A sure sign that Spring has almost sprung is the return of more tramways for another season of operation – Saturday 16th March saw two more lines start their 2019 season, those at Crich and on the Manx Electric Railway.
On the Isle of Man timetable B was in operation for the first day of the season. This timetable requires three sets in action but at quieter times sets usually means single motors and that is exactly what happened on 16th March. The first tram of 2019 was Winter Saloon 22 which ran the 0940 from Derby Castle to Ramsey but was later replaced by Winter Saloon 20. Tunnel Cars 5 and 6 was also in service on day one. The MER season now continues until Sunday 3rd November although not every day in early and late season.
Meanwhile at Crich the season began with three trams in action – Glasgow 22 and Leeds cars 345 and 399 (plus the usual use of Berlin 223 006-4 as the access tram). 399 ran the first service of 2019 which only ran as far as Wakebridge because of the slight delays in the relay project at Glory Mine. Trams will now run every day until Sunday 3rd November with usually three trams allocated to service although during special events a more intensive service will run. The first of the big events of the year will be World War II Home Front at Easter, on Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd April.
With Heaton Park and Seaton already back and the basically year round operation at the three Bs – Beamish, Birkenhead and Blackpool – we now wait the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway. East Anglia Transport Museum, Great Orme Tramway and Snaefell Mountain Railway’s first passenger runs of 2019.