Monday 29 April 2024

Transpora South buses in Blackpool

 Transpora South Coast Enviro400 LF59XDZ on route 21 to Fleetwood on 24th April

A couple of Transpora Group buses from their southern operating areas were noted in Blackpool recently. Transpora South Coast ADL Enviro400 LF59XDZ was running on the Transpora North West route 21 between Fleetwood and North Pier last week. LF59XDZ was formerly with Abellio London, and is currently in the Transpora southern region livery of white with blue flashes. Transpora Bristol Scania Omnicity LX58CEV was spotted parked in Bispham, still in full Stagecoach London red livery, complete with LT roundels (minus the Stagecoach fleet names). The Omnicity appeared to have last been used on a rail replacement service, according to the destination blind.

Transpora Scania Omnicity LX58CEV complete with London roundels, parked up in Bispham on 24th April
A rear view of Transpora South Coast Enviro400 LF59XDZ at the North Pier stop

Thursday 25 April 2024

Days 2 and 3 of Talbot Road testing using Flexity 001

Flexity 001 using the scissors crossing as it approaches the North Station terminus
Wednesday 24th and Thursday 25th April saw only one tram being used on the North Station tramway extension route testing. Flexity 001 commenced its runs up and down Talbot Road around 1630 on both days, with testing continuing into the evening.

Flexity 001 heading down Talbot Road over the Dickson Road junction
Flexity 001 and BTS Enviro 568 passing each other at the Abingdon Street traffic lights
Flexity 001 crossing over Dickson Road into Talbot Road
Flexity 001 passing Stagecoach Scania N230UD 15579 on Talbot Road
Flexity 001 waiting at the stop signal at the Abingdon Street traffic lights
Flexity 001 heading down Talbot Road towards the Promenade
Flexity 001 taking a left turn into Talbot Square from the Promenade
Flexity 001 sat at the North Station tram stop terminus

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Talbot Road Route Testing

Flexity 010 returning from its first run to the North Station tram stop at 1120

Route testing along Talbot Road to North Station resumed on Tuesday 23rd April after a two year hiatus, the last Flexity testing having taken place in July 2022. Two trams were in use at various times throughout the day, with Flexity 010 arriving at the North Station terminus at 1015 on its first run. After a significant pause due to technical issues, 010 made its way back down to the Promenade at 1120. Flexity 015 joined the proceedings at 1220, from which point the two trams trams continued testing the short extension line until the middle of the afternoon.

Flexity 010 pausing at the Talbot Square tram stop
Flexity 010 crossing to the southbound Promenade line at Talbot Square
Flexity 015 waiting on Talbot Road at the Dickson Road traffic lights
Flexity 010 and 015 at the North Station tram terminus
Flexity 010 and 015 at North Station terminus adjacent to the new Holiday Inn hotel
Flexity 010 leaving the terminus with BTS Enviro 456 heading up Talbot Road on route 14
Flexity 015 crossing the traffic lights at the junction with Abingdon Street
BTS Enviro 572 on route 6 to Peel Park passing Flexity 010 at Talbot Square
Flexity 015 passing 010 which is waiting at Talbot Square

Saturday 20 April 2024

Manchester 200 Years of the Bus (1824 to 1940 Event)

Manchester Carriage & Tramways Company 1890 horse bus L2 and horse tram L53
200 years ago in 1824, Salford toll keeper John Greenwood began running a horse bus service between Pendleton and Manchester. The Manchester Museum of Transport are celebrating 200 years of bus services in Britain by holding several events throughout the year. The first event, celebrating the years 1824 to 1940, took place over the weekend of the 20th & 21st of April. The bus museum in Boyle Street had been rearranged to display a collection of buses that pre-dated 1940, with some visiting vehicles also in attendance. A heritage bus service operated between the museum and Salford on both days, where a couple of Salford City Transport buses were on display. A shuttle bus service was also in operation between the museum and Shudehill Interchange in the centre of Manchester.

Manchester Corporation 28, a 1930 Leyland Tiger TS2 with Vulcan (Southport) bodywork

Manchester Corporation 2150, a 1949 Crossley DD42/8S with Crossley bodywork
Manchester Carriage & Tramways Company horse tram L53 with an Eades Patent reversible truck, built in the 1880s
Lancashire United 202, a 1930 Leyland Lion LT1 with Roe bodywork, on loan from a Lincolnshire museum
Ribble Motor Services 295, a 1927 Leyland Lion PLSC1 with a replica Leyland body built in 1982
Ashton Corporation 8, a 1928 Karrier WL6 with English Electric bodywork
North Western Road Car Co 432, a 1939 Bristol K5G with 1952 Willowbrook lowbridge bodywork
Salford Corporation 235, a 1939 AEC Regent with Park Royal bodywork
North Western 270, a 1946 Bristol L5G with 1952 Willowbrook bodywork
Salford 254, a 1966 Leyland Titan PD2/40 carrying SELNEC fleet numer 3100, heading for display in Salford
Lytham St Annes 24, a 1934 Leyland Lion LT5A built as a demonstrator for Leyland Motors
North Western 224, a 1947 Leyland Titan PD2/1 with Leyland lowbridge bodywork
Bolton Corporation 77, a 1956 Leyland Titan PD2/13 with Metro-Cammell body on the Shudehill shuttle service

Sunday 14 April 2024

Elmer the Tram Elephant

Elmer Tram basking in the sunshine at North Pier on Sunday 14th April
In conjunction with Brian House Children's Hospice, a series of colourful elephant sculpures have been positioned around the town centre and promenade, collectively called Elmer’s Big Parade Blackpool. The sculptures are inspired by the character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant from the children's books writted by David McKee. Of particular interest to tramway enthusiasts will be the elephant that has been placed outside North Pier, called "Elmer Tram" sponsored by Blackpool Transport. Elmer Tram is painted in green and cream, reminiscent of a 1930s Balloon car such as heritage tram 717. The elephant sculptures will remain on display from 13th April until 9th June.

Elmer Tram on a quiet Sunday morning on 14th April
A rear three-quarter view of Elmer Tram at North Pier
The description board on the Elmer Tram sculpture
The inspiration for Elmer Tram seen on South Promenade in February 2018

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Tramway overhead damaged by wind near Norbreck

Flexity 015 was the last southbound tram to pass before repair work commenced
Strong westerly winds along the Fylde Coast saw part of the tramway closed due to overhead line damage on Tuesday 9th April. Just before 5.30 pm Blackpool Transport posted on their social media pages "Due to damage to the overhead wires in the Norbreck area trams are only running between Starr Gate and Bispham until further notice."  Unimog 939 was despatched to attend the incident, which was located between the Sandhurst Avenue and Norbreck tram stops. The overhead crew waited for southbound service trams to clear the area before they could commence work repairing the damage, which was on the northbound line. A bracket arm support wire had snapped off, causing the bracket arm and overhead to sag downwards. After the broken tensioner wire had been successfully replaced, Blackpool Transport announced that the trams would begin running again from Fleetwood Ferry at 21:15.

The snapped bracket arm tensioner wire wrapped around the traction pole

Unimog 939 in attendance with the overhead line crew effecting repair work
The bracket arm safely fixed with a new tensioner wire

Monday 1 April 2024

More photos of the Coral Island advert on Flexity 016

Flexity 016 at Fleetwood Ferry on Easter Sunday afternoon
Some more photos of Flexity 016 wearing its new 'yellow brick road' advert for the Coral Island amusement arcade in Blackpool. These photos were all taken in Fleetwood on Easter Sunday.

Flexity 016 heading north past the clock tower at Ash Street in Fleetwood on 31st March

The faint brickwork pattern, just about visible in this view of the centre section of 016