Friday 30 July 2021

A Colourful Enviro in Blackpool

ADL Enviro 400 demonstrator SN59AWX on Clifton Street
A look back to 2010, when Demonstrator SN59AWX was on trial in Blackpool. SN59AWX was an ADL Enviro 400, built in 2009 as a demonstrator for Alexander Dennis, and is seen here on Clifton Street in Blackpool, operating on Service 14 to Fleetwood Freeport on 4th September 2010.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Heavy Haulage Move in Thornton

Mammoet's Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAW on Stanah Road in Thornton at 10:30 on 25th July
A 178 tonne electricity transformer was moved from Preston Docks to the National Grid substation at Stanah in Thornton on 25th July. The transformer was shipped to Preston Docks by the cargo vessel River Trader on 24th July, and craned out of the ship by Ainscough Crane Hire. The next day Mammoet heavy transport moved the giant transformer from Preston to Stanah on their 16 axle, 240 tonne capacity, AL50 girder frame trailer, pulled and pushed by two massive Trojan 8870 tractor units. The transformer had a scheduled arrival time at Stanah of 13:30, but was already in the centre of Thornton at 10:30. The transformer finally entered the electricity substation site at Stanah at 11:10, after a last minute hiccup necessitated the lifting of a section of fence and gate at the entrance, to allow access for the enormous girder trailer.

The transporter negotiating the roundabout at the junction of Station Road and Stanah Road in Thornton
Mammoet's transporter continuing slowly along Stanah Road
Approaching the mini roundabout at the junction of Stanah Road and Hillylaid Road
Negotiating the roundabout at the junction of Stanah Road and Hillylaid Road
Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAZ at the rear, pushing the girder trailer and transformer
Trojan 8870 tractor unit BX65OAZ coupled to the rear of the AL50 girder frame trailer
The rear steering position on the AL50 girder frame trailer
The transformer load on the 240 tonne capacity AL50 girder frame trailer
A close up of one of the two 64 wheel bogies on the girder frame trailer
The front of the trailer as it is pushed into the site access road by the rear Trojan 8870 tractor unit
The transformer being pushed into the site from Stanah Road by the rear tractor unit
The rear Trojan 8870 pushing the girder frame trailer and transformer into the site
The single Trojan 8870 at the rear, now left pushing the girder frame trailer
The solitary tractor unit pushing the transformer onto the National Grid substation site

Wednesday 21 July 2021

Blackpool's Overall Advert Enviro 400

Heart liveried Enviro 459 on Service 1 at Bispham on 21st July
Blackpool Transport 459 is the newest ADL Enviro 400 City in the fleet, being delivered in March 2020. Towards the end of last year, 459 received an overall vinyl wrap for the Heart North West regional radio station, based in Manchester. As well as 459 being the newest double deck bus in the fleet, it is currently the only one carrying an all-over advert.

Enviro 459 on Rough Lea Road in Cleveleys on 29th March
Enviro 459 on Service 9 at Cleveleys Bus Station

Tuesday 13 July 2021

Concrete laid for North Station tram terminus

The concrete track base at the terminus of the new Talbot Road tramway extension
The concrete track base is now in place for the North Station tramway terminus, adjacent to the new Holiday Inn hotel on Talbot Road in Blackpool. There is only a short section of concrete track base remaining to be laid now, between the terminus and the curve to the east of the crossover.

The steel framework for the new Holiday Inn hotel, with the concrete track base visible at the right

Sunday 11 July 2021

A Lucky Line Up

Flexity 011 heading off north to Fleetwood, past 001 & 012 which were parked up at North Pier
Blackpool Flexities 012, 001 & 011 line abreast at North Pier on 8th May 2015, during a split tram service due to filming work taking place on the Promenade in front of Blackpool Tower.

Friday 9 July 2021

Open Topper on the Coastliner 21

Dennis Trident V145MEV at Talbot Square on the Coastliner 21 service to St. Annes
Former Golden Tours and Stagecoach London (17145) V145MEV, an Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident, now with Coastliner Buses. The open topper is seen at Talbot Square in Blackpool on the Coastliner 21 service to St. Annes on 8th July.

Thursday 8 July 2021

North Station Terminus Track

The new North Station tramway terminus (with Dickson Road visible at the left)
Some more photos of the new track being laid for the North Station tramway extension terminus, from a slightly elevated viewpoint this time (the top deck of an ADL Enviro 400). The track layout includes a scissors crossover, laid on the site of the now demolished Wilko store, with the line curving round to the right after the crossover before the stub terminus for North Station

The newly laid scissors crossover with the line curving to the right beyond it
The twin stub terminus track curving to the right beyond the crossover
A close-up view of the scissors crossover

Sunday 4 July 2021

100 Years of Blackpool Buses

PD3 529 and Atlantean 334 meet at Stanley Park on Zoo service 21 on Sunday 4th July
Blackpool Transport held a three day event from 2nd to 4th July to celebrate 100 years since Blackpool Corporation first began operating motorbuses. The first route began operation in 1921, using two small Tilling-Stevens single deck buses between Cleveleys and Thornton Station. The event kicked off on the Friday (the actual centenary day), with three afternoon tours operating from Blundell Street, before travelling to Cleveleys to run over the original 1921 bus route to Thornton. Saturday was the main day of celebrations, with a cavalcade of 17 buses (in four groups) running from Starr Gate to North Pier at 10:00.

Buses taking part in the Centenary Parade were:-

Group 1: Leyland PD3s 501 & 516 and AEC Swifts 554 & 570

Group 2: Atlanteans 334, 362 & 364 (now 864), Olympian 857 and Routemaster 521 (RM1583)

Group 3: Optare City Pacer 575, Optare Delta 133, Optare Metrorider 589 and Optare Excel 225

Group 4: Optare Solos 288 & 292, Mercedes Citaro 554 and ADL Enviro400 City 458

On the Saturday and Sunday a free vintage bus service was in operation every 15 minutes between the Pleasure Beach and Gynn Square.

On Saturday ten buses were lined up for display on the Tower Headland (near the Comedy Carpet) between 12:00 and 16:00. The buses on display were 501, 512, 516, 362, 589, 225, 857, 458 and Swift 554 & Citaro 554.

Saturday evening saw a Beer & Buses service operated by the Fylde Transport Trust between North Pier and Poulton.

On Sunday the Fylde Transport Trust operated a free vintage bus service between the Tower, Stanley Park and Blackpool Zoo, running every 20 minutes.

In addition to the buses that were in the Cavalcade on Saturday, Leyland PD3s 512 & 529 took part in events over the weekend, and the fictitious Blackpool liveried Dennis Mini Pointer Dart of Andy Mitchell saw use on the free Promenade bus service, making a total of 20 different buses to be seen over the three day event (although the Dart was never a Blackpool bus).

A photo of each bus that took part during the weekend's Centenary events is included.

Leyland Titan PD3s 512, 516 & 501 lined up on the Tower Headland on 3rd July
Preserved Optare Solo 288, fresh from the paint shop in Metro Coastlines Line 16 livery on 3rd July
Former City Sightseeing Leyland Olympian 857 at the Pleasure Beach on the free bus service
Leyland Atlantean 362 on the Golden Mile on Sunday 4th July
Atlantean 364 (now 864) on an excursion to Cleveleys and Thornton on Friday 2nd July
The Blackpool liveried Dennis Dart of Andy Mitchell on the free bus service, seen from open-topper 857 on 4th July
Optare Delta 133 passing New Bonny Street on the free bus service on 3rd July
AEC Swift 554 leaving Rigby Road on the 3rd July before the cavalcade
Leyland Atlantean 334 at the Tower on the free service 21 to Blackpool Zoo on 4th July
Leyland Titan PD3 512 leaving the depot for the Tower Headland display on 3rd July
Optare City Pacer 575 at New Bonny Street on Zoo service 21 on Sunday 4th July
AEC Swift 570 leaving Rigby Road to join the cavalcade on 3rd July
Optare Excel 225 at Manchester Square during the parade on Saturday 3rd July
Mercedes Citaro 554 leaving the depot to take part in the cavalcade on 3rd July
Optare Solo Driver Trainer 292 on the free bus service on Saturday 3rd July
Leyland Titan PD3 516 leaving Rigby Road for the Tower Headland on 3rd July
Optare Metrorider 589 and Mercedes Citaro 554 at the Tower Headland on 3rd July
ADL Enviro400 City 458 leaving the depot for the Tower Headland display on 3rd July
Former Blackpool Transport Routemaster 521 (now RM1583) in the parade on Saturday 3rd July

North Station Trackwork Progress

The new trackwork on the old Wilko site, connected to the existing track in the foreground
Subsequent to the demolition of the Wilko store on Talbot Road in Blackpool, new track is being laid to complete the North Station tramway extension. The incomplete line previously finished at the junction of Talbot Road and Dickson Road, near to the entrance to Wilko. The trackwork currently being laid includes a crossover where the now demolished Wilko used to be, before the line curves around to the location of the new terminus, to the west of North Station.

A view of the new track and crossover looking north (with Dickson Road to the left)

A closer view showing the crossover and the line of the terminal stub curving to the right

Another view of the new crossover