In Preview: Great North Steam Fair at Beamish

After a couple of years when tram involvement has been confined to the resident fleet, the 2019 Great North Steam Fair at Beamish looks set to change that with not one but two on loans due to be in service – Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 and Manchester 765.

When is it?

Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th April. The museum is open between 1000 and 1700 each day with last admission at 1600. Trams run around the museum site whilst the museum is open.

Where is it?

Beamish: The Living Museum of the North. Details of how to get there can be found on the Beamish website.

What Trams are in service?

Details of exactly which trams will be in service on each day are unlikely to be announced in advance. However, subject to availability, Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 and Manchester 765 are expected to be in service on each day. Judging by previous Great North Steam Fair’s a four tram service is likely to operate for much of the day with other trams currently believed available for use being Sunderland 16, Newcastle 114, Blackpool 31 and Oporto 196.

Trams will run at regular intervals all the time the museum is open. It is expected that all trams will run on a clockwise circuit (as is normal at major events like this).

What else is going on?

The title of the event gives a pretty good clue of what to expect from the event – lots of steam! With the railway at Rowley, the Pockerley Waggonway, the colliery railways plus for this event only a 15” railway offering rides with visiting locomotives from the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, there will also be road vintage transport including many steam vehicles as well as vehicles propelled by other means!

Highlights revealed on the Beamish website (away from the trams) are due to include:

* River Irt from the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and Katie from the Ravenglass Railway Museum will be running on a special 15” gauge railway in the colliery – with rides available.

* 1906 Morriss steam car – the sole survivor of only four Morriss steam cars ever built.

* Model Tramway Exhibition in the Collections Study Room at the Regional Resource Centre on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April. There will be 10 model tram layouts – including a model of Beamish! Plus two trade stands.

There will also be a whole host of other vehicles in operation as there always is at this event.

How much is it going to cost?

Standard Beamish admission rates are applicable. The incredibly good value Beamish unlimited pass is £19.50 for adults (£14.50 for seniors/students, £11.50 for children) – this allows entry as many times for a full year and can be purchased online.

The weather

It’s the all important question – what with it being an open air museum! Just what is the weather going to do? You can view the latest forecast on BBC Weather (for Stanley as Beamish is not an option).

British Trams Online coverage

For the first time in several years we will have “Live” coverage from the event on Facebook. This will be on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April only.

Full coverage on the website will then follow later in April.

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