It has been said that in adversity you see who your friends are and that is exactly the situation for the Heaton Park Tramway. As we reported last week the tramway had been hit by theft of overhead wire which had caused all operations to be ceased indefinitely whilst the damage was surveyed and an action plan was put in place to rectify it. Now on top of the crowd funding launched, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM) have stepped in to provide assistance in replacing the overhead.
Chris Stinchcombe, Director of Engineering at KAM, said: “We were saddened to hear the entire future of Heaton Park tramway was under threat because of the theft. There are strong links between us and them and, over the years, our staff have volunteered their time and expertise to support Heaton Park Tramway. We just have to try and help – so we’re trying to source wire for them that matches their equipment and offering the expertise of KAM’s own engineers, and our partners Pod-Trak, to complete the repairs in hope we can get the tramway moving again.”
A section of wire was being provided to Heaton Park to check its suitability for use on the heritage tramway and once this was assessed it was planned to provide enough wire to replace the entire section stolen along with physical assistance in completing the work.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, commented: “Not only is Heaton Park Tramway a gateway to our transport history, it’s a fantastic attraction enjoyed by thousands of people every year. While it is out of operation there will be plenty of very disappointed people and it’s appalling that thieves would target it in this way. As soon as soon as we heard about the theft, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help. Hopefully, by working with KAM, we’ll be able to help reinstate the tramway sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, as if to show how much the tramway is thought of the crowd funding has reached over £5,300 with very nearly 300 individual donors wanting to help return the tramway to operation once more.
It will still be a while before any trams are running at the Heaton Park Tramway again but it restores your faith in humanity a bit when you look at the reaction to the theft of the overhead and its always good to see different organisations helping each other out to ensure everyone’s enjoyment can’t be spoilt.