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02 Sep 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400: The fastest way from A to Flybe - Faster than Road or Rail

You can get domestic flights across the UK with Flybe at Birmingham Airport. Up to Scotland or over to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland on a Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400. I've not been on one myself but seen plenty at Birmingham Airport or over the skies of the West Midlands! Flybe also use a small number of ATR 72 planes, but operated by other airlines on their behalf.

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Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400: The fastest way from A to Flybe - Faster than Road or Rail





You can get domestic flights across the UK with Flybe at Birmingham Airport. Up to Scotland or over to Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland on a Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Q400. I've not been on one myself but seen plenty at Birmingham Airport or over the skies of the West Midlands! Flybe also use a small number of ATR 72 planes, but operated by other airlines on their behalf.


Flybe Dash 8 Q400

Flybe is the worlds largest operator of the Dash 8 Q400. They have either been in a white and sky blue livery, or more recently a purple livery.

Birmingham Airport

This view from June 2012. Was heading to catch a flight to Naples (with Thomson Airways).

This December 2016 view from Car Park 5 at Birmingham Airport. There is a bus stop outside of the car park and you can get off the X1 or X12.

The Sheldon Country Park is a good location for plane spotting, not far from Marston Green Station. This view from the middle of March 2017 as this purple Flybe Dash came into land at runway 15 over the park.

About 10 days later back at the Sheldon Country Park near the end of March 2017. This purple Flybe Dash was seen taking off.

Had just landed back from Lyon at Birmingham Airport in a Flybe Embraer 175 (as my plane taxiied back to the terminal building), when I saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash plane, during June 2017.

As my plane ended it's journey at the Terminal building, saw a few more purple Flybe planes with a Shell tanker to the left. June 2017. You can also see the Air Traffic Control Tower from here, but it didn't have the Flybe name on it at the time. "Fast than road or rail".

In June 2018 I was waiting to get on my Jet2 plane to Pisa. I saw this white Flybe Dash taxiing back to the terminal building. Can just about glimpse the City Skyline in the background.

In August 2018 I tried plane spotting from another location near Birmingham Airport. The Birmingham Airport Viewing Area South End. Got off the bus near the Holiday Inn, and walked up the paths along the Coventry Road, round the semi circle that was changed for the runway extension. Directly opposite runway 33 is the viewing area just beyond the runway and the A45 Coventry Road. Saw this purple Flybe Dash taking off.

In May 2019 shortly after landing back from Barcelona with Ryanair saw these puprle Flybe Dash planes near the Terminal building. The area where Ryanair is based is usually to the right of where Flybe is normally based at the airport.

Back to Car Park 5 at Birmingham Airport at the end of August 2019. Saw this white and sky blue Dash 8 taking off.

This purple Dash 8 was not that far from the Terminal buildings (but passengers may have to access it via a bus). Says Scotland at the front.

Erdington

There are other places to see planes coming to land and take off from Birmingham Airport. In May 2014 I went to Erdington for the first time, and saw this white Flybe Dash from the Chester Road.

I've only been to Erdington Station once, and in May 2014 saw several planes coming into Birmingham Airport including thie white and sky blue Flybe Dash.

Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens

These gardens in Castle Bromwich are closer to the airport in Solihull Borough, so the planes were much closer to see. Saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash coming into land at Birmingham Airport during October 2018.

There was also this purple Flybe Dash seen from the same gardens in Castle Bromwich. Details were quite clear on zoom in.

Bonus plane photo from Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens. This ATR 72-500 seen during Octobe 2018 coming into land at Birmingham Airport. From March 2019, the plane went back to the Irish carrier Stobart Air. At the time had a distinctive white nose.

Stechford

Another place to see planes coming into Birmingham Airport is from Stechford Station. Saw this white and sky blue Flybe Dash taking off during late October 2018.

This ATR 72-500 seen over Stechford Station during October 2018. Blue Islands were operating it on behalf of Flybe. The ATR's look similar to the Dash 8's but the body of the plane is slightly different.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Transport
20 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

West Bromwich Corporation heritage livery on an NXWM bus

I was heading up to St Chad's Tram Stop when I spotted another modern bus in old livery. National Express West Midlands route 12, ID no 4679 in the West Bromwich Corporation livery. Seen at St Chad's Circus and Colmore Circus. Did also see it at Colmore Row before it departed. In November 2018 I saw a green Wolverhampton bus and blue Walsall in Yardley Wood when the open day was on

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West Bromwich Corporation heritage livery on an NXWM bus





I was heading up to St Chad's Tram Stop when I spotted another modern bus in old livery. National Express West Midlands route 12, ID no 4679 in the West Bromwich Corporation livery. Seen at St Chad's Circus and Colmore Circus. Did also see it at Colmore Row before it departed. In November 2018 I saw a green Wolverhampton bus and blue Walsall in Yardley Wood when the open day was on


I'm already used to the National Express West Midlands bus in heritage livery on the buses services from Acocks Green Garage, so was suprised to see this bus heading past, as I headed up to St Chad's Tram Stop.

4679 on the no 12 bus route heading towards it's terminus on Colmore Row. The no 9 from Stourbridge, 6921 was in front in the Platinum lime green livery.

The no 12 waiting at the lights at St Chad's Circus, it was in West Bromwich Corporation vintage livery.

After walking up from St Chad's Tram Stop past 3, 2 and 1 Snowhill, saw it again at Colmore Circus. Just before the pair of blue trams went past here.

The bus ended it's journey on Colmore Row, but by the time I crossed the road, it had pulled out, so wasn't able to get a fourth photo of it.

 

That bus reminded me of the two special livery buses used at last November 2018's Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day. The green bus from Wolverhampton was taking passengers around the suburbs. Seen here in the rain at the Warstock Road island.

With Wolverhampton Garage on the front it's ID was 4535, and was probably heading to Yardley Wood Bus Garage.

It was a wet day as I started my walk from Yardley Wood to the Maypole.

Later saw it again from the Maypole on Alcester Road South, it had probably headed around the suburbs such as Billesley before getting to the Maypole before returning to Yardley Wood. A no 50 bus on the left (those buses are now with the no 11 bus routes since the 50 got upgraded to Platinum).

I was thinking that the West Bromwich Corporation heritage livery bus I was was Walsall Corporation (or at least I thought what it said). The actual heritage livery Walsall Corporation bus I saw last year during the November 2018 Yardley Wood Bus Garage open day was in blue with ID 4601, with the destination of Sutton Coldfield.

Seen from the back with other buses.

As well as the buses there was tables with items to buy, and bagpipes playing. This bus was advertising Aston University.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Transport
20 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

As expected West Midlands Metro tram 28 has gone blue

Another week goes by and another tram has gone blue. When I last rode it from West Bromwich Central to Corporation Street tram 28 was pink. Over a week later it is now blue. I keep seeing tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne about. Still looking out for tram 23, and apparently tram 30 has also gone blue. Only tram with batteries that hasn't gone blue is 35 Angus Adams, but not seen it recently.

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As expected West Midlands Metro tram 28 has gone blue





Another week goes by and another tram has gone blue. When I last rode it from West Bromwich Central to Corporation Street tram 28 was pink. Over a week later it is now blue. I keep seeing tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne about. Still looking out for tram 23, and apparently tram 30 has also gone blue. Only tram with batteries that hasn't gone blue is 35 Angus Adams, but not seen it recently.


Trying to see if I could see the blue trams from other city centre locations other than just Grand Central Tram Stop, walked up to St Paul's Square, then over to the bridge near Livery Street. No tram at that point, so walked down to st Chad's Tram Stop.

After seeing tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne again, I saw tram 28 in blue for the first time at Colmore Circus Queensway. Would have tried to take a photo of the two trams together but a limo and this street cleaning vehicle got in the way!

It was just over a week before that I rode this tram back from West Bromwich Central to Corporation Street when it was still pink. Now it's blue! Seen passing the crossing between Colmore Square and Colmore Row, with Bull Street behind.

The lift at St Chad's Tram Stop was out-of-order, so walked up the steps. Tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne seen arriving, not far from the new Three Snowhill.

Walked up a bit past the Living Wall that runs near Birmingham Snow Hill Station, and tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne headed up towards it's next stop at Bull Street.

A few days before saw tram 37 Ozzy Osbourne at Grand Central Tram Stop in the rain. Saw it again on my walk to Birmingham New Street Station.

This pretty much confirms that the tram is still called Ozzy Osbourne. "Rock 'n' Roll!"

The Ozzy Osbourne name seen on tram 37 back in June 2016 when at Corporation Street Tram Stop. Glad it kept that name. Now when are they going to give tram 35 Angus Adams the blue treatment (where is it, not seen it in town recently).

Since the West Midlands Metro trams with battery packs are going fully blue, I'm always on the look out for blue trams. On the 11th August 2019 saw tram 17 heading up Stephenson Place past the Apple building towards Corporation Street.

Despite the tram going up the hill, people still walking down on the right. There is no longer a pavement on that side under the ramp.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Transport
12 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Inspiration

Central Buses Wedding Special - former London Transport red bus around Birmingham

I was on the no 50 bus in Kings Heath when I unexpectedly saw a red London bus, the Wedding Special bus heading in the Maypole direction. Camera wasn't out so no new photo of it (was unexpected). So here is some old photos of what I assume is the same bus in Birmingham City Centre in 2015 and 2016.

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Central Buses Wedding Special - former London Transport red bus around Birmingham





I was on the no 50 bus in Kings Heath when I unexpectedly saw a red London bus, the Wedding Special bus heading in the Maypole direction. Camera wasn't out so no new photo of it (was unexpected). So here is some old photos of what I assume is the same bus in Birmingham City Centre in 2015 and 2016.


Dudley Street, May 2015

The first time I spotted this bus was on Dudley Street in Birmingham, at the time Birmingham New Street Station wasn't quite finished (well not on the Station Street side). Licence plate no: JJD 411D. "Congratulations from Central Buses: Wedding Special".

Side view of this ex London Transport Routemaster, called Trudy, as seen on Dudley Street.

You're more likely now to see rail replacement coaches parked down here, than this vintage bus 4 years ago.

Back view of the ex red London bus.

Newhall Street / Great Charles Street Queensway, September 2016

The next time I spotted it, the bus was crossing over Newhall Street from the Jewellery Quarter, over Great Charles Street Queensway, to the other side of Newhall Street in the Colmore Business District.

Holliday Street, November 2016

My last photo to date of this bus was a view on Holliday Street in front of the Register Office. The view from the Holliday Street Aqueduct on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

More recently, I saw it (assuming it was this bus) heading down the Alcester Road South in Kings Heath. I was on a no 50 bus, sitting on the right on the top deck. I wasn't expecting it, and no time to pull my camera out. So the above archival photos from 2015 and 2016 will have to do for now. The last vintage London Routemaster I got photos of was a a picnic bus at the East Anglian Railway Museum in Essex.

 

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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Transport
09 Aug 2019 - Elliott Brown
Gallery

West Midlands Metro tram 29 the fifth tram to go fully blue and trying out the My Metro app

I downloaded the new My Metro app, registered, and bought an off peak return day ticket. I headed to Grand Central Tram Stop and caught West Midlands Metro tram 29 to West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. I didn't realise it that it was the fifth tram to be unveiled fully in blue, the week starting Monday 5th August 2019. Some other trams I saw on the 8th August 2019.

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West Midlands Metro tram 29 the fifth tram to go fully blue and trying out the My Metro app





I downloaded the new My Metro app, registered, and bought an off peak return day ticket. I headed to Grand Central Tram Stop and caught West Midlands Metro tram 29 to West Bromwich Central Tram Stop. I didn't realise it that it was the fifth tram to be unveiled fully in blue, the week starting Monday 5th August 2019. Some other trams I saw on the 8th August 2019.


I've been meaning for a while now to have another ride on the tram to West Bromwich from Birmingham, and it's been well over a year and a half since I travelled up to Bilston and before that Wednesbury. Wanting an easier way to buy a day ticket, than wait for the inspector, I downloaded the new My Metro app. After registering with it, and uploading a profile photo, my account was ready. I chose the option to buy an off peak return day ticket for £4.00. It's valid on weekdays between 9:30am and 3:30pm.

After getting my bus to town and heading past the Bullring and Birmingham New Street Station I got to Grand Central Tram Stop where I found West Midlands Metro tram 29 waiting at the platform. I hadn't realised at the time that it was the fifth tram to get the full blue livery (I've yet to spot tram 23 like this).

I've always found it best to board the tram at Grand Central, as it's more likely to be more empty than at the other tram stops. I sat somewhere near the back on the right. The other platform is still out of action until the next extension opens to Centenary Square.

I got the tram as far as West Bromwich Central, and took these views of West Midlands Metro tram 29.

One more view of tram 29, before heading to New Square in West Bromwich to find The Three Degrees statue (called The Celebration).

Earlier when I first got to Birmingham New Street Station, saw another tram waiting at Corporation Street Tram Stop (before I got to the tram at Grand Central). It was tram 31. It couldn't move until tram 29 (the tram I would catch) would begin it's journey towards Wolverhampton.

View of West Midlands Metro tram 31 from my seat on tram 29. It was still at Corporation Street tram stop, but it was about to move down to Grand Central.

Later back at West Bromwich Central Tram Stop, after another look around Dartmouth Park, I walked back to the tram stop to return to Birmingham. West Midlands Metro tram 21 in the Just Eat livery had arrived, on it's journey to Wolverhampton St George's.

Trams during the day are supposed to be every 6 minutes. Full side view of tram 21 in the Just Eat livery. See my previous post on the special livery trams here Blue ended West Midlands Metro trams with advertisements.

West Midlands Metro tram 28 arriving at West Bromwich Central. Still in pink. I caught this crowded tram back to Corporation Street Tram Stop. I suspect this could be next for the fulyl blue treatment. It has the battery packs on the roof racks.

Photos taken by Elliott Brown.

Follow me on Twitter here ellrbrown.

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