Following on from its recent move across from Heaton Park Tramway to Beamish, Friday 15th February saw an important step towards the tram entering service in the north east with Manchester 765 being tested around the museum circuit.
With Beamish still in its winter season a Friday was an ideal opportunity for these tests to take place as the museum was closed to the public allowing 765 the opportunity for exclusive use of the tramway. As you may recall as part of the deal which has taken 765 to Beamish it was due to receive some attention in the workshops before it will enter service. By all accounts the tram performed well during these running-in trials and preparation for the tram to enter service will now continue.
No date has yet been set for its first passenger use but it is due to be available in time for the Great North Steam Fair between 11th and 14th April – and then in use mostly at weekends until June.
Elsewhere with the trams at Beamish, Sunderland 16 failed in service earlier this month with a failed resistor grid. The tram had to be taken out of use to allow this problem to be fixed and at the time of writing remains out of service. With Sheffield 264 also out of service at the moment for planned maintenance work this has left the operational fleet at just three (including two open toppers). On the subject of 264 it has had its truck removed and stripped for the start of its motor overhaul and tyre turning. It is due to return to service later this year.