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Trams everywhere you look on the back of lorries!

There was a time, not too long ago, when our light rail systems didn't really contribute a huge amount of news as they just went about their business on a day to day basis with just the odd but of disruption making the headlines - but move forward to 2014 and that has certainly changed! Who would have thought, at the turn of the century, that we would have already said goodbye to one class of LRV (the Manchester Metrolink T68) and would be in the rapid process of doing the same to another class in the form of the Midland Metro T69?

As we have reported on extensively the Metrolink T68's have all long been withdrawn and the surplus vehicles continue to make their moves to Rotherham for scrapping with another one disappearing in the past week leaving just six T68s and five T68As remaining in Manchester (and of these two will not be making the trip over the Pennines with one being preserved and the other being used by the local Fire Service). The departure of these vehicles continues at such a rapid pace that it is looking likely that by the end of this year they will more or less just be history.

The past week has also seen the start of a massive increase in the departure of the original Midland Metro trams although this time they do not, as yet, have a date with the scrapman. All of the trams are being retained for possible future use on an extended system further into the Black Country and so will just be stored at Long Marston until further notice. 14 made the trip back in June and has now been joined by 13 - a fairly recent withdrawal - and 02 - a long time withdrawal - with several more expected to follow in the next week or so. Although there remain several examples still in service it is expected that by the time 2014 is over they will have been withdrawn from service and these are trams which are barely 15 years old.

Recent history has shown that if you want to ride on any of the second generation trams you really shouldn't waste any chance you get as before you know it they too could be withdrawn from service. Who could have envisaged five years ago that two fleets of trams would have been withdrawn?

This week on British Trams Online we bring you two new Photo Galleries from two systems which are probably almost as different as you can get! Our first collection comes from the Douglas Horse Tramway as we take a look on the penultimate day of the season, which of course is likely to be the last operation until 2016 (at the earliest) due to Promenade reconstruction works. At the other end of the scale we also bring you photos from Manchester Metrolink as driver training continues on the next extension to open - the Airport line.

Over the next few weeks we will be bringing you several more Photo Galleries from across the UK but rather than having a mass update over a couple weekends we will be spreading these out a bit more with a maximum of 2/3 per week as we enter the "quieter" winter period.

12th October 2014

Picture of the Week: Midland Metro 12

With Midland Metro being in the news this week with a couple more T69s departing (and more likely to follow in the next seven days) what better place to go to for our cover photo than the line which connects Birmingham and Wolverhampton. We feature T69 12 using the crossover at Priestfield on 22nd September 2014 which was in use as the line beyond here to Wolverhampton was closed for rail replacement works.
Photo: Gareth Prior

Upcoming Events

Saturday 25th October to Sunday 2nd November: Starlight Specials - Crich Tramway Village

Monday 27th October to Saturday 1st November: Halloween Tram of Terror - Seaton Tramway

Saturday 1st November: Winter Photography - Manx Electric Railway

Full details of events for 2014 can be found on our Events Diary.

This page was last updated on Sunday 12th October 2014

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