Friday 28 April 2023

FTS tour to Fleetwood on Balloon 713

Balloon 713 parking up on the loop at Fleetwood Ferry

The first day of the Fylde Tramway Society Convention weekend this year on Friday 28th April included a guided visit around Rigby Road tram depot, followed by a tram tour on modernised Balloon 713. The first leg of the tour saw 713 departing Hopton Road with the FTS party onboard, before heading north for a short stop at Fleetwood Ferry. 713 then travelled all the way to Starr Gate, followed by a run north to Thornton Gate before returning back to the depot. The photos in this report were taken during the first leg of the tour to Fleetwood Ferry.

713 sat at the front of Rigby Road depot in readiness for the FTS tram tour
Balloon 713 at the northbound Heritage Tour stop at Cabin
713 turning right into Pharos Street at Fleetwood to collect the FTS party
The view across to Knott End from BTS Enviro 441 in Bold Street
713 turning into Lord Street from BTS Enviro 441 on route 14 to Blackpool
Balloon 713 at Fisherman's Walk as seen from the top deck of BTS Enviro 441

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Reduced Tram Service due to a Hotel Fire

Flexity 016 terminating at the North Pier tram stop before heading south again
A reduced tram service was in operation in Blackpool, commencing on the afternoon of Monday 24th April until Tuesday afternoon. A fire, which broke out at the New Hacketts Hotel on Queen's Promenade on Monday afternoon, resulted in a section of the promenade from Gynn Square northwards being closed, to allow the emergency services unrestricted access in order to be able to fight the fire. A restricted tram service was put into operation, running between Starr Gate and North Pier. To supplement the hourly number 1 bus service, two additional buses were added running on a tram replacement service, these being Enviro 400s numbers 414 & 415. Trams ran as far as the northbound North Pier tram stop, just before the Metropole Hotel, before changing ends and using the crossover to regain the southbound track. Note all the photos used in this report were taken on the morning of Tuesday 25th April.

Enviro 415 at Talbot Square on a tram replacement service
Flexity 006 using the crossover at North Pier to return south on the Tuesday morning
Enviro 414 heading north on a tram replacement service near the Imperial Hotel
Flexity 016 returning back south again via the crossover at North Pier
Queen's Promenade closed at Gynn Square, with the fire service still damping down the fire

Saturday 8 April 2023

Easter Saturday in Blackpool

Bolton 66 on the 1110 Promenade Tour, passing Flexity 018 at North Pier
Sun, Sea and Trams. Easter Saturday saw glorious weather for early April, which brought crowds of visitors to Blackpool. Five heritage trams were in use during the day, with four in service and one on driver training, plus the Western Train also made an appearance during the evening. The trams being used on daytime Heritage Tours were Bolton 66, Balloon 700, Brush 621 and Boat 600, 621 also operated the afternoon "Real Ale Tour". Brush 631 was noted out and about for much of the day on driver training.

Brush 621 turning at Little Bispham while operating the 1400 Real Ale Tour
Brush 631 at Central Pier on driver training duties
Balloon 700 on North Albert Street in Fleetwood during the afternoon Coastal Tour
Bolton 66 southbound at Central Pier during the 1110 Promenade Tour
Boat 600 with a near capacity load at Little Bispham on the 1410 Promenade Tour
Flexity 003 passing Balloon 700 during its layover at Fleetwood Ferry
Transpora North West's ex Blackpool Dennis Trident E20 BTS on service 22 to Blackpool Zoo
BTS ADL Enviro400 No. 459 with its overall advert for Heart radio
National Express Volvo B11RT Caetano Levante 2 BV67 JXM at Central Coach Station

Tuesday 4 April 2023

An open-top bus ride to Cleveleys

Sightseeing Manchester Dennis Trident V168 MEV heading towards St. Annes on service 21 in Blackpool

Transpora North West were operating an open-topper on their Coastliner 21 service on Tuesday 4th April due to the sunny weather. The bus in use was V168 MEV, an Alexander bodied Dennis Trident in full Sightseeing Manchester livery, formerly with Golden Tours and Stagecoach London as their 17168. A very pleasant ride was experienced from West Street in Blackpool along the sea front to Cleveleys Bus Station.

Sightseeing Manchester Trident V168 MEV just after arriving at Cleveleys Bus Station
Sightseeing Manchester Dennis Trident V168 MEV with two Flexity trams at North Pier
Trident V168 MEV passing Transpora North West ADL Enviro400 LX57 AXR
Sightseeing Manchester Dennis Trident V168 MEV and Flexity 003 at Bispham
Dennis Trident V168 MEV at Norbreck with Balloon 700 passing by on a Coastal Tour
Trident V168 MEV turning onto Princes Way promenade at Little Bispham
Sightseeing Manchester Dennis Trident V168 MEV at Victoria Square in Cleveleys