Tuesday 18 July 2023

Centenary 645 leaves Rigby Road

Centenary 645 chained down on Allelys low loader in Blundell Street
Centenary 645 was the latest tram to leave Blackpool this morning. An early start was made in moving 645 on Tuesday 18th July, with the tram being towed out of the depot by Unimog 939, before being winched onto the low loader of Allelys Heavy Haulage in Blundell Street. The low loader needed to reverse out of Blundell Street into Hopton Road and then Lytham Road before heading out of town. Unfortunately the loading bay of Home Bargains was blocked by parked cars, necessitating a tricky manoeuvre using the road instead. The low loader first attempted to reverse around the south side of the large kerbed island and traction pole in the middle of Hopton Road, unfortunately this route failed due to a parked car on the road near the depot entrance. The transporter moved back into Blundell Street before eventually squeezing through the tight gap (for a large low loader) on the north side of the large island in Hopton Road. After safely reversing all the way down to Lytham Road, the low loader with 645 onboard headed off just before 10:30 am. The destination of the journey was Crich tramway museum, for some secret project that has yet to be revealed. It's exactly six years this month since 645 returned to Rigby Road tram depot from its previous home of Windy Harbour Caravan Park on the Fylde.

645 in Blundell Street ready to depart
The low loader attempting to manoeuvre around the south side of the large raised island
This route was blocked by an awkwardly parked Ford Ka outside the depot
The low loader then attempted to squeeze around the north side of the large kerb in Hopton Road
This time the low loader successfully gained access to Hopton Road
The low loader reversing from Hopton Road into Lytham Road
The low loader with 645 onboard about to head off down Lytham Road
The low loader with 645 and escort vehicle heading south down Lytham Road
Centenary 645 passing the Imperial Hotel in September 2011
645 on Windy Harbour Caravan Park in 2017 with a few boarded up broken windows

Sunday 16 July 2023

Fleetwood Tram Replacement Service

Enviro 418 in Bold Street on the tram replacement bus service on Sunday 16th July

As a consequence of the Fleetwood Festival of Transport being cancelled due to wind, there was no Flexity tram service between Fisherman's Walk and Fleetwood Ferry from the start of service until 17:30 on Sunday 16th July. The reason given for the truncated tram service was that the drivers shifts had already been arranged in advance for Tram Sunday (which subsequently didn't take place), and couldn't be altered at such short notice. A free tram replacement shuttle bus service operated between Fisherman's Walk and Bold Street during the period of short running.

Flexity 012 turning back short at Fisherman's Walk on Sunday 16th July

Flexity 012 terminating at Fisherman's Walk on Sunday 16th July
Flexity 011 crew changing the points on the crossover at Ash Street on Sunday 16th July

Heritage Trams on No Tram Sunday

Balloon 723 at Pharos Street on 16th July, which should have been thronging with Tram Sunday visitors
The Fleetwood Festival of Transport, commonly know as Tram Sunday, should have been held this weekend. Unfortunately in light of forecast 25 mph winds (occasionally gusting up to 35 mph) the event was cancelled for insurance reasons. The cancellation was all the more frustrating for the organisers, local businesses and visitors because Sunday afternoon turned out to be lovely and sunny, although admittedly there was a fairly stiff breeze blowing in the morning. The one bonus to the event being scrapped was that heritage trams were able to run all the way to Fleetwood Ferry on the Sunday of the enhanced heritage weekend, instead of turning back at Ash Street.

Brush 631 passing Enviro 437 in North Albert Street on Sunday 16th July

Balloon 700 at Little Bispham on Saturday 15th July
Brush 631 in a Fleetwood devoid of the expected Tram Sunday crowds on Sunday 16th July
Balloon 723 entering the centre track while on a Thornton Gate working on 15th July
Balloon 700 entering the loop at Little Bispham while Flexity 006 approaches the tram stop
Balloon 723 passing over the road crossing at Thornton Gate on 15th July