Hi, Welcome to my blog.   It will contain my latest sightings, links to my latest photos and info pages and any relevant news updates.    It will be updated when possible.

Wartime livery repaint for Balloon 700 28.12.21

January 02, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

700 at Pharos Street700 at Pharos StreetHaving paused for a photo stop, Wartime liveried 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen next to Pharos Lighthouse in Fleetwood 28.12.21 After 10 years in Blackpool Transport's 'Flexity' Purple and White livery, Balloon 700 has been repainted back into the Wartime Green and Cream livery that it carried during the 2nd World War and into the 1950's then again following a major overhaul in 1997 till it was sidelined for the addition of the door pods to make it compatable with the Flexity platforms in 2010.

700 was initially due to make it's debut run back in Green and Cream at the Anniversary Weekend in September, however was sidelined with a door fault.   On 28th December 2021, 700 was used for the FTS Christmas tour along with Atlantean bus 334 (which did a run along the long abandoned former street routes on Lytham Road and the former Marton summer extension terminus on Station Road opposite South Pier.  

Balloon 700 then took over and ran first to Starr Gate, then north to Fleetwood before returning to Rigby Road.   Millennium Balloon 707 was then used for the third part of the tour, which consisted of an evening tour of the illuminations.

The repainting of Balloon 700 means now that only two of the 'B' fleet Balloons now retain the purple and white livery: 711 and 719.

The current status of the B Fleet is as follows:

Number Type Livery Current Status
700 Balloon (original shape with twin destination screens) Wartime Green and Cream Operational
707 Millennium Balloon Millennium Green and Cream Operational
709 Millennium Balloon Sea Life Centre All over advert Stored since 2013
711 Balloon (refurbished 1990's) Flexity Purple and White In paint shop
713 Balloon (refurbished 2005) Hounds Hill Centre all over advert Operational
718 Millennium Balloon Millennium Green and Cream Operational
719 Balloon (refurbished 1997) Flexity Purple and White Currently unavailable
720 Balloon (refurbished 2011) Walls Ice Cream all over advert Stored since 2011
724 Millennium Balloon Lyndene Hotel all over advert Stored since 2013

Some shots of 700

700 at North Albert Street700 at North Albert StreetHaving recently been repainted into Wartime Green and Cream livery, 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen passing Fleetwood Hospital on North Albert Street whilst operating on the FTS Christmas Tour 28.12.21 700 at Fleetwood Ferry700 at Fleetwood FerryHaving recently been repainted into Wartime Green and Cream livery, 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen at Fleetwood Ferry whilst operating on the FTS Christmas Tour 28.12.21
700 at Pharos Street700 at Pharos StreetHaving paused for a photo stop, Wartime liveried 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen next to Pharos Lighthouse in Fleetwood 28.12.21 700 at North Albert Street700 at North Albert StreetHaving recently been repainted into Wartime Green and Cream livery, 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen on North Albert Street on its return journey to Rigby Road whilst operating on the FTS Christmas Tour 28.12.21
700 at Rigby Road depot700 at Rigby Road depotHaving recently been repainted into Wartime Green and Cream livery and with the last of the daylight fading, 'B' Fleet Balloon 700 is seen entering Rigby Road Depot at the end of part one of the FTS Christmas Tour 28.12.21 700, 717 and 707 at Rigby Road700, 717 and 707 at Rigby RoadWartime liveried Balloon 700, 30's liveried Balloon 717 and Millenium Balloon 707 are seen at the front of Rigby Road depot. the photo shows the differing profiles of the ex open topper (700) and the enclosed as built 717. 28.12.21

 

 


The Magical Express Tour Tram (Blackpool Balloon 723) 18.12.21

December 18, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is on the Pleasure Beach turning circle on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21 A very quick stop off at Blackpool this afternoon allowed me the chance to grab a couple of photographs of Blackpool's most recent Heritage Fleet tram to receive an all over advert!

Balloon 723 has been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram and has been revynaled on the outside with mainly black vynal with a white strip along the base of the tram.   Along the white base and onto the black are various characters including people ice skating, snowmen and Christmas Trees.   On the panel on either side where the stair case is located, there is an image of a full moon with Santa on his sleigh being hauled by his reindeers passing it.   On the between deck panelling, there are slogans for 'I love BP (Blackpool)', 'Christmas by the sea' and 'The Magical Express Tour'.  The destination blinds have been vynaled over and also feature the text:'The Magical Express Tour'.   The 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place at the Tower Headland from 19th November until 3rd January. The event has the 'Star Flyer' ride, an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland.   723 is operating tours, which are running from North Pier / Tower heritage stop to Pleasure Beach (non stop) and return with it only being possible to board at the North Pier / Tower stop. See further info and times at: https://blackpoolheritage.com/tours/the-magical-express-tour/

723 is one of Blackpool's iconic Balloon tram fleet and is a regular performer on Blackpool's heritage tram tours and Illuminations tours.   Having received a major refurbishment in the 1990's, which involved the removal of it's curved end upper deck windows, curved roof windows and swing over seats, 723 received many other modifications including the fitting of flourescent lighting, high intensity headlights and heating, making it ideal for winter use.   723 was regularly seen in use either on the Fleetwood or Cleveleys services or even on specials until withdrawal in 2011 prior to the completion of the tramway upgrade and introduction of the Flexities in 2012.   723 was not chosen for conversion to one of the 'fat door' 'B' fleet balloons due to it having remedial repairs done to its underframe rather than the full replacement carried out on subsequent refurbishments / overhauls and would join the heritage fleet, first as the 'scruffy surprise' in 2015 when it was used during the Anniversary event, having been stripped of its advertising vynals revealing a rather scruffy coat of 80's green and cream underneath.   After a repaint with a fresh coat of 80's green and cream in 2016, 723 became a permanent member of the heritage fleet.

The photos below show Balloon 723 in it's 'Magical Express Tour' livery at Pleasure Beach on 18.12.21

723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is entering the Pleasure Beach turning circle on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21 723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is seen entering the Pleasure Beach turning circle on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21 723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is on the Pleasure Beach turning circle on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21
723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is on the Pleasure Beach turning circle on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21 723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is seen at Pleasure Beach on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21 723 at Pleasure Beach723 at Pleasure BeachHaving been branded as the 'The Magical Express Tour' tram Balloon 723 is seen at Pleasure Beach on a Tour from the North Pier / Tower stop where the 'Christmas by the sea' event is taking place until 3rd January. The event has an Ice Rink and Christmas Market set up on the Tower headland. 18.12.21

Also seen were Flexity 2 trams 006, 001, 003 and 017 also at Pleasure Beach and at Rigby Road Depot OMO 8, Centenary 645, Brush Railcoach 632, Balloon 717, Millennium Balloon 707 and Coronation 663 which were all prominent at the front of the depot.

006 at Pleasure Beach006 at Pleasure BeachFlexity 006 with advertising for Tunnocks carmel logs departs Pleasure Beach with a service from Starr Gate - Fleetwood 18.12.21 001 at Pleasure Beach001 at Pleasure BeachWearing an all over advert for the Merlin Attractions (Sea Life Centre and Tussauds Wax Works), Flexity 001 pauses at Pleasure Beach with a Fleetwood - Starr Gate service 18.12.21 003 at Pleasure Beach003 at Pleasure BeachWearing an all over advert for Prettylittlething.com, Flexity 003 approaches Pleasure Beach with a Starr Gate - Fleetwood service 18.12.21
017 at Pleasure Beach017 at Pleasure BeachFleet liveried Flexity 017, one of two additional Flexity 2 trams built for the almost complete extension to Blackpool North Station is seen at Pleasure Beach with a Fleetwood Ferry - Starr Gate service 18.12.21 631, 717, 707 and 663 at Rigby Road Depot631, 717, 707 and 663 at Rigby Road DepotBrush Car 631, Balloon 717, Millennium Balloon 707 and Coronation Car 663 are seen at the front of Rigby Road depot 18.12.21 OMO 8 and 645 at Rigby RoadOMO 8 and 645 at Rigby RoadPlum and Custard liveried OMO 8 and all over red with white fronted Centenary car 645 are seen at the front of Rigby Road depot 18.12.21

 


DRS Liveried 20302+20305 at Bo'ness 26.11.21

November 28, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

20302+20305 at Bo'ness20302+20305 at Bo'nessOriginal DRS Compass liveried 20302+20305 are seen stabled in the TMD headshunt at Bo'ness 26.11.21 (The area of the headshunt that the locos are stabled is outside the yard gates in a public area) I was late in leaving work on Friday (3pm is late for a Friday!) which meant I didn't have time to go very far before darkness fell so I decided to head home via Bo'ness.  I was wanting to have a look to see if any of 614209 (former 314209), was visible next to the fence at the rear (it was). As  I was approaching the rear of the yard, I noticed that one of the DRS class 20s was visible near the TMD, so I headed there and found that the gates were open and 20302 and 20305 were sitting out on the track in the car park / public footpath with 26038 'Tom Clift' within the gates.  The reason they were shunted out there was that one of the steam locos, NCB No 1 'Lord Roberts', was being driven up and down the yard multiple times either on test or on driver training.

Both in original DRS 'Compass' Livery, 20302 and 20305 have been at Bo'ness since 17th July 2020, when they arrived as part of a convoy with 37038, 37424 and 37403, however both of the class haven't run since. 

20302+20305 at Bo'ness20302+20305 at Bo'nessOriginal DRS Compass liveried 20302+20305 are seen stabled in the TMD headshunt at Bo'ness 26.11.21 (The area of the headshunt that the locos are stabled is outside the yard gates in a public area) 20302+20305 at Bo'ness20302+20305 at Bo'nessOriginal DRS Compass liveried 20302+20305 are seen stabled in the TMD headshunt at Bo'ness 26.11.21 (The area of the headshunt that the locos are stabled is outside the yard gates in a public area)

DMSO 64600 from 614209 (ex 314209) was parked up next to the fence at the end of the main line headshunt.   Work is still under way on the conversion of the unit from an EMU to a unit powered by Hydrogen, with Arcola Energy carrying out the work.

614209 at Bo'ness614209 at Bo'nessDMSO vehicle 64600 from 614209 (former 314209) which is currently under conversion to hydrogen power by Arcola Energy is seen stabled at Bo'ness 26.11.21 (photo taken from a public footpath) 614209 at Bo'ness614209 at Bo'nessDMSO vehicle 64600 from 614209 (former 314209) which is currently under conversion to hydrogen power by Arcola Energy is seen stabled at Bo'ness 26.11.21 (photo taken from a public footpath)

 


A class 230, a class 614 and a class 799: COP 26, Glasgow Oct&Nov 2021

November 20, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

During the COP 26 Climate Summit, the eyes of the world were on Glasgow and it was seen as a chance to show off some advances in some more eco friendly advances in rail technology such as hydrogen and battery power to a wider audience, including Royalty and heads of Government.

Visiting Glasgow was Viva Rail's battery powered three car ex District line D Stock: 230001 and Porterbrook Rail's bi mode multiple unit 799201, whilst at Bo'ness Arcola Rail's former class 314, now 614209  and converted to Hydrogen power was also on display.

230001

230001 at Dalmeny230001 at DalmenyVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001 'Viva Venturer', which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen approaching Dalmeny with 5Z12 Inverkeithing yard to Polmadie working. 230001 is in Scotland to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 30.10.21 Viva Rail's class 230: 230001 (vehicles  300001 / 300201 / 300101) was developed from ex London Underground District line D78 stock (LU vehicles 7058 / 17128 / 7511), originally as a DEMU, but now as a battery unit with a range of up to 100km, with the batteries able to be recharged in 10 minutes!

The Grey, purple and black with Vivarail “Clean Energy/Fast Charge” slogans liveried 230001 arrived at Polmadie by low loader on 24th October and began test and press runs between Glasgow Central and Barrhead / Kilmarnock from 27th October to 29th October.   The unit did manage a trip further afield with a trip from Polmadie - Inverkeithing Yard on Friday 29th October and a return trip over the Forth Bridge back to Polmadie, which doubled as a Press run, following a naming ceremony, where 230001 was named 'Viva Venturer'.   On weekdays during the COP 26 conference, 230001 would make the short journey into Central Station from Polmadie and would operate between Glasgow and Barrhead either 2 or 3 times per afternoon.   During the course of the conference, both Prince Charles and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson were amongst the visiting dignatories to have a look on board.

230001 at Glasgow Central Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen arriving at Glasgow Central with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead. 230001 is in Glasgow to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 29.10.21 230001 at Glasgow Central230001 at Glasgow CentralVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen arriving at Glasgow Central with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead. 230001 is in Glasgow to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 29.10.21
230001 at Glasgow Central Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen at Glasgow Central having arrived with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead.  29.10.21 230001 at Glsgow Central230001 at Glsgow CentralVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen arriving at Glasgow Central with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead. 230001 is in Glasgow to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 29.10.21
380110 and 230001 at Glasgow Central 380110 is seen at Platform 12 in Glasgow Central awaiting it's next departure as Vivarail's battery powered protoype unit 230001 is seen having arrived with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead 29.10.21 380110 and 230001 at Glasgow Central380110 and 230001 at Glasgow Central380110 is seen at Platform 12 in Glasgow Central awaiting it's next departure as Vivarail's battery powered protoype unit 230001 is seen having arrived with 5Z09 ECS working from Barrhead 29.10.21
230001 at Glasgow Central Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is awaiting departure from at Glasgow Central with 5Z07 ECS working to Polmadie. 29.10.21 230001 at Polmadie230001 at PolmadieVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is awaiting departure from at Glasgow Central with 5Z07 ECS working to Polmadie. 230001 is in Glasgow to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 29.10.21
230001 departing Glasgow Central
Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen on the complex track layout outside Glasgow Central with 5Z07 ECS working to Polmadie.  29.10.21
230001 at Glasgow Central230001 at Glasgow CentralVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001, which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen departing from at Glasgow Central with 5Z07 ECS working to Polmadie. 230001 is in Glasgow to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 29.10.21
230001 at Dalmeny Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001 'Viva Venturer', which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen arriving at Dalmeny having just crossed the Forth Rail Bridge with 5Z12 Inverkeithing yard to Polmadie working. 30.10.21 230001 at Dalmeny230001 at DalmenyVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001 'Viva Venturer', which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen approaching Dalmeny with 5Z12 Inverkeithing yard to Polmadie working. 230001 is in Scotland to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 30.10.21
230001 at Dalmeny Vivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001 'Viva Venturer', which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen pausing at Dalmeny with 5Z12 Inverkeithing yard to Polmadie working. 30.10.21 230001 at Dalmeny230001 at DalmenyVivarail's battery powered Class 230 three car 'D' train 230001 'Viva Venturer', which was converted from former London Underground 'D78' stock, is seen pausing at Dalmeny with 5Z12 Inverkeithing yard to Polmadie working. 230001 is in Scotland to demo different forms of renewable power sources during the COP 26 conference 30.10.21

799201

799201 at Whifflet799201 at WhiffletPorterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen pausing at Whifflet with 5Z01 14.39 Glasgow Central - Whifflet. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21 799201 is the second of two tri-mode multiple units adapted from class 319 EMUs (799001 was adapted from 319001 and 799201 was adapted from 319382). The existing 25KV overhead line and 750V Third rail equipment has been retained with both units featuring a full carriage sized hydrogen fuel cell.   Porterbrook hope to eventually be able to make the fuel cell to fit in the underframe of the units.

The adaptation of 319001 into 799001 began in 2018 and the unit was unveiled on 20 June 2019.  The project became known as 'Hydroflex' and 799001 made its first mainline appearance on testing in September 2020, reaching 50 mph through Warwickshire.

The project evolved and a second unit was required so 319382 became 799201 for showcasing at COP 26.   799201 features a Green livery with COP26 branding and earth vynals around the cab sides.   One of 799201's Driving Trailers contains the hydrogen cells, while vehicle 71980 was fitted out with a boardroom styled interior for the COP26 Summit.

799201, consisting of vehicles  77975, 63094, 71980 and 77976 was hauled from Long Marston, where it is based to Mossend on 3rd November 2021 by 57312 and made it's debut run on 4th November, traveling from Mossend to Glasgow Central and travelling 2-3 journeys non stop around the Cathcart Circle (via the outer track) before returning to Mossend, 799201 ran on electric power for the duration of the summit.   799201 made daily runs on weekdays up to 11th November, with the unit returning south on 12th November.   Over the course of the conference, both Prince Charles and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson were amongst the many visiting dignatories to have a look on board.

799201 at Maxwell Park Porterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen passing through Maxwell Park on the Cathcart Circle with 2Z02 13.50 Glasgow Central - Glasgow Central via the Cathcart Circle. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21 799201 at Maxwell Park799201 at Maxwell ParkPorterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen passing through Maxwell Park on the Cathcart Circle with 2Z02 13.50 Glasgow Central - Glasgow Central via the Cathcart Circle. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21
799201 at Maxwell Park Porterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen having passed through Maxwell Park on the Cathcart Circle with 2Z02 13.50 Glasgow Central - Glasgow Central via the Cathcart Circle. 5.11.21 799201 at Maxwell Park799201 at Maxwell ParkPorterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen having passed through Maxwell Park on the Cathcart Circle with 2Z02 13.50 Glasgow Central - Glasgow Central via the Cathcart Circle. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21
799201 at Whifflet Porterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen pausing at Whifflet with 5Z01 14.39 Glasgow Central - Whifflet. 5.11.21 799201 at Whifflet799201 at WhiffletPorterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen pausing at Whifflet with 5Z01 14.39 Glasgow Central - Whifflet. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21
799201 at Whifflet Porterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 departs Whifflet with 5Z01 14.39 Glasgow Central - Whifflet. 5.11.21 799201 at Whifflet799201 at WhiffletPorterbrook Rail's HydroFLEX prototype unit 799201 is seen pausing at Whifflet with 5Z01 14.39 Glasgow Central - Whifflet. 799201 is in Glasgow to demonstrate Hydrogen powered technology 5.11.21

 

614209

614209 at Bo'ness614209 at Bo'nessDMSO Vehicle 64600 with Pantograph trailer 71458 behind from Arcola Energy's new hydrogen train, 614209 (formerly 314209) are seen at Bo'ness on display for visitors at COP 26 4.11.21 (photo taken through the fence from a public footpath) The third and final unit, 614209 (vehicles 64599, 71458 and 64600), was still being worked on at Bo'ness during COP 26, however a series of visits was set up by Arcola Energy to showcase the progress made on the former class 314 unit during its conversion from an EMU to hydrogen power.

314209 was withdrawn from service on Friday 13th December, a day before the final withdrawal of the class 314 fleet, having worked on evening peak Neilston services with 314210 and was probably the unit which was in the best condition compared to the then remaining 314 fleet.   Despite the scrapping of the other units, 314209 remained stored at Yoker for almost, until it was transferred under it's own power from Yoker to Shields depot on 16th December 2020 for onward transport by low loader to Bo'ness over 17th and 18th December 2020.

Work started on the conversion of the 314 to Hydrogen power in January 2021 and has involved the removal of most of the original electrical equipment from the 314 either for refurbishment or for replacement. New equipment fitted has included AC motors (314209's original motors were DC), a new system of batteries to allow it to run off battery power if required and hydrogen tanks fitted below the underframe.   The interior of the unit is also being refurbished with the old seating having been removed and replaced with Pendolino style seating and new flooring.   The original wall panels and lighting has been maintained.   The Pantograph trailer has been completed, however work is still ongoing on the DMSO vehicles.

314209 became 614209 in October 2021 and has been outshopped in Scotrail Saltire Blue with 'Scottish Hydrogen Train project' branding. The aim is for 614209, to move under its own power around the yard at Bo’ness in March 2022 and and over the full length of the 5 1/2 mile long line in May 2022.   614209 was on static display at Bo'ness station during COP 26.

314209 at Gourock 314209 seen at Gourock having arrived with 1G05 11.55 Glasgow Central - Gourock 6.4.18 314209 at Gourock314209 at Gourock314209 seen at Gourock having arrived with 1G05 11.55 Glasgow Central - Gourock 6.4.18
314209 at Yoker Seen from the Kelso St overbridge, the final remaining fully intact Class 314, 314209, is seen stabled in a siding at Yoker Depot 24.7.20 314209 at Yoker Depot314209 at Yoker DepotSeen from the Kelso St overbridge, the final remaining fully intact Class 314, 314209, is seen stabled in a siding at Yoker Depot 24.7.20
314209 at Bo'ness Vehicle 64600 from 314209 is seen being delivered by low loader to Bo'ness, where conversion to hydrogen power will begin 18.12.20 314209 at Bo'ness314209 at Bo'nessVehicle 64600 from 314209 is seen being delivered by low loader to Bo'ness, where conversion to hydrogen power will begin 18.12.20
71458 at Bo'ness Pantograph trailer 71458 from the newly renumbered 614209 the former class 314209 at Bo'ness 29.10.21 71458 at Bo'ness71458 at Bo'nessPantograph trailer 71458 from the newly renumbered 614209 the former class 314209 at Bo'ness 29.10.21
614209 at Bo'ness DMSO Vehicle 64600 with Pantograph trailer 71458 behind from Arcola Energy's new hydrogen train, 614209 (formerly 314209) are seen at Bo'ness on display for visitors at COP 26 4.11.21 (photo taken through the fence from a public footpath) 614209 at Bo'ness614209 at Bo'nessDMSO Vehicle 64600 with Pantograph trailer 71458 behind from Arcola Energy's new hydrogen train, 614209 (formerly 314209) are seen at Bo'ness on display for visitors at COP 26 4.11.21 (photo taken through the fence from a public footpath)

 


Scottish Power / COP 26 advert on Glasgow Subway stock 16.10.21 & 22.10.21

October 21, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

125+201+118 at St Enoch125+201+118 at St EnochWearing a newly applied all over advert for Scottish Power and the upcoming COP 26 summit being held in Glasgow, Metro Cammell power cars 125 and 118 with Barclay trailer 201 pause at St Enoch on a diagram 2 Outer Circle service 16.10.21 A full set of Glasgow Subway vehicles formed of Metro Cammell Power Car 125, Barclay Trailer 201 and Metro Power Power Car 118 have been reliveried into an all over advert for Scottish Power and COP 26.

The advert features the slogans 'Join us on a faster journey to a greener future' and 'On track to help Scotland reach net zero by 2045'. The logos for Scottish Power and COP 26 also feature on the body sides.

The train, with 125 leading, was running on the Outer Circle on route 2 on 16th October 2021. Photos taken at St Enoch and Buchanan St. On 22nd October, the set were seen working route 15 on the Inner Circle, again 125 was leading.

125 front view 125+201+118 at St Enoch125+201+118 at St EnochWearing a newly applied all over advert for Scottish Power and the upcoming COP 26 summit being held in Glasgow, Metro Cammell power cars 125 and 118 with Barclay trailer 201 pause at St Enoch on a diagram 2 Outer Circle service 16.10.21
125 rear view 125+201+118 at Buchanan St125+201+118 at Buchanan StWearing a newly applied all over advert for Scottish Power and the upcoming COP 26 summit being held in Glasgow, Metro Cammell power cars 125 and 118 with Barclay trailer 201 pause at Buchanan St on a diagram 2 Outer Circle service 16.10.21
201 view 125+201+118 at St Enoch125+201+118 at St EnochWearing a newly applied all over advert for Scottish Power and the upcoming COP 26 summit being held in Glasgow, Metro Cammell power cars 125 and 118 with Barclay trailer 201 pause at St Enoch on a diagram 2 Outer Circle service 16.10.21
118 view 118 at Govan118 at GovanWearing a newly applied all over advert for Scottish Power and the upcoming COP 26 summit being held in Glasgow, Metro Cammell power car 118 is seen in 3 car formation with fellow power car 125 on the front and with Barclay trailer 201 in the centre pause at Govan on a diagram 15 Inner Circle service 16.10.21

 


Glasgow Subway visit 3.10.21 and 8.10.21

October 10, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

101 at Buchanan Street101 at Buchanan StreetWearing heritage Glasgow District Subway Maroon and Cream livery and temporarily renumbered 55, Metro Cammell driving car 101 is seen in the centre of a 3 car formation on an Inner Circle service on diagram 14 2.10.21 The Glasgow Subway is the third oldest underground Metro railway system in the world, behind London and Budapest.   Opening in 1896, the Subway was first cable hauled before switching to electric traction from 1935, using the original rolling stock.  Following a major refurbishment from 1977-1980, the current configuration of stations and the current Metro Cammell power cars entered service.

Today's system consists of the inner circle and outer circle serving 15 stations over their 6 1/2 mile route and it is possible to travel around a complete loop of the system in 25 minutes.  The stations are a mix of the more traditional narrow island platforms at most stations (Kelvinhall, Kelvinbridge, St Georges Cross, Cowcaddens, Bridge Street, West Street, Shields Road, Kinning Park and Cessnock), with the busier stations of Buchanan St, Ibrox and Hillhead having a combination of side platform and centre platform while St Enoch, Govan and Partick have a pair of side platforms to ease congestion.

The service levels vary from every 4 minutes at peak times (6 trains per circle), every 6 minutes (4/5 trains per circle) or every 8 minutes (3 trains per circle).

The services are operated by trains of the unique 4ft gauge 1978 built Metro Cammell power cars and 1992 Hunslet built trailer cars.   The cars are usually run in three car formation, although 2 car is also possible if short of stock. Formations are usually as follows:

  • Power Car / Trailer / Power Car
  • Power Car / Power Car (acting as trailer) / Power Car
  • Power Car / Power Car

There are currently 32 Power Cars in service and 8 trailers, mostly in SPT Orange, Grey and White livery, however there are 2 special liveries, these being on Number 101, which carries a retro Glasgow District Subway Maroon and Cream livery and 130, which carries a special grey livery to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the Subway in 2016.   The only car you won't see is 122 as it was scrapped in 2017 to provide spare parts to keep the others in service.  

112 at Cowcaddens112 at CowcaddensSPT Orange and Grey liveried Metro Cammell car 112 arrives at Cowcaddens in a 3 car formation on Route 4 of the Outer Circle 2.10.21 With the introduction to service of 17 new Stadler trains expected during 2022, it is a case of catch the Metro Cammell and Barclay cars while you can. 

Having recently started reading the excellent 'Circles under the Clyde' book, which gives a fascinating history, particularly of the original pre 1977 system and the rolling stock, I was inspired to visit for the first time since 2014 and take photos of the system for the first time!

On both occasions the 6 minute service was in operation using 4 trains per circle, though on my second trip, this was ramping up towards the 4 minute service with 6 trains per circle.  As well as having a ride round both the Outer and Inner circles, I stopped off at various stations including St Enoch, Buchanan Street, Govan, Bridge Street and Cowcaddens to take photographs.   I would recommend a visit to this small, clean and well kept system.

I have added a fleet list below, which has details of the current Metro Cammell and Hunslet vehicles. Any of the vehicles that I have photographed, I have linked them to the relevant number on the fleet list below:

Number Vehicle Type Built by Entered Service Current Livery Status Notes
101 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 Retro Glasgow District Subway Company Maroon and Cream livery  In Service  
102 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
103 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service First vehicle to be delivered to upgraded Subway and first to run under it's own power.
104 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
105 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
106 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
107 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
108 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
109 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
110 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
111 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
112 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
113 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
114 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
115 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
116 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
117 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
118 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 Scottish Power / COP 26 advert In Service  
119 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
120 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
121 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
122 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 N/A Scrapped Withdrawn 2015 and scrapped circa 2017 to provide spare parts for other vehicles
123 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
124 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
125 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 Scottish Power / COP 26 advert In Service  
126 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
127 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
128 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
129 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
130 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 Glasgow Subway 1896-2016 120 years  All over Grey livery with orange doors In Service  
131 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
132 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service Used for the Inaugaration of the new system by the Queen 1.11.79
133 Motor Car Metro Cammell 1980 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service Used for the Inaugaration of the new system by the Queen 1.11.79
201 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 Scottish Power / COP 26 advert In Service  
202 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
203 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
204 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
205 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
206 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
207 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  
208 Trailer Car Hunslet 1992 SPT Orange, Grey and White livery In Service  

Merseyrail trip 11.9.21

October 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

508104 at New Brighton508104 at New Brighton508104 approaches New Brighton with 2N19 11.56 New Brighton - New Brighton service 11.9.21 I made my 3rd trip of the year to the Merseyside area to catch some more of the 507 and 508 fleet before they are replaced by the class 777.  I'd planned the trip to co-inside with one of the new class 777 fleet being put on display at Birkenhead North.

As I drove down to Merseyside and expected the roads into Liverpool to be busier with it being the weekend, I parked at Maghull North park and ride, this was less than 1 mile off Junction 3 of the M58 and had ample parking.   It is on the Ormskirk and just a 20 minute journey into Liverpool Central.  

At Maghull North, I caught 507025 into Moorfields and changed to the deep level platform for the Wirral services.  The deep level line is a one way circular line under the city centre with both ends meeting at James St (runs James Street, Moorfields, Liverpool Central, Lime Street, James Street).  At Moorfields deep level platform, I caught 508141+508114, which was on an Elsmere Port service to Hamilton Square, here I changed to a New Kirby service led by 507032 to Birkenhead North.   After a look round 777010, I caught 508120 to New Brighton.

Travelling to New Brighton, I saw 2 of the Welsh line class 230s, however as the train windows were too dirty, they were hard to photograph.  At New Brighton the train arrived into Platform 2.  The station its self had a 1930's style canopy which ran around half way up the curved platform.  At either side of the lines into the island platform, there was storage sidings, (2 to the left of platform 1 and 1 to the right of platform 2) where four units, 507012+508130 on the left and 507020+507011 on the right.   I think that extra units not required are stored here at the weekend.   I caught 508104 back to Birkenhead and after another quick look round 777010, I caught 507018 on a New Kirby service back to Moorfields.

I then caught 507001 to Kirkdale for a few photos of the 777s and 507006 which were stabled there. 507006, which was accident damaged following a derailment and collision with a bridge back in March, would be taken away for scrap only a few days later.   I then caught 507019+507021 to Maghull North.   Rather than head straight home, I drove to Ainsdale, which is only 20 minutes drive from Maghull and photoed a few units there before catching 507030+507002 to Southport, where I photoed a pair of 769s and also 507003 and an unidentified unit in the sidings.   After catching 507002+507030 back to Ainsdale, I headed home.

 


Merseyrail Class 777 on public display 11.9.21

September 18, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

777010 at Birkenhead North777010 at Birkenhead NorthMerseyrail's brand new class 777, 777010 is seen stabled on public display at Birkenhead North 11.9.21 On 9th and 11th September, Merseyrail put one of their brand new class 777 trains on public display on the rarely used Platform 1 at Birkenhead North on Merseyrail's Wirral Line.

A healthy number of people went along to view unit 777010, the first of the inital class of 53 units to be accepted for use on the network.   The most unique feature of the class is the fitting of sliding steps which allows for wheelchairs users to board without a ramp being needed.   Also on the cab ends there is LED lighting in the form of a letter 'M' which light up white or red depending on the direction of travel.

The interior of the units looked bright, airy and spacious with the sections between the bogies lower than the remainder.   The units have Wi-fi and USB and electrical sockets.   There are bike racks and space for more passengers than carried on the current fleet, however these are more likely to be standing passengers.   The corridor connections between each vehicle are almost the full width of the coach, making it more like the interior of a tram.

Overall, I likes the look of the units and look forward to sampling one in service!


A week on the West Highland line 26.7 - 30.7.21

August 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

66741 at Arrochar & Tarbet66741 at Arrochar & TarbetGBRF's 66741 'Swanage Railway' arrives into Arrochar & Tarbet with 6S45 North Blyth - Fort William Alcan Tanks 29.7.21 I was on holiday up at Arrochar on the West Highland Line for a week.   Arrochar is a lovely part of the country with some stunning views around Loch Long and a massive array of wildlife to see as well. The train service its self is spread out with a train every couple of hours and mainly features Class 156s with the new class 153 'Active Carriages' added on to some of the Oban workings. Adding interest to the timetable is the morning/ evening sleeper and the North Blyth - Fort William Alcan tanks working.   There is also the occasional ECS working of Mark 1 stock to / from Fort William / Carnforth for Jacobite workings as well as occasional steam loco moves again for the Jacobite.

West Highland Line workings around Arrochar and Tarbet 26.7.21-30.7.21      
           
Monday (from 2pm)          
           
Loco / Unit Numbers Headcode Working Coaches Time Notes
156477+156492+156446 1Y44 10.10 Mallaig and Oban - Glasgow Queen St 6 14.08 156446 joined at Crianlarich from Oban
156474+153377 1Y26 14.41 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 16.27  
37668+37669 tnt 62005 5Z61 12.18 Fort William Junction - Carnforth 8 17.18 97 late in passing 
153305+156457 1Y29 16.36 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 3 17.48  
156477+156492 1Y27 18.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban and Mallaig 4 19.37 156477 splits at Crianlarich to Oban
156453+156450+156458 1Y48 16.01 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 6 20.06 156458 joins at Crianlarich from Oban
156457 1Y32 20.39 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 22.18  
66740+73967 1B01 19.50 Fort William - London Euston Sleeper   22.46  
           
Tuesday          
156446 1Y31 5.20 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 2 6.32  
66740+73967 1Y11 21.18 London Euston - Fort William   7.04  
156477+153305 1Y20 5.21 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 7.12  
156450+156453+156445 1Y21 8.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 6 9.38 156450 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156492 1Y42 6.03 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.06  
156446 1Y22 8.57 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.43  
153305+156477 1Y25 10.34 Glasgow Queen Street  - Oban 3 12  
156499+156492 1Y23 12.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 4 13.4 156499 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156500+156474+156450 1Y44 10.10 Mallaig and Oban - Glasgow Queen St 6 14.08 156450 joined at Crianlarich from Oban
66741 6S45 North Blyth - Fort William Alcans   16.06  
156477+153305 1Y26 14.41 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 16.27  
153377+156457 1Y29 16.36 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 3 17.48  
156500+156474 1Y27 18.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban and Mallaig 4 19.37 156500 splits at Crianlarich to Oban
156453+156445+156450 1Y48 16.01 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 6 20.06 156450 joins at Crianlarich from Oban
156457 1Y32 20.39 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 22.18  
66740+73967 1B01 19.50 Fort William - London Euston Sleeper   22.46  
           
Wednesday          
156457 1Y31 5.20 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 2 6.32 actual arrival 8.15
66740+73967 1Y11 21.18 London Euston - Fort William   7.04 actual arrival 8.29
156500+153377 1Y20 5.21 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 7.12  
156453+156450 1Y21 8.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 4 9.38 156450 split at Crianlarich. Oban portion cancelled
156474 1Y42 6.03 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.06  
156450 1Y22 8.57 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.43 Started at Crianlarich
153377+156500 1Y25 10.34 Glasgow Queen Street  - Oban 3 12  
66741 6S45 North Blyth - Fort William Alcans   12.3  
156477+156450+156474 1Y23 12.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 6 13.4 156477 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156492+156499+156457 1Y44 10.10 Mallaig and Oban - Glasgow Queen St 6 14.08 156457 joined at Crianlarich from Oban
156500+153377 1Y26 14.41 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 16.27  
153305+156476 1Y29 16.36 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 3 17.48  
156499+156492 1Y27 18.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban and Mallaig 4 19.37 156499 splits at Crianlarich to Oban
156450+156477 1Y48 16.01 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 4 20.06 156477 joins at Crianlarich from Oban
156476 1Y32 20.39 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 22.18  
66740+73967 1B01 19.50 Fort William - London Euston Sleeper   22.46  
           
Thursday          
156457 1Y31 5.20 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 2 6.32  
66740+73967 1Y11 21.18 London Euston - Fort William   7.04  
156499+153305 1Y20 5.21 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 7.12  
156477+156458+156453 1Y21 8.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 6 9.38 156477 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156492 1Y42 6.03 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.06  
156457 1Y22 8.57 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.43  
153305+156499 1Y25 10.34 Glasgow Queen Street  - Oban 3 12  
156457+156492+156500 1Y23 12.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 6 13.4 156457 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156450+156474+156477 1Y44 10.10 Mallaig and Oban - Glasgow Queen St 6 14.08 156477 joined at Crianlarich from Oban
66741 6S45 North Blyth - Fort William Alcans   16.25  
156499+153305 1Y26 14.41 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 16.27  
153377+156445 1Y29 16.36 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 3 17.48  
156450+156474 1Y27 18.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban and Mallaig 4 19.37 156450 splits at Crianlarich to Oban
156458+156453+156457 1Y48 16.01 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 4 20.06 156457 joins at Crianlarich from Oban
156445 1Y32 20.39 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 22.18  
66740+73967 1B01 19.50 Fort William - London Euston Sleeper   22.46  
           
Friday till 12pm          
156447 1Y31 5.20 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban 2 6.32  
66740+73967 1Y11 21.18 London Euston - Fort William   7.04  
156450+153377 1Y20 5.21 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 3 7.12  
156456+156478+156453 1Y21 8.23 Glasgow Queen Street - Oban / Mallaig 6 9.38 156456 split at Crianlarich for Oban
156474 1Y42 6.03 Mallaig - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.06  
156477 1Y22 8.57 Oban - Glasgow Queen Street 2 10.43  
153377+156450 1Y25 10.34 Glasgow Queen Street  - Oban 3 12  

Staycation express debut run 15.7.21

August 03, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

  43059 tnt 43059 at Carlisle43059 tnt 43059 at CarlisleMaking it's debut run for Locomotive services Ltd, 43059 top and tailed with 43058 depart Carlisle with 1Z81 to Settle. This was a VIP preview run for the 'Staycation express' which starts running from Monday 19th July. 15.7.21 Making it's debut run for Locomotive services Ltd, 43059 top and tailed with 43058 depart Carlisle with 1Z81 to Settle. This was a VIP preview run for the 'Staycation express' which starts running from Monday 19th July. 15.7.21

Most of my Photographs and sightings are from my favourite locations in the Lanarkshire area, including

  • Carstairs
  • Float Viaduct
  • Abington
  • Cartland
  • Hartwood
  • Greenfaulds
  • Holytown
  • Coatbridge Central
  • Auchengray
  • Carluke
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