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Horse Trams start testing!

Following hot on the heels of the unique use of Manx Electric Railway works car 34 on Tuesday 21st May along the new Douglas Bay Horse Tramway tracks the first horse tram of 2019 has now run with Rocky hauling 29 along the short section of available track as preparations towards a belated start to the 2019 season really start to move up a gear.

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Balloon 715’s new livery to debut on Ghost Tour

Over the past few weeks the Fylde Transport Trust’s Blackpool Balloon 715 has been undergoing some paintwork attention to amend its 1990s livery to the 1970s version and it will debut with its new look on Friday 24th May when it used for that evenings Ghost Tour.

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In Pictures: Supertram trackwork continues at a pace

With a little over a week until area one of the 2019 Stagecoach Supertram rail replacement works is due to be completed the progress in the project remains excellent and in this latest pictorial update we see the scene at Hillsborough Corner on 19th May 2019. Stuart Cooke with the photos.

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In Pictures: Horse trams move home – with an interloper

We may still wait the start of horse tram service in Douglas but it is getting closer with the transport of the first of the operational horse trams to their temporary home for 2019. 29, 42 and 45 were all moved to the marquee on 21st May with further trams expected to follow in the next few days. But probably the most remarkable tram to be moved on to the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway was Manx Electric Railway 34! We know that when they announced they were laying the tracks to a higher standard there was the suggestion the MER could run further into Douglas but no-one expected it this quick!

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In Pictures: Supertram 109 receives new East Midlands Trains advert

Stagecoach Supertram now has the most number of trams in all over adverts since opening in 1994 with 109 the fourth tram to receive vinyls. The advert applied is for East Midlands Trains – not the first tram to advertise the fellow Stagecoach company – with a reddish livery applied; just how long the tram carries this advert is debatable with Stagecoach losing the East Midlands franchise later this year. 109 was first seen in its new livery on 20th May.

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 713

Another image from 2011 this week as we continue our look at the last year of traditional tram operations on the Blackpool Tramway.

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In Pictures: Volk’s Electric Railway does run!

After your Editor’s aborted attempt to have a ride on the Volk’s Electric Railway at the start of May here is proof that the line does actually operate with a selection of photos taken at on Saturday 18th May. A standard two car service was in operation with the two newest vehicles in the fleet – 9 and 10. Tony Sullivan provides the photos for us.

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Work to get Metrolink ready for Trafford Park line continue

There will be amended services on Manchester Metrolink on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May as preparations continue to get the network ready for the Trafford Park line – due to open in 2020. This work will see the Eccles line closed throughout both days with services from Ashton-under-Lyne being diverted to Bury or turning short at Deansgate-Castlefield. Other early morning works on the Sunday will also see changes to all services which normally run via Cornbrook until 0900.

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Around the World in Trams: Bratislava 7921

Returning to Bratislava for another tram image this week.

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Trailer 36 moves to Laxey

It’s all about the trailers on the Manx Electric Railway at the moment with the plan that by the time of the Heritage Transport Festival in late July three will be returned to service – including 54 which had last run in 1971. 54 is being restored by a group of volunteers at Laxey and that group are already looking ahead to their next project as recently trailer 36 was moved from Derby Castle north to Laxey in preparation for its own return to service.

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Is Cork going to join the light rail club?

Will Ireland have a second city with a light rail line in the future? If the latest plans released by the National Transport Authority (NTA) come to fruition it will with proposals for a new line from east to west in the city of Cork. The Cork Transport Strategy has not only proposed this line but also suggests that by 2040 more than half of journeys in the city will be made by sustainable transport modes compared to just a third at the moment.

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This week on British Trams Online

There is another double helping of photos added to the site as part of this week’s main site update:

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In Pictures: Metrolink Trafford Park extension construction continues to progress

The major project to extend Manchester Metrolink a further 5.5km between Pomona and the Trafford Centre is continuing to make excellent progress with plenty of track now in place alongside the construction of platforms at the six new tram stops. The line is scheduled to open in 2020 and the good progress being made would suggest that this is very much on track at the moment. Steve Hyde made a trip onto the route again and the below photos show recent progress.

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Picture in Time: Manchester Metrolink 1006

We have a couple of images taken shortly before tram services started on Manchester Metrolink this week with T68 1006 the tram in the frame.

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Improved pay offer and more rest days on the table for Tramlink drivers

As we reported last week the strike action on London Tramlink was suspended although at the time no details of what progress had been made at the talks between ASLEF and Tram Operations Ltd (TOL) was known. However, it has now been reported on the publicly available ASLEF District 8 website that a new three year pay deal plus the reduction to the equivalent of a 35 hour working week has been offered.

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In Pictures: Progress continues on Supertram trackworks

Rapid progress continues to be made on the replacement of track along Middlewood Road on the Stagecoach Supertram network in Sheffield. This is just phase one of the 2019 programme of works and is scheduled to continue until Sunday 2nd June with no trams able to run beyond Hillsborough to Malin Bridge or Middlewood.

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The Transport Tour to launch next weekend in Blackpool

As part of the continuing tweaking and addition of new events on Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours 2019 will see the launch of The Transport Tour using not only a tram but also a heritage bus for a return trip to Fleetwood. A taster tour will be running on Saturday 25th May with Standard 147 joined by an Open Top Leyland Olympian (Atlantean 864 will substitute in wet weather).

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Four injured after van and tram collide

The latest collision between a road vehicle and a tram on the Manchester Airport line has seen four people taken to hospital including the driver of the van with serious head injuries. This high impact collision took place close to the tramstop at Martinscroft and involved M5000 3027 and a van with serious damage occurring to both the van and railings alongside the tramway. The driver of the van was arrested at the scene on suspicion of drink driving. Metrolink services through the area were suspended during the evening of Thursday 16th May – with the collision happening around 2030 – whilst the emergency services dealt with the incident and then the scene was cleared of the van and the tram was returned to depot.

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Performance falls on Tyne and Wear Metro

The latest performance figures for Tyne and Wear Metro have now been released on posters situated at each station on the network and they show that performance is down both on the previous four weeks and the same period in 2018 – and this comes before the recent four day closure of parts of the network after a major overhead problem.

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In Pictures: Latest developments at Beamish

The trams at Beamish have been in the news plenty of late, even those trams not operational have been moved around the depot and Oporto Coal tram 65 has once again been on the move. This time it has been moved over the pit on road 3 of the depot where various parts are being removed from the tram. Meanwhile, the operational trams continue to earn their keep by transporting the many visitors around the museum site.

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