Sunday 16 June 2024

First Service Tram to North Station

Flexity 015 stopping to pick up passengers at Talbot Square for the very first time at 07:14
Sunday 16th June saw the first day of passenger service on the Talbot Road tramway extension to North Station. Flexity 015 had the honour of being the first tram to North Station. 015 was due to leave Starr Gate at 06:55 on route "T2 North Station", stopping at Talbot Square at 07:14 before making a timetabled arrival at North Station at 07:19. Flexity 015 departed from North Station a few minutes later at 07:30 on route "T3 Fleetwood Ferry".

Flexity 015 turning into Talbot Square to become the first service tram to use the new tramway extension

Riding onboard Flexity 015 between Talbot Square and North Station on the debut run
Flexity 015 departed from North Station on service "T3 Fleetwood Ferry" at 07:30
A public information sign at North Pier advertising the new tram service

Saturday 15 June 2024

Balloon 700 to North Station

Balloon 700 in Talbot Square on its way to the North Station interchange.
Saturday 15th June saw Balloon 700 operating several full system tours of the tramway, that included a run along the Talbot Road extension to the North Station interchange station. The photos in this post are of the 15:55 Balloon tour from Starr Gate.

Balloon 700 leaving the North Station tram stop using the scissors crossing

Balloon 700 starting its short run up Talbot Road to the terminus at North Station
Balloon 700 making its way back down Talbot Road

Friday 14 June 2024

LRT Talbot Road Extension Tour

Flexity 018 using the scissors crossing as it leaves the North Station terminus
Following the official opening of the Talbot Road tramway extension on Wednesday 12th June, a series of events to celebrate the occasion were planned over the following three days, including depot tours, full system tram tours, etc. On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday a number of full system tours had been planned, using Flexity trams on all three days, with the addition of heritage double deck tram tours on Saturday 15th June. The photos shown here are of Flexity 018 operating the 15:55 LRT Talbot Road Extension Tour from Starr Gate on Friday 14th June.

Flexity 018 entering Talbot Square on its way to North Station

Flexity 018 passing Mercedes Citaro 558 on route 3 to Mereside on Talbot Road
Flexi 018 crossing over Dickson Road as it heads off down Talbot Road towards Fleetwood

Wednesday 12 June 2024

First Passenger Flexity to North Station

Flexity 018 just after it had arrived at the North Station tram stop at 11:10
On Wednesday 12th June the first passenger carrying Flexity made the inaugural run from Starr Gate to North Station, arriving at the new terminus of the Talbot Road tramway extension at 11:10. Last minute preparations of warning signs and markings were still taking place in Talbot Square at 09:00, and yet still an errant motorist managed to turn off the promenade and drove through the clearly marked no entry signs onto the tramway reservation. Before the tram was due to arrive there was chaos and gridlock on Talbot Road, Clifton Street and Abingdon Street due to a protest by Blackpool taxi drivers, who had jammed all three roads with dozens of their vehicles. It was feared that the debut tram run may have to be delayed, but in the end the taxi drivers were persuaded to move on peacefully by the police. Flexity 018 was the tram which had been selected for this auspicious occasion, and had vinyls on the advert boards saying "From Tram to Train" and "From Train to Tram", with a graphic of a merged tram and train on the centre section of the tram. After Flexity 018 had arrived at the North Station stop, the passengers and invited guests were treated to brunch at Marco’s New York Italian restaurant, adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel.

Flexity 018 crossing Dickson Road, passing a Transpora bus on service 21 to North Pier
Flexity 018 beginning to make its short run up Talbot Road to the North Station terminus
Flexity 018 at the North Station tram terminus next to the Holiday Inn
The tram/train graphic on the centre section of Flexity 018
Blackpool taxi drivers completely blocking the tram tracks on Talbot Road during a peaceful protest
A motorist who decided to ignore the tramway no entry signs at Talbot Square at 09:00

Wednesday 5 June 2024

ADL Battery Electric Demonstrator bus on test in Blackpool

ADL Enviro400EV Battery Electric Demonstrator AD24 BEV on route 14 in Fleetwood on June 5th
Blackpool Transport had an Alexander Dennis electric demonstrator bus operating in passenger service this week. 11.1m ADL Enviro400EV battery-electric demonstrator AD24 BEV was timetabled to be in daytime passenger service on route 14 to Fleetwood, from 0500 until 1816 on Wednesday 5th June. A roadshow was also planned for the 6th and 7th June, where the bus was scheduled to be on static display to the public at various venues throughout the BTS operating area for an hour at a time, but this part of its visit was inexplicably postponed.

The Enviro400EV demonstrator turning right out of Bold Street in Fleetwood on route 14 to Blackpool

The battery electric demonstrator near Ash Street in Fleetwood, returning to Blackpool on route 14
The ADL electric demonstrator on Bold Street in Fleetwood alongside Flexity 017