Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Return of 364

Saturday 23 September marked the event debut of Blackpool's 64th and last new Atlantean after restoration by Blackpool Transport. Rather disappointingly the fleet number has been changed to 864 - its internal fleet number - a small point maybe a shame given the otherwise good attention to detail (Paul Turner)
This weekend has seen the annual 'Anniversary Weekend' events hosted by Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, focusing on the heritage tram fleet but supplemented by a free bus service which this year ran from Blundell Street to the Airport and back. Plans to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Blackpool Atlanteans on the Saturday were hampered by the withdrawal of the two of the five buses, 353 had a fault, while 71 failed on the morning with an air system problem. The morning started with Fylde Atlantean 45 on the 1000, Swift 554 on the 1015 standing in for 71, Atlantean 362 on the 1030 and Olympian 374 on the 1045. After lunch 374 was swapped for Atlantean 364. This was Blackpool's last Atlantean by two measures - its last to arrive in 1984 and last to operate in 2009. After a couple of years of rallying it was set aside in 2011 and more recently has been overhauled and repainted into its original livery. It has now returned to occasional use, starting with a private hire earlier this month.

364's history was told on this blog in 2014 -click here for the post. Sunday saw 45, 362, 374 and 554 work the service.

554 posing at the Airport as a 12 to Talbot Road Bus Station - the former terminus is long since remodelled, but here is a link to a post showing various vehicles at the former terminus (Paul Turner)

554 at South Pier - the former 23A terminus (historic photos) (Paul Turner)

Fylde 75 pipped 364 to the post as the last Atlantean to enter service back in October 1984. It later became 45 and is now preserved as such (Richard Hughes) 
Another last? Well 362 was the last of the conventional bus seated Atlanteans in 1983, before the final coach seated pair (Richard Hughes)

364 again at Blackpool Airport (Richard Hughes)

Olympian 374, back in Blackpool for the weekend (Richard Hughes)