Sunday 27 March 2022

Spring at Anchorsholme Park

Flexity 005 passing the daffodils in Anchorsholme Park on Friday 25th March
This weekend saw the annual display of daffodils alongside the tramway at Anchorsholme Park in full bloom. Here is a small selection of tram and daffodil photos taken over the weekend.

Balloon 715 returning from a Coastal Tour to Fleetwood on 27th March

Flexity 006 descending the hill from Little Bispham turning circle
Balloon 717 climbing the hill at Anchorsholme on Saturday 26th March
Flexity 002 passing a bank of white daffodils near Anchorsholme Crossing
A head on view of Flexity 017 ascending the hill next to Anchorsholme Park

Thursday 17 March 2022

Railcoach 279 returns to Rigby Road

Railcoach 279 approaching Blundell Street on the back of Reid Freight's low loader
Railcoach 279 was moved from the Fylde Transport Trust's depot at Brinwell Road in Marton to Rigby Road tram depot on Thursday 17th March. The recreation of English Electric Railcoach 279 from former trailer towing car 679 had progressed as far as it could at the FTT's premises, so on Thursday morning Reid Freight Services arrived with a low loader to transport 279 the short distance to the centre of Blackpool. After a tricky extraction from the Fylde Transport Trust's depot into the narrow confines of Brinwell Road, 279 was transported to Blundell Street, where the Railcoach was quickly unloaded and then moved into the tram depot by Engineering Car 754.

Railcoach 279 being winched onto Reid's low loader in the FTT depot at Brinwell Road
279 is nearly in position on Reid Freight Services low loader

279 securely chained down on the back of Reid Freight's low loader
The low loader carefully reversing out of the FTT depot into Brinwell Road
The low loader struggling to manoeuvre its way out of the FTT depot due to the restricted access
Railcoach 279 sat in the sunshine for the first time in several years
Railcoach 279 sitting in Brinwell Road ready to make the journey home to Rigby Road tram depot
Reid's low loader reversing out of Brinwell Road onto Clifton Road in Marton
Railcoach 279 on Lytham Road as it approaches the tram depot
Reid's low loader overshooting the correct left turn into Blundell Street
BTS Enviro 222 on staff bus duty passing 279 in Blundell Street
279 being winched down the low loader rail ramp onto Blundell Street
Engineering Car 754 towing Railcoach 279 along Blundell Street
Engineering Car 754 propelling 279 along Hopton Road into the tram depot
279 departing Rigby Road depot for further restoration with the FTT in August 2018
Railcoach 279 in September 2015, while being stored in the fitting shop at Rigby Road
279 leaving the old Lancastrian Transport Trust premises in Brinwell Road in October 2013
Trailer Towing Car 679 (279) in 1980s style green and cream livery at the Tower in March 2004

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Trams to North Station

Flexity 017 crossing over Dickson Road into the North Station tram terminus
The last time that regular service trams operated along Talbot Road was in 1936, when the Layton tram route closed, although the track was used for the occasional tram movement up until the early 1950s, when the line was eventually tarmaced over. Route testing of the new North Station tramway extension along Talbot Road commenced on the evening of Wednesday 16th March. Two trams were used for the late night testing, Flexity 012, which was pre-positioned on the loop at North Pier, and Flexity 017, which had been waiting on the centre track at Bispham. Shortly after 2200, Flexity 012 left the North Pier siding and turning right crossed over into Talbot Square, before pulling up at the eastbound platform adjacent to the Trilogy nightclub. Flexity 017 made its way south from Bispham and turned left across the new junction into Talbot Square, pulling up behind Flexity 012. After a lengthy delay while sand was being cleaned out of the rail grooves along the route, Flexity 012 made its way along Talbot Road before entering the building site at the junction of Dickson Road and Talbot Road. Once within the secure compound, Flexity 012 used the scissors crossover to terminate on the right hand track at the new tram station, with Flexity 017 following shortly afterwards, terminating on the left hand track at the North Station terminus. After another interlude, Flexity 017 left North Station, using the scissors crossing to cross over to the westbound line, before pulling up in Talbot Square, shortly followed by Flexity 012 which stopped behind it. The next stage of testing involved Flexity 017 turning south onto the Promenade, before returning and stopping in Talbot Square alongside Flexity 012, at which point clearance checks were made between the two trams on the curved section of track. Some time after, Engineering Car 754 ran up Talbot Road in trolley pole mode, but by that time I had already left.

Flexity 012 waiting at the eastbound platform in Talbot Square
Flexity 012 at the eastbound tram stop in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 having just arrived in Talbot Square from Bisham
Flexity 012 on Talbot Road approaching the traffic lights at the junction with Dickson Road
Flexity 017 passing Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Talbot Road
Flexity 012 & 017 at the North Station tram terminus inside the builders compound
Flexity 017 crossing over to the westbound line using the scissors crossover at North Station
Flexity 017 arriving back in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 with Flexity 012 close behind it in Talbot Square
Flexity 012 in Talbot Square after its short run from North Station
Flexity 012 and Flexity 017 parked side by side in Talbot Square
Flexity 017 & 012 in Talbot Square while clearance checks are being made on the curve

Friday 11 March 2022

Supporting the people of Ukraine

Balloon 721 near South Pier on 28th June 2002, still waiting for the fleet numbers to be applied
It seemed like an appropriate time to raid the archives and post some photos of Balloon 721 in its Michelin advert livery. The blue and yellow scheme, coincidentally also the colours of the Ukrainian flag, was a very eye catching overall advert 20 years ago.

Michelin liveried Balloon 721 at the Pleasure Beach loop on 3rd July 2002

Wednesday 9 March 2022

Standard 143 on a Test Run

Standard 143 on Hopton Road after returning from a Promenade test run
Standard 143 went for a test run along the Promenade to the Pleasure Beach on Wednesday 9th March. 143 is being tested to check out a replacement traction motor that has been fitted. After initial testing the tram will undergo further test runs in order to accumulate additional mileage to ensure that the tram is fit to enter heritage service.

Standard 143 arriving back at Hopton Road after its test run along the Promenade
Standard 143 sat on Hopton Road after its Promenade test run
Standard 143 being trolleyed into the fitting shop after its test run

Saturday 5 March 2022

Balloon 700 on Heritage Tours

Balloon 700 heading north on a Promenade Tour at Cocker Square
Saturday 5th March saw wartime liveried Balloon 700 operating both the morning Coastal Tour to Fleetwood and the afternoon Promenade Tour in Blackpool, luckily the weather was glorious sunshine for most of the day.

700 on the Fleetwood Coastal Tour, passing the former Jolly Sailor pub on Radcliffe Road

Flexity 017, Balloon 700 & Enviro 232 in Fleetwood on route 74 to Preston
Balloon 700 passing Flexity 014 at the temporary Fisherman's Walk terminus
Balloon 700 heading to its layover spot at Ash Street in Fleetwood
Flexity 017 & Balloon 700 with Enviro 456 passing by on route 14 to Fleetwood