Following hot on the heels of the Manx Electric Railway the latest heritage tramway to start their 2018 season is the Crich Tramway Village with the museum opening for the first time on Saturday 17th March. Unfortunately this will only short lived as the latest batch of snow to hit the UK meant that the Museum was then closed on Sunday 18th March.
A two tram service was provided on the first day with Blackpool 167 and Leeds 399 provided for visitors to take a ride along the line to Glory Mine.
The museum will now be open every day until Sunday 4th November 2018 with three trams in service on most days subject to availability. At certain special events a more intensive service will be provided. The Access tram – Berlin 223 006-4 – will also again be available for use most days – subject to availability.
There are not expected to any major changes to the operating fleet for 2018 although Sheffield 74 will return to service following the completion of its refurbishment during 2017. Blackpool 630 will also be back at the end of April following its holiday back on its home tramway. The commissioning programme for 2018 is continuing and once this is completed there should be 18 electric passenger trams available for service at some point during the year plus Sheffield 15 for the horse tram service.
London Transport 1622 is due to the next tram lifted and depending on how much is work is required following this it may also see use at the tail end of the season.
The winter period at Crich has been dominated by the depot refurbishment with this work having recently been completed in time for the new season. The most noticeable difference to visitors will, of course, be the new dividing walls between depots which have been installed but the amount of work which has taken place will hopefully have the desired effect of helping to keep the trams in pristine condition.