Cold and Blustery on the Fylde Coast
Winter's harsh winds and freezing temperatures have not halted work on the advancing track junction in Talbot Square linking finally with the 2010 pointwork opposite North Pier. Despite incessant seasonal cold exacerbated by wind chill - contractors continue with infilling new track on Talbot Road and the three way junction on to the Promenade. This includes associated work on realignment of paving and road junctions with improved features. New excavation for overhead poles to be embedded along the route, together with what will need to be extensive span wires over the Promenade track junction is now evident. The promenade itself being totally closed to road traffic in the vicinity allows reconstruction of the roadway and foundations.
Neither has wintry weather deterred inauguration of the heritage tram operation with a sizeable number of cars being hauled out of Rigby Road Depot to perform ritual runs up and down the promenade this weekend. The lack of railway service into Blackpool
on Saturday (union strike action against Northern Rail); and on Sunday ; Network Rail track work on the Preston to Blackpool line requiring Bus Replacement; combining with bitterly cold weather might just impact on the numbers of out of town visitors willing to avail themselves of this off season treat. Blackpool's regular heritage operation reminds me of the mantra of the US Postal Service : 'neither snow nor rain nor gloom nor heat of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds'. Such is the dedication of volunteers braving winter's Fylde coast elements even in the most hardened of times. Perhaps this eminent creed could be inscribed over the tram depot entrance much like the classic US Post Office building on 8th Avenue in New York.
Northbound connection is receiving concrete infilling and top surface work - almost completed. Southbound track curve is still waiting final connection of the new rail on the far side of the top image. The crane in the background is for new steelwork being erected on the site of the former Yates Wine Lodge building. Sadly both the Town Hall and once grand Clifton Hotel are badly in need of exterior work and renovation.