line, adjacent to the turning circle at Little Bispham. On the morning of 16th February, new lengths of rail were being delivered and craned off the back of an articulated lorry, before being positioned with the aid of winch equipped hand trolleys.

A new length of rail being craned into position

The new piece of rail being positioned with winch equipped hand trolleys

Some of the newly delivered rail waiting to be fitted at Little Bispham

Monday, 15 February 2021

Ballast laying at Rossall

The TD12 Ballast Distributor at work on the tramroad at Rossall
The tram service was suspended in Blackpool, commencing on Sunday 14th February, to enable essential track maintenance to take place. On Monday 15th February ballast laying was taking place at Rossall. A Thwaites TD12 Ballast Distributor, from Shovlin Plant Hire of Manchester, was being used to spread new ballast along the open sleeper track, between the Rossall Beach and Rossall School tram stops.

The Ballast Distributor laying new ballast near Rossall School

The Ballast Distributor heading north with a new load of ballast

The TD12 Ballast Distributor being replenished with a fresh load of ballast

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

New Solo for Coastliner Buses

Coastliner Buses Optare Solo PX54EPF on Cleveleys Promenade on 10th February
A 2004 Optare Solo has been noted in service with Coastliner Buses on the route 24 between Fleetwood and Poulton. PX54EPF was formerly 47146 with Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, another Solo has also been acquired from Stagecoach, this being 47055 (PX04DLV).

Friday, 8 January 2021

Blackpool 'Palace' car

1896 Blackpool 'Palace' car 13, at the Squires Gate terminus of the Lytham Road tram route c1918
A rare good quality photograph of a Blackpool 'Palace' car has recently been discovered, showing the tram at the Squires Gate terminus of the Lytham Road route, taken around 1918. As well as male and female tram crew visible in the photo, there are a number of personal from the Royal Army Medical Corps hospital, that was located at Squires Gate during the First World War. Number 13 was built at Lancaster in 1896, one of four trams constructed for Blackpool Corporation Tramways by the Lancaster Railway Carriage and Wagon Company. The Lancaster cars were the first bogie trams to be used in Blackpool, originally operating on the conduit tramway along the Promenade. The four Lancaster trams (Nos. 11 to 14) were built as open-toppers, but were later fitted with top covers in 1915, reverting to open top condition again in the early 20s, due to stability problems in high winds. The four 'Palace' trams were withdrawn from service at the end of 1925, and replaced by Blackpool Standards.