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Over 170,000 contactless journeys made on Metrolink in first four weeks

It seems that the advent of contactless payments on Manchester Metrolink has been popular with over 170,000 journeys made on the network using the new system within the first four weeks between Monday 15th July and Sunday 11th August. The system has proved especially popular on event days but there have been some issues with some passengers forgetting to touch out at the end of their journeys resulting in being paid the maximum single journey fare.

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In Pictures: Box 40’s time drawing to an end at Beamish

Its time in the northeast seems to have flown by but in a little over a week Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40 will have run for the very last time at Beamish with the plan being that it will operate over the weekend of Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September before it is prepared for its trip back south to Crich and commissioning ahead of an entry into service in time for the 60th anniversary of the museum site on 21st and 22nd September. A recent mileage extension agreed with Crich has meant that 40 has seen more use of late but with the summer holidays in full swing the higher capacity trams have been preferred. In this article we take a look at 40 resting around the depot fan. Photos by Trevor Hall.

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In Pictures: Unusual destinations on Metrolink

We get used to seeing certain destination displays on trams with the same services running day after day but a recent, and ongoing, track problem at Victoria has led to different displays on Manchester Metrolink with services for Manchester Airport and between East Didsbury and Rochdale switching routes through the city centre (Airport onto 2CC and East Didsbury-Rochdale onto 1CC – the problem means that it is not possible to access the outer platform A at Victoria from 2CC hence the change). It would appear that these changes will also be continuing for quite some time as the points which are causing the issue require bespoke parts ordering and so it will be necessary for the two routes to be swapped for a while yet. And if those different displays weren’t enough for you on Monday 19th August there were further changes on the Rochdale line as because of the discovery of a “non-viable” suspect package trams from East Didsbury could only run as far as Newton Heath and Moston (a service also ran Westwood-Rochdale). In this pictorial we take a look at the trams running with these unusual destination displays with thanks to Steve Hyde.

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Engineering works on Luas’ green line

Luas’ green line will see essential engineering works take place on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August which will mean there will be no service between Beechwood and St Stephen’s Green – replacement buses will run every 15 minutes between these stops. Trams will continue to run from Brides Green/Sandyford to Beechwood and from St Stephen’s Green to Parnell/Broombridge to the normal timetable. A full service is scheduled to resume from the start of service on Monday 26th August.

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In Preview: Blackpool August Bank Holiday Gold – including Depot Open Day!

Another Bank Holiday weekend is upon us which can mean only one thing – another action packed weekend of heritage tram action in Blackpool! This time around there is an added bonus as well as on Sunday 25th August there will be the first depot open day ay Rigby Road since 2010 meaning there will be plenty to keep you occupied on both the Prom and at the depot. And with the previously planned events at the Tower Headland having been cancelled there will be no curtailment of the service so it really does look set to be a busy weekend on the Fylde Coast.

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In Pictures: A look at the East Anglia Transport Museum

On a visit to the East Anglia Transport Museum on 17th August there was a standard two tram service running with the currently only serviceable trams in action – Blackpool 159 and Sheffield 513. Paul Lemon made the trip east on this day and as well as seeing those two trams in service also took a peek at the expansion works now underway.

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Changes to fares on NET

The latest fare review on Nottingham Express Transit will see new fares introduced from Sunday 25th August which will see some increases to NET student tickets, U19 Academic tickets, Robin Hood Pay As You Go and the event ticket. But there will also be welcome savings for new and occasional passengers by cutting costs for new buyers of monthly season tickets. And the best news of all is that the most popular standard fares will remain unchanged.

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Marton VAMBAC 11

We featured a non-Blackpool tram in Blackpool for our Blackpool edition of Picture in Time this week and for our traditional tram series we feature a Blackpool tram not in Blackpool! This tram is Blackpool Marton VAMBAC 11, a tram very much associated with the East Anglia Transport Museum.

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In Pictures: 20 receives West Midlands Metro blue

There are now nine trams in the full blue livery on West Midlands Metro with 20 the latest to have received the vinyls, debuting its new look on Monday 19th August. 20 had only returned to service for the first time with batteries on 14th August and this turned out to be the only day that it ran in passenger service with batteries and the magenta and silver livery as soon after it was taken into the workshops for the vinyls to be applied.

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In Pictures: Trackwork returns in Sheffield

After a short-break there is now more track replacement work taking place in Sheffield with two further areas to be attended to up until the end of August. Area 4a – Hillsborough Corner and Holme Lane – got underway on 17th August and will continue until 23rd August and this will then be immediately followed on 24th August by area 5 which will see work on Glossop Road at the University of Sheffield until 30th August. Once this is completed that will be that for the 2019 rail replacement programme with a full service then planned across the network. In this pictorial update we take a look at some of the work around Hillsborough Corner and Holme Lane from the camera of Stuart Cooke.

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Edinburgh Trams to operate shortened route for fireworks

On Monday 26th August Edinburgh Trams services will only be able to operate between the Airport and West End Princes Street from 1930 with a spectacular fireworks concert taking place against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The last full route service from the Airport is at 1835 with a return from York Place at 1918; following these services the next full length service will be from the first service on Tuesday 27th August.

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In Pictures: T69 16 leaves Wednesbury for the last time

As had been announced a few days beforehand Midland Metro T69 16 was loaded up for departure from Wednesbury Depot on Monday 19th August – a day which turned out to be a busy one on the West Midlands Metro network with accidents and a tram returning to service in the new livery – with the tram leaving on the back of an Allelys low loader shortly after lunchtime. With 16 departing this now means there is no T69 on site for the first time since 01 was delivered on 17th February 1998.

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109 loses its East Midlands Trains advert

With East Midlands Trains being no more and replaced by East Midlands Railway on Sunday 18th August, Stagecoach Supertram have wasted no time in removing the advertising vinyls from its former company stablemate with 109 being spotted once more at the depot in the standard fleet livery.

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Picture in Time: Edinburgh 35

At first glance this week you would think we had made a mistake in featuring Edinburgh 35 as our Blackpool archive image but of course this tram spent a period on the Fylde Coast in the mid-1980s and as such qualifies for this series.

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Posted in Blackpool Tramway, Crich Tramway Village, Picture in Time | 7 Comments

Labour pledge to back NET extensions – if they win next general election

Labour have said that they will back extensions of Nottingham Express Transit from Phoenix Park to Kimberley and Toton Lane to East Midlands Airport if they win the next – as yet unscheduled – general election. This pledge was made by Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald during a visit to Nottingham although he declined to say how it would be funded or even what costs may be involved in the project.

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In Pictures: Wet weather trams in action at Beamish

In a lot of our updates from Beamish recently the sun has been shining which has meant the good weather trams (Blackpool 31, Newcastle 114 and Sheffield 264) have been in service. But with the weather having become a tad unsettled in recent days this time around we see some more weather suitable trams running – namely Sunderland 16, Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 and Oporto 196. Trevor Hall paid a visit to capture these images.

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31 involved in collision on Bilston Road

There was major disruption on West Midlands Metro after a car collided with Urbos3 31 on Bilston Road – causing the front of the tram to be derailed and the car to overturn. The collision happened at approximately 0820 on Monday 19th August between the stops at The Royal and Wolverhampton St George’s.

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Around the World in Trams: Prague 8601

As we continue our tour around the world we stay in Prague once again with another view of one of the trams in service in the Czech Republic city.

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Scottish Rugby team go for a tram ride

We recently brought you the news that Edinburgh Trams 275 was now carrying an advert for Scottish Rugby and now to mark the start of the sponsorship deal the Scottish Rugby team took a ride on their very own tram to travel to Edinburgh Airport for a flight to Nice for an international against France.

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This week on British Trams Online

Off to the Isle of Man for this week’s main site update:

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Posted in Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, Manx Electric Railway, Site News | 1 Comment