Friday 23 April 2021

Isle of Man Catamaran Manannan on Heysham Service

HSC Manannan on the 1415 departure from Heysham to Douglas on 23rd April
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company high-speed catamaran Manannan has been running on the daily Douglas to Heysham ferry service this week, replacing the usual conventional ship on the route. The regular ferry that operates out of Heysham, the Ben-my-Chree, has been dry-docked at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead since Monday 19th April for her annual regulatory overhaul.

HSC Manannan was built by Incat of Tasmania in Australia in 1998, and from 2001 until 2008 the high-speed vessel operated as a military transport with the United States Navy under the name 'Joint Venture', she was painted overall grey and fitted with a helideck at the aft end. In 2008 the catamaran was purchased by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, and after a 3 million pound refit she entered passenger service from Douglas in May 2009. The Manannan normally operates a seasonal service between Douglas and Liverpool, and in winter is kept as a reserve ferry.

Manannan approaching Heysham after crossing the Irish Sea from Douglas

Manannan about to pass the lighthouse at the entrance to Heysham Harbour

Manannan passing between the stone roundheads at the entrance to Heysham Harbour

HSC Manannan berthed at the linkspan in Heysham Port

Manannan leaving Heysham with its linkspan berth visible to the right

Manannan about to leave Heysham Harbour on the 1415 service to Douglas

Manannan passing the lighthouse on the South Roundhead at Heysham Harbour

Manannan leaving Heysham on its way to the Isle of Man

The catamaran while in United States Navy service in August 2002 (photo USN)

Sunday 18 April 2021

Trailer Towing Car 671 leaves Blackpool

671 heading along Rigby Road, passing under the Seasiders Way overbridge near the Odeon cinema
As part of the clear out of privately owned heritage trams announced by Blackpool Transport in December last year, trailer towing car 671 left Rigby Road tram depot on Sunday 18th April. Reid Freight Services arrived on the Sunday morning with a Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit and low loader trailer to collect the tram. After a trouble free loading process 671 left Blundell Street just after midday, destined for a new home at the North West Museum of Road Transport in St. Helens, where it due to be repainted into the 1960s all-over cream livery.

671 inching up the rail ramp onto the low loader trailer

671 being winched onboard the low loader

Trailer towing car 671 in position on the low loader

671 all chained down on Reid's low loader and ready to depart

671 on Rigby Road, passing the new housing opposite the bus depot

Thursday 8 April 2021

Hybrid Electric Streetdeck in Preston

Wright Streetdeck Hybrid on Church Street in Preston on 6th April
Wright Streetdeck Hybrid Electric 40715 (SK18 TKX) is currently operating with Preston Bus. SK18 TKX was constructed as a demonstrator in May 2018, being acquired by Rotala in November 2019. Rotala initially allocated the former demonstrator to their Diamond Bus North West operation in Bolton, the Streetdeck moved on to Rotala owned Preston Bus in December 2020.