In Pictures: A normal day at Crich

The Crich Tramway Village opens daily between March and November every year but we tend to only feature it when there is a special event with other vehicles on site or an intensive tram service in operation. But for most of the year a two or three tram service runs for visitors and one of these days was sunny early Spring day on Friday 24th March. In this pictorial update we take a look at the two trams in service – Glasgow 22 and Leeds 180 – as well as taking a quick peek into the Workshop. Photos from Keith Chadbourne.

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This week on British Trams Online

We have another Photo Gallery for you this week as part of our main site update:

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Burton & Ashby 14 carries passengers in UK for first time in 90 years

Whilst most of the attention in UK tram preservation in 2017 has been directed towards Blackpool trams or trams to be restored in Blackpool one of the most ambitious projects in recent years has come to a conclusion with Burton & Ashby Light Railway 14 carrying passengers in the UK for the first time in 90 years. 14 was used for the first time in public service at the Statfold Barn Railway in Staffordshire during one of their operating days on Saturday 25th March – and proved to be a very popular addition to the various railways operating on the day.

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Picture in Time: Docklands Light Railway 79

Another trip into the archives and this time we are in London for an image coming from the Docklands Light Railway.

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Manx Electric Railway early season update

It’s been a while since we last had an update on recent events on the Manx Electric Railway where services resumed for another season on 9th March and have been continuing early season operations since – including the return of the nationalised green livery.

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Event Preview: MTMS 50 at Heaton Park Tramway

Sunday 2nd April will see a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Manchester Transport Museum Society at the Heaton Park Tramway with up to four trams hoped to be in service alongside a selection of currently stored trams on display at locations on the tramway.

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Balloon 703 returns home

Another tram has returned home to Blackpool with Balloon car 703 – lately masquerading as Sunderland 101 – arriving back at Rigby Road Depot on Thursday 23rd March following the lengthy journey from Beamish.

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Spaces still available for Friends of 40 tour

The annual Friends of 40 tram tour on board Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40 – a tradition since 1998 – will take place on Sunday 9th April and there are still spaces available with tickets including a tram ride and dinner at the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood.

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Fares on the rise in Nottingham and Sheffield

Selected fares on both Nottingham Express Transit and Stagecoach Supertram are to rise over the next couple of weeks with increased costs blamed for the increases.

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Transport for West Midlands to take direct control of Midland Metro

In an unexpected move it has been confirmed that Transport for West Midlands are to take direct control of operating Midland Metro from October 2018 when the current contract with National Express comes to an end. It is reported that this will enable all the profits to put back into expanding the network.

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Tram allocations revealed for latest Winter Gold weekend

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th March will see the latest Gold operating weekend in Blackpool with 11 different trams due to see action during the two days including several trams making their first public appearances of the year. Sunday 26th March will also give a chance to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the last tram to run in Bolton with long-term Blackpool resident Bolton 66 due to operate.

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Boat 606

The latest edition of Picture in Time is once again in Blackpool and we stop in 1981 for an image of Blackpool Boat 606 – a tram which now resides in the United States of America.

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Picture in Time: Manx Electric Railway – Derby Castle

The Isle of Man is the location for our archive photo as part of Picture in Time today as we find ourselves at Derby Castle, Douglas in 1993.

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Unsafe building halts Metrolink services in Rochdale

Manchester Metrolink services are unable to travel through Rochdale Town Centre following the discovery of an unsafe building on Drake Street. Cracks were discovered in the building on Friday 17th March and the road was immediately closed to all traffic including trams. All trams on the Oldham and Rochdale line are being terminated at Rochdale Railway Station with a shuttle bus provided for onward travel into the town centre. However with Drake Street closed to all traffic this has also been diverted. Structural engineers will examine the building before a decision is made as to when trams can return to the full route.

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In Pictures: Midland Metro Brierley Hill extension

One of the Midland Metro extension projects currently being progressed is that of a line from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill which would mainly use disused railway lines but would also serve Dudley Town Centre and Merry Hill. Although the extension is still at the stage of planning – with a business case currently being prepared – recently work has been undertaken on vegetation clearance on the disused railway line, partly so as to provide a clearer picture of how much work will be required to bring trams to the line. In this pictorial update Andy Walters provides images of the latest situation.

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In Pictures: Crich opens for 2017

Services resumed at the Crich Tramway Village on Saturday 18th March for the start of another operating season which will see trams run every day until Sunday 5th November 2017. The standard three tram service was in operation with Chesterfield 7 the first tram out to carry out the pre-service check on the line and then Leeds 180 formed the first passenger journeys of the year. Metropolitan Electric Tramways 331 was also in service and Berlin 223 006-4 resumed its access tram duties as well. It is planned that at least a three tram service will be in operation each day until the end of the season with more running during some special events.

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Picture in Time: Nottingham Express Transit 201

Into the East Midlands for this edition of Picture in Time as we take another look at Nottingham Express Transit with the first Incentro tram, 201, featured.

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Pioneer Brush Railcoach set to run again!

2017 sees the 80th anniversary of Blackpool’s Brush Railcoach class, and to help mark this milestone anniversary it has been announced that pioneer car 621 is to be restored to service this year! The tram is currently stored in Rigby Road depot following its return from Beamish Museum, who kindly donated it to the Blackpool Heritage Trust at the end of last year, but it is set to undergo a transformation over the next few months.

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Midland Metro set to break 7 million passenger barrier

More people than ever are travelling on Midland Metro with the Birmingham City Centre extension seeing a major increase in passenger numbers according to the latest figures released. 6.6 million passenger journeys were recorded in 2016 and the latest projections are suggesting that the period between June 2016 and June 2017 will see the seven million passenger journey broken for the first time ever.

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JC Decaux to lose Edinburgh Trams advertising contract

After a two year contract which has seemingly failed to bring in any revenue JC Decaux are set to be replaced as the firm in charge of advertising on Edinburgh Trams. It had always been planned that advertising would be sold on the 27 strong tram fleet but even after JC Decaux set the ball rolling on LinkedIn last year no companies have been signed up and now the City of Edinburgh Council have lost patience with the contract about to be terminated.

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