Another year, another decade even, is upon us but what does the tram world in the British Isles have in store for us? It is only the first day of the year and a lot of plans for events etc. haven’t yet been made available but we do know a little of what to expect and it will be a year of anniversaries in various locations…
We already know that in Blackpool the 135th anniversary of the opening of the tramway will be celebrated at the September Spectacular event (26th/27th September). Not a usual anniversary to celebrate, I guess that once you get to 135 years old you want to celebrate every year you can! Details of exactly what are planned for that weekend are yet to be announced but based on previous years of the event expect plenty of trams in service and photo line-ups.
Staying in Blackpool if the busy workshops already this winter are anything to go by we could just see some returning trams to the Prom or some regular performers looking their best once more and don’t forget that the Fylde Transport Trust are also busy with their own restoration of Railcoach 279 too!
Back to anniversaries and other significant ones will be celebrated at Seaton (50 years) whilst both the Tyne and Wear Metro and Heaton Park Tramway will hit the 40 year milestone. It will also be 25 years since the final phase of the original Stagecoach Supertram opened to the public. Whether any or all of these locations will celebrate these anniversaries remains to be seen but something to keep a close eye on.
There may not be significant anniversaries at Crich in 2020 but the workshops remain a busy place with major work on London County Council 1 and Newcastle 102 likely to continue during the year with London Transport 1622 also currently in house where it under overhaul. The main event of the year will be Tram Day on Saturday 19th September with the usual expected on that day.
The Isle of Man will see the 125th anniversary of the Snaefell Mountain Railway with the Manx Electric Railway also set to continue its strong performance of recent years. For the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway it is hoped 2020 will be a better year with a longer stretch of track available for operation.
Away from the heritage sector and 2020 should see the Trafford Park extension open on Manchester Metrolink (should be April) and with work continuing on the West Midlands Metro there is a chance the Wolverhampton extension may open although no confirmation of this has yet been forthcoming.
That’s just a taste of what may come in 2020 and whilst we may not know many details yet let’s hope that the coming 12 months (with an extra day for tram action too as it’s a leap year!) give us all plenty to see and do!
And what of British Trams Online for 2020? It should pretty much be the same as always for us with no major changes currently planned all being well. Our archive photo series will return next week and we will continue to bring you all the latest news, photos and fleet list updates from across the British Isles. Please keep on sending anything you see so that we can continue to cover as much as possible! One thing on the “to do” list is to finally sort out the last of the fleet lists with those from the Isle of Man especially on the list as they are very much out of date now – but then that has been on the list to do for about 5 years!
Happy New Year!