Sunday, 12 November 2017

First day on the railways

Today was the first day of the rail replacement services to Blackpool North. Reported sightings of all 20 Enviros have been received indicating some changeovers during the day. BTS has 13 all stops and 5 direct workings with 7 coaches from Tyrers, Avacoach and Atlantic Travel also noted on direct workings. G Line and Archway provided coaches for the hourly South line workings.

Observations and reports show arrangements at North station including a new entrance next to Sainsbury’s petrol station and extra layover bays provided there. At Preston there are three dedicated stops in the Butler Street car park with buses laying over in the parking bays. Dropping off is reportedly done on Fishergate. Layton stop is on Benson Road, the Blackpool bound service 9 stop is used in both directions, the stop opposite Poulton station is used in both directions too, while Blackpool bound buses stop across the road from Kirkham station. Preston buses use the stop on the same side as the station entrance.

The new Enviros have three fewer seats on the lower deck. Its worth clarifying the layout on all three batches as they have been widely reported - included here - with incorrect seat layouts! 

  • 401 to 410 of 2016 seat 74 with 45 up and 29 down. All upper deck seats face forward. Downstairs there are 5 inward and 1 rear facing tip up seats, the remainder are fixed seats with 4 reward facing ones
  • 411 to 435 of spring 2017 seat 72 with 43 up and 29 down. There are three tables upstairs which mean six seats face backwards. The lower deck matches the earlier buses. 
  • 436 to 455 of autumn 2017 set 69 (43/26) - the upper deck matches 411 to 435 but there are now tip up seats on the offside which explains the difference in capacity. 436 to 442 have a luggage pen on the offside, while 443 to 455 don't.
Thanks to Mike Wilson for helping get to the bottom of this!