Tuesday, 27 August 2013

FTS 2013 Illuminations Tour

Trawler 737 heading up the gradient to the north of the Metropole Hotel on the 2013 FTS illuminations tour
The Fylde Tramway Society held their 2013 Blackpool Illuminations tour on Tuesday 27th August, the trams in use on the tour were Trawler 737 and Boat 600.

The second tram in use on the 2013 FTS illuminations tour was Boat 600, seen heading onto the North Promenade

Monday, 26 August 2013

Vintage Bank Holiday Monday

Standard 147 returning down North Albert Street in Fleetwood after making the morning run through to the Ferry

The last day of the August Bank Holiday in Blackpool was forecast to be a fine sunny day, and so it proved to be. Monday saw some of the older trams being used on the Heritage Tours, with the morning output consisting of Standard 147, Bolton 66 and Box car 40, with Boat 230 making up the compliment. The first run of the day saw 147 making the round trip to Fleetwood Ferry, complete with a full load of passengers, the early afternoon journey to the port being handled by Bolton 66. Metro Coastlines liveried Twin Set 675+685 was displayed during the afternoon on Blundell Street. Standard 147 and Box 40 were due to be swapped for heritage Twin Set 272+T2 and Centenary 648 during the afternoon, but unfortunately both of these trams failed on depot before they got a chance to enter service. It was decided to use Boat 227 and 706 Princess Alice for the final run through to Fleetwood instead of the planned 272&T2, and even Centenary 642 came out for a while, making a round trip as far as Thornton Gate.

Bolton 66 arriving at the Pleasure Beach, looking very smart after the removal of its Acdo adverts

Box car 40 returns to the Pleasure Beach after running a Heritage Tour

Boat 230 is passed by northbound Flexity 002 at North Pier late on in the afternoon

Metro Coastlines liveried Twin Set 675+685 was parked for display on Blundell Street for a few hours

Twin Set 272+T2 only made it as far as Hopton Road, and is displayed with a framed original Coastal Tour poster

Boat 227 showing off its new paintwork in the sun at Anchorsholme, as it returns from the evening run to Fleetwood

706 Princess Alice in the early evening sun as it returns back to Blackpool after the final run of the day to Fleetwood

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Three Boats and a Balloon

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the return to service of Boat 602, with a new livery and fleet number of 227

August Bank Holiday Sunday dawned bright and sunny, which heralded a full day of open-top tram running on the Heritage Tours. Open-top Balloon 706 Princess Alice kicked off the day with a run through to Fleetwood Ferry. Boats 230 and 600 also joined 706 on the heritage service, with the last tram out being the newly refurbished 602. Boat 602 has been repainted in a fictitious red and cream livery, and in the process has been given its previous fleet number of 227 which had been applied as chrome numerals on the sides of the central trolley arch. The early afternoon trip to Fleetwood was handled by Boat 230, with the trams being dispatched to various destinations throughout the day, including North Pier, Cabin, Bispham, Cleveleys and unusually Ash Street in Fleetwood, this trip being performed again by 230 late on in the afternoon. The final timetabled run through to Fleetwood Ferry was undertaken by Boats 600 and 227, with both trams heavily loaded with passengers.

The first heritage run of the day through to Fleetwood Ferry was handled by open-top Balloon 706 Princess Alice

Boat 230 waiting on the Pleasure Beach loop, with 600 just arriving with a load of passengers

706 Princess Alice and Boat 230 pass each other at The Imperial hotel during the afternoon

Coronation cars 304 and 660 were displayed on the track in Blundell Street for a few hours in the middle of the day

Boat 600 at Bispham about to make a late afternoon run back to the Pleasure Beach

Boat 227 rolling along North Albert Street in the low afternoon sun with a full capacity load of passengers

Boat 600, resplendent in the late afternoon sunshine, rounding the curve towards the end of North Albert Street

Boats 227 and 600 pose side by side at Fleetwood Ferry before returning their passengers to Blackpool

Boat 227 rounding the curve from Pharos Street into North Albert Street on the final run of the day from Fleetwood

Boat 227 approaching Rossall School on its early evening return trip from Fleetwood Ferry

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Streamliners and Centenaries

Brush car 631 departing Pharos Street on the mid-afternoon return trip to the Pleasure Beach from Fleetwood

Saturday 24th August saw the start of the last weekend of daytime Heritage Tour operation of the year in Blackpool. Although the weather had been forecast to be wet for much of the day, fortunately the sun decided to shine on the Fylde Coast instead. The timetabled Heritage Tour output comprised of Centenary cars 648 and 642, with Brush 631 and Boat 230 operating the heritage specials. 648 made the first run of the day to Fleetwood, with 642 operating as far as Cleveleys on its first journey. Brush car 631 performed the early afternoon Fleetwood journey from the Pleasure Beach, with Boat 230 preceding it to Bispham where it took its crew break. The day was rounded off with Centenary 642 and Boat 230 running the late afternoon trip to Fleetwood.

Centenary 648 rounding the curve into Pharos Street on the first timetabled heritage journey of the day to Fleetwood

Brush car 631 passing Fleetwood Ferry on its early afternoon Heritage Tour journey to the port

Centenary 642 performed a Heritage Tour working to Cleveleys in the morning

Boat car 230 and Brush 631 pose alongside each other on the Pleasure Beach loop

OMO car 8 was on display in Blundell Street for a few hours during the middle of the day

Friday, 23 August 2013

LTT sell Boat 605 for use in San Francisco

Boat 605 in service on a special to Fleetwood Ferry in September 2008

In a shock announcement, the Lancastrian Transport Trust have made the controversial decision to sell Boat car 605 to the Market Street Railway preservation group for operation on San Francisco's well known F-line that operates PCCs and other vintage trolley cars. The tram had been on loan to Beamish for two years and has proved to be very popular during its period at the museum, but this arrangement has been cut short and 605 is due to leave British shores on a one-way trip to America in September. Boat cars are well liked by both enthusiasts and the general public alike, and this very unwelcome move will mean that the only Boats left available to ride in the UK will be 236 (607) at Crich and 600, 602 and 230 (604) which are retained by Blackpool Transport for Heritage Tour use.

Boats 600 and 230 (604) pass at Wilton Parade while operating on the Heritage Tour at Blackpool in June 2012

Boat 236 (607) with a healthy passenger loading the day after its public launch at Crich in June 2012

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Nottingham Express Transit Revisited

204 carrying an advert for the NET tram system, using the crossover in Old Market Square after suffering a defect

Another visit to the NET tram system in Nottingham was made recently. Despite the weather north of the city being glorious sunshine, Nottingham itself was blanketed under a thick layer of heavy cloud nearly all day. Fortunately just as I was about to leave late on in the afternoon the sun came out, which enabled me to get my first sunny shots of trams in the city. The accompanying views were all taken on 19th August, a larger selection of photos taken on the same day are available for viewing on http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpooltrams/.

NET 201 in an all-over advert for Nottingham Art, outbound along Mount Hooton Road heading towards Hucknall

NET 207 inbound at The Forest park and ride tram stop, this is one of the few trams still remaining in the old livery

NET 213 outbound along Mount Hooton Road heading towards Hucknall wearing the new mainly silver livery

203 inbound at The Forest park and ride tram stop, note the green front skirt panel from one of the older liveried trams

Nottingham NET Phase Two

An aerial view of the new tram bridge over the main railway station, the current NET terminus is visible over the bridge

Construction work for the Nottingham Express Transit Phase Two extension is still ongoing. The newly extended tram system is due to open in 2014, and a recent visit on 19th August enabled some progress photos of the new tram bridge that crosses over the main railway station to be taken.

The bridge approach ramp for the new NET Phase Two tramway extension that is currently under construction