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September Review – Isle of Man: No. 17 – More Crossbench action

The Crossbench Car on the Manx Electric Railway is always a popular choice on a warm sunny day, or indeed even if it isn’t quite as warm and sunny! And it is those Crossbench Cars that we feature in today’s retrospective of the September 2018 Manx Electric Railway 125th Anniversary events.

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Progress made on Railcoach 279’s restoration

It has been a busy few days in Blackpool what with Coronation 304 out on test plus updates on some other projects in the Rigby Road workshops but that isn’t where it stops as the Fylde Transport Trust have also released an update on the restoration of Railcoach 279. Another tram which saw its restoration stall in 2012, work on 279 has resumed in 2018 thanks to the reinvigoration of the renamed Fylde Transport Trust.

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September Review – Blackpool: No. 8 – Balloon 718

The only one of four of the Balloon Cars which were rebuilt at the end of the 1990s and early part of the 21st century with flat fronts to be currently operational is 718. Now carrying a Green and Cream livery this tram is still officially a B fleet Balloon but is solely used on heritage tram tours and is a very popular choice on illumination tours in the autumn months.

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Tyne and Wear Metro performance down

Whereas Manchester Metrolink’s performance stats are put online for all to see if you want to know how the service is performing on the Tyne and Wear Metro you need to go to the system as the only way they announce it is posters at stations! The latest statistics released are for the period from 14th October to 10th November and its not good news for regular travellers as only 68% of trains arrived on time – a fall from both the previous period and also the same time in 2017.

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September Review – Isle of Man: No. 16 – Down at Derby Castle Sheds

Derby Castle Sheds have been the home of the Manx Electric Railway for 125 years. Much expanded from the original 1893 building they are now home to the vast majority of the surviving MER fleet with only Laxey Car Sheds also still in use. Not only can you find operational trams but also several stored vehicles and in recent years you have even been able to find horse trams under works attention. In this article we take a look at some images taken of MER vehicles at the car sheds.

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This week on British Trams Online

There are another two Photo Galleries for you this week; both coming from the northwest of England:

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In Pictures: The other side of 276’s advert

We’ve previously featured 276 – or Rudolph as it prefers to be known at the moment – and its new Hogmanay and Christmas advert on these pages but only one side of the tram (the side which was all about Hogmanay) but now we bring you images of Rudolph and his Christmas adverts. Once more the standard Edinburgh Trams design is carried with sections three and five of the tram having full height adverts whilst the remainder of the tram just carries roof height ads. Photos from Roy Calderwood.

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September Review – Crich: No. 8 – Anniversary line-ups

With the theme for 2018’s Simply Trams being anniversaries and birthdays there were a number of photo line-ups on that theme with several of the collection being lucky enough to be celebrating significant anniversaries.

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Department of Infrastructure fined £18,000 for Snaefell runaway incident

Isle of Man’s Department of Infrastructure has been fined £18,000 plus costs after admitting to five health and safety breaches regarding the August 2017 incident which saw a tram run out of control down the mountain, overshooting the stop at Bungalow. At a recent court case the DoI admitted to the breaches which related to the safety of the crew and passengers – but none of these charges related to the braking system.

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September Review – Isle of Man: No. 15 – Another look at some of the MER trailers

For the second time in this series we concentrate on the trailers performing a valuable service to MER.

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A busy time in Rigby Road workshops

We reported earlier this week about how Coronation 304 was out on test but that is not all that has been happening in the Rigby Road workshops with the main focus of attention now being Standard 143 – another tram owned by the Fylde Transpot Trust – whilst a return to action beckons for Balloon 707 with Bolton 66 also due some workshop attention over the off season.

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In Pictures: Glasgow 812 sees the daylight at Crich

Glasgow 812 may have been a popular member of the Crich Tramway Village operational fleet for many years, but for some time now the enclosed Glasgow ‘Standard’ car has been out of service, awaiting its turn in the workshops for a well-due overhaul. This has made any chance to see the tram outside the depots quite a novelty of late, hence we feature a rare shunt move for the car on 1st December, captured by Peter Whiteley.

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New Supertram DVD out now!

In case you haven’t completed your Christmas shopping for that tram enthusiast in your life just yet another new DVD is out now, this time (mainly) on the Stagecoach Supertram system in Sheffield. The latest offering from Bob Hodges Transport DVDs this edition was mainly filmed between 2012 and 2018 (including the start of Tram-Train operations) but also features some footage from 2002. Split into four sections, three concentrate on the current Supertram network with a bonus section on preserved Sheffield trams. A trailer of the DVD is available on YouTube and you can purchase the DVD – which costs £12.50 inclusive of P&P – directly from Bob Hodges Transport DVDs at http://www.bhtransportdvds.co.uk/.

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September Review – Blackpool: No. 7 – Brush Railcoach 621

The September 2018 event was the second successive event that Brush 621 featured at, with this tram having been restored to service in time for the 2017 version. The original Brush Car remained popular this year with passengers clambering to get on board, especially when it was allocated to Fleetwood service with its fairly low capacity meaning full loads were often carried!

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September Review – Isle of Man: No. 14 – Solo Motors

The normal many have of the Manx Electric Railway is of motor and trailer working together but it is also a fairly common occurrence during quieter periods for motors to run solo which also have the major advantage of speeding around turnarounds at termini with no running round required. Today we take a look at a few solo motors in action.

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In Pictures: And the batteries keep on coming

No sooner had 35 become the latest West Midlands Metro Urbos 3 to enter service with batteries than attention has turned towards the seventh of the 21 strong class. This time the tram chosen is the other named tram – 37 (named Ozzy Osborne) – which is being prepared for full installation of the batteries and has recently been spied in the depot yard.

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Free trams back for Hogmanay in Edinburgh

Once again – for the third year in succession – all night free trams will run in Edinburgh to help move the crowds during the Hogmanay celebrations. The trams will in the early hours of the new year between midnight and 0500 every 15 minutes from West End Princes Street and Edinburgh Airport.

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September Review – Crich: No. 7 – Leeds Trams

The current operational fleet at Crich consists of three trams which plied their trade in West Yorkshire on Leeds Corporation Tramways. These are 180, 345 and 399 and they all feature in today’s look back at Simply Trams.

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September Review – Isle of Man: No. 13 – Wagons in service

Throughout its earlier history the MER was not just concerned with the transportation of passengers but also goods and mail. To this end a number of wagons and vans were built for use and over the past few years several have been restored back to operational condition. These wagons and vans also get an outing during special events and the MER 125th Anniversary events week was no different.

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In Pictures: Blackpool Prom tramway meets Talbot Road tracks!

As we briefly mentioned in our story yesterday about the testing of Coronation 304 the Blackpool Tramway is currently seeing single line working between North Pier and Cabin to allow the Blackpool North Station extension to be joined up to the existing Promenade tramway. The partial closure of the tramway started on Sunday 9th December for up to ten days and as seen below work is progressing well to connect the two up.

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