Lisbon 730 to visit Beamish?

The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society have announced that plans afoot for Lisbon 730 to make the journey to Beamish Museum for a visit during spring 2013. Although no dates have been revealed, this will presumably coincide with a major event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Beamish tramway, which will hopefully feature a number of visiting trams from various different locations around the country.

Of course, Lisbon 730 is no stranger to making long journeys by road. The tram has certainly had an interesting time since being shipped to the UK; at one time it was destined for use at the Seaton Tramway, with suggested uses including a mobile gift shop and a works trailer. Ultimately these plans came to nothing and after a period of outside storage at Colyton Station, it moved to East Anglia for a while before heading to Birkenhead. There it was soon restored to the MTPS’ usual extremely high standard, making it the only Lisbon tramcar in the world to have been regauged to British standard, and it entered service there in 2007.

If the proposed loan of 730 goes ahead, it will become the second MTPS-owned tram to operate at Beamish, following on from Birkenhead 20‘s visit earlier this year. Car 20 did sustain some damage in transit but this shouldn’t be a problem for the smaller single-deck tram, making it a good choice to send to Beamish. The loan should also hopefully give some opportunites to see and photograph 730 alongside another Portuguese tram, Oporto 196.

The Beamish Tramway 40th anniversary event already looks set to be the most exciting event of 2013 for tram enthusiasts, and hopefully the news regarding Lisbon 730 will set the scene for further announcements regarding likely visiting trams. The event is due to take place over a four day period from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th April and as well as plenty of expected activity on the tramway itself, will also feature a model tramway exhibition on 6th & 7th April.

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