It has now been confirmed that to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of operations at the Seaton Tramway a gala weekend will take place over the August Bank Holiday weekend (29th to 31st August). Exact details of what will be taking place over the weekend will follow in the coming months but mark those dates in your diary if you want to help the tramway celebrate this significant milestone.
It was on 28th August 1970 that the first public service ran at 1430 with double decker 8 doing the honours. At this time the line ran to what has become known as Bobsworth Bridge and there was no overhead in place so the tram hauled a small battery trailer to provide the power. The service operated every day until the end of the season in 1970 and over the next 50 years there has been much development, including extensions, state of the art buildings, tram rebuilds and so much more – but this isn’t the place to go through the complete history!
And is if to prove that the Seaton Tramway is all about progress 2020 should also see the opening of not one, but two new stops! We reported a few weeks ago about the proposals for a new halt for Seaton Wetlands which the 2020 Seaton Tramway leaflet now says is due to open in the spring and it is also confirmed that a stop will be opening at Riverside Depot. A new timetable has been developed for 2020 to take into account these two new stops and while the publicity says about how they will give access to various parts of the nature of the Axe Valley we’re just thinking it adds a few more photo locations on the tramway!
The stop at Riverside Depot is said to give excellent opportunities for bird-spotting and a glimpse of the everyday workings of the trams while Seaton beach and Axmouth Harbour are also said to be just a short walk away. The area was improved for passenger access whilst it was used as a temporary terminus during the Seaton redevelopment so presumably not much extra work will be required to open it up to passengers on a daily basis again.
As for the new halt at Seaton Wetlands this obviously gives good access to the Seaton Wetlands attraction. The stop will be provided at Swan’s Nest Loop (the last loop before Colyford when travelling from Seaton).
As we reported a few weeks back when first mention was made of the Seaton Wetlands halt there is an all new timetable due to run in 2020, which increases the journey length to take into consideration the extra stops. The main season red timetable also sees trams every 15 minutes instead of every 20 minutes.
The full special event list for 2020 has also now been released and alongside old favourites such as Bird Watching Trips, Fairy Specials, Dinosaur Adventures, Depot Tours, Driver’s Eye Experience and the Pirate Tram there will be the Seaton Branch Line Tour. Led by Paul Atterbury, known for his regular appearances on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, this will be a trip back in time to find out all about the history of the line.
So, there should be plenty to keep you occupied at the Seaton Tramway in 2020!
* All events will be added to our Events Diary in the coming weeks.