Wednesday 21 December 2011

PD3s Depart

507 in happer times on route 22A in St. Annes
Tuesday saw the departure of the two former Blackpool PD3s stored in Rigby Road depot for the last three years. First to depart yesterday morning was 507 (HFR507E) which is understood to have gone to Ensignbus for spares. 507's claim to fame arose in February 1985 when it received an approximation of the pre 1933 red and white livery to commemorate the 1985 Tramway Centenary - a livery it just about retains today. It ran alongside its sisters until they were withdrawn in November 1988 but it was kept on for occasional use as a preserved vehicle. While it did put in occasional service duties in 1990/1, it soon saw use as a driver trainer alongside sister bus 516. This became permanent in 1995 but ceased in 1999 shortly before two replacement Atlantean trainers entered service. Sold to Mac Tours in Edinburgh in September 2000 it saw no further active use as it donated a part to another vehicle. Eventually sold to Ensign in 2002 it was stored at their then Stratford upon Avon base. Bought for preservation it then moved back to Blackpool in 2005 for storage but suffered vandalism.

Surprisingly it passed back into Blackpool Transport hands in April 2008 with a view to returning it to use for the 125th Anniversary of the Tramway in 2010. The work involved would have been considerable and the project did not progress.

506 during its PW career in Thornton Gate Yard
Sister bus 506 (HFR506E) was stored alongside it as a possible donor vehicle, but remains in private hands. After withdrawal in 1985 it was used as a Council track workers mess vehicle (aka Permanent Way Bus) from 1986 until 2000 when it was bought by its current owners as a long terms spares donor. It left Rigby Road on Tuesday afternoon and is likely now to be stripped for spares.

Photo Links: 507 Departs  506 Departs