Friday 28 January 2011

Farewell to the Metrorider

From 2007-2010 518 was dedicated to Line 10 and is seen here on Midgeland Road
518, the final Metrorider has now been withdrawn. Since the end of the Metro branding in July the bus has been dedicated to the Peel Park to St. Annes Department of Work and Pensions contract service. This has ended on 20 January so this week 518 has seen wider use. Monday and Tuesday saw it return to its old stomping ground of Line 10 - it was dedicated to this line from March 2007 making its debut on 31 March 2007 and finishing on Saturday 24 July 2010.
With the Tower in the distance 518 heads away from Manchester Square on Line 10
Wednesday saw what is probably its first appearance on Line 15 deputising for a Solo - though it was changed-over during the day. It emerged again on Thursday on Line 15 - observed working the 1506 from Staining and staying out until the last bus at 2306 from Staining to Blackpool Town Centre. The bus worked the 0906, 1106, 1306, 1506 and 1706 from Staining to Poulton returning at 1007, 1207, 1407, 1607 and 1807 and then every hour from 1906 to 2306 from Staining and 1935 to 2235 from Abingdon Street.
26 May 2007 saw 518 'off route' on Line 2 from Wesham to Cleveleys - a rare example of a branded bus escaping from its normal haunts.
518 arrived in Blackpool on 18 December 1998 and entered service five days later - the last new step entrance bus to enter service for Blackpool Transport. New in the reversed Handybus livery of yellow with black skirt and roof band, it retained this until March 2003 when it received Line 2 green/yellow livery prior to a repaint four years later into silvery grey and yellow for Line 10. At 12 years and 2 months it isn't quite the longest serving Metrorider (593 holds the honours at 13 years 4 months) but it certainly marks the end of an era.

Pictures of 518 on its last day can be seen here and here.