Wednesday 31 January 2018

Rail Replacement Update

Blackpool Transport Enviro 400s 442 and 444 stand in the layover bay at Preston Station prior to 444 working the 2115 to Blackpool North (Paul Turner)
Monday 29th January saw the start of phase 2 of the Blackpool Rail Replacement project with the reopening of the Blackpool South Line. Early and late trips remain bus operated with a 2250 from Preston to Blackpool South (Mon to Sat) and buses from Blackpool South at 0438, 0538, 2328 (Mon to Sat) and 0848 (Sundays).

The Blackpool North direct and all stops services continue but with the evening services reduced to every 30 minutes from around 1900. Blackpool Transport continues to provide 18 buses and has picked up some working including at least one working on the peak direct Poulton to Preston runs (0800) and also the 2328 from Blackpool South.

Monday 22 January 2018

Fylde 78 rediscovered

Former Fylde Atlantean 78 has resurfaced as a playbus near Poole in Dorset. This, one of six 1975 Willowbrook/Northern Counties bodied Atlanteans that joined the BTS fleet when Fylde was absorbed in 1996, was withdrawn in 2000. It was sold to be a playbus with Fundays of Doncaster; later moving to Haynes Motor Museum by 2003. It left Haynes in August 2015 and was reported to be in the Dorset area. During last Autumn it made its debut with Adventure Bus, in a rather vivid new all-over scheme. More pictures are on the Adventure Bus Dorset website.

Fylde 78 in its new guise (Adventure Bus)
Updates to other survivors:

  • Volvo Olympian 375 has now arrived at Delves Infant and Nursery School in Walsall after conversion to a library by Blackpool Design Associates. See this Twitter link for photos
  • Liddells Coaches of Cumnock has confirmed they still have Atlantean URN330V in store as a seat store - its been parked up since 2003!
  • Optare Metrorider 589 has passed to Martin Gurr and Gary Conn for further preservation, joining their PD3 501, Swift 554, Atlantean 362 and Delta 133

Monday 15 January 2018

January update

More Manx Tridents have been laid up with 349 to 352 joining 343-6 in store. The two disposed so far are being prepared with Lodges Coaches. See this Facebook link for a picture of 347 repainted. 

Solo 293 was scrapped in early January, it was withdrawn last year after accident damage and was sold at the end of the year to a private owner for spares and scrapping.

Not previously noted it that Enviro 401 has received a full rear advert for Blackpool Better Start. This has been applied by 5th December.

An update on the Preston Bus allocation at Blackpool has been provided by Peter Turner. On Sunday 14th January,  coaches Volvo B12B/Plaxton 11519/23/4, Mercedes/Unvi 12000, Volvo B12B/Caetano 13115, Mercedes/Plaxton 14003 and Mercedes Sprinter minibus 15514 were present with Solos 20769/73/81, 20800/2 and Tridents 40014, 40590/2. Not previously reported is the route of service 76 which serves Warton and Bryning Lane between Lytham and Wrea Green rather than its previous routing via Moss Side. 

Monday 1 January 2018

Trident disposals and January diversions

Happy New Year. Tridents 347 and 348 have become the first of the ex Bus Vannin Dennis Tridents to be sold. They were collected on Thursday by Lodge Coaches of High Easter, Essex. Both entered service on 21 April 2012 and lasted until 3 March 2017. They started out as Isle of Man Transport 52 (EMN52Y) and 49 (EMN49Y) resp.

Tramway extension works on Talbot Road resume on 8 January, this blocks access to Clifton Street. Services 9 and 14 will terminate outside Central Library on Queen Street.