In Pictures: Sheffield 264 starts testing at Beamish

It looks as if Beamish will soon be able to turn to seven trams to form the service with Sheffield 264 now under test as it nears completion of its winter works attention. This is a far cry from the past couple of years when sometimes only four trams were available for a four tram service and will hopefully enable the museum to spread the load a bit more across the year.

Sheffield 264 has been under attention for the past few months receiving both a motor overhaul and a reprofiling of its wheelsets after several years of intensive use since it re-entered service. With this work now far enough advanced 264 is under commissioning and testing conditions before it can be cleared for service. When it does return to the operational fleet it will join Sunderland 16, Blackpool 31, Newcastle 114 and Oporto 196 from the resident fleet plus visitors Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 (until the end of August) and Manchester 765 (until June).

Sheffield 264 pauses in the Town during a test run as the rain falls.

It’s not often that you will see a tram at Beamish during opening hours without a passenger on board but with wet weather and open topper Newcastle 114 allocated to service that is exactly what we see here! With the driver suitably dressed for the conditions the tram arrives at Foulbridge with a trip round the anti-clockwise circuit.

Rapid progress is now being made on the new structure of the new bus depot – a building which will help to alleviate some of the pressure on the tram depot which is becoming more and more crowded – as can be seen in this view. Blackpool & Fleetwood 40 sits outside the depots.

Oporto C65 and Newcastle & Gosforth 49 remain in their usual places in the tram depot but they have a new neighbour with the arrival of a Daimler bus – arriving on 24th April. This bus is ex Darlington and was recently listed for sale on ebay with the last bid being for £12,100. Presumably this bus will be another addition for the transport offering in the 1950s town. (All Photographs by Trevor Hall, 25th April 2019)

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