Lisbon 730 heads to the northeast

Lisbon 730 has now arrived at its new home at Beamish having departed from the Wirral Transport Museum on Monday 22nd January. It made the trip on the back of the once very familiar, but now not so, sight of a Scotts Loader and has now left the Wirral for the last time.

As already reported, Lisbon 730 is leaving the Wirral as part of the deal which has seen Big Heritage take over operation of the Wirral Transport Museum and Heritage Tramway. It is Big Heritage’s desire to represent the transport history of the region and 730 is not considered to do this so they requested that the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society found a new home for the tram.

After negotiations the MTPS and Beamish came to agreement for the tram to return to the north east – it had previously spent a short loan period there in 2013 – and so arrangements were made for its transport.

Eventually it is intended that 730 will be painted in a local livery (expected to be Darlington colours as they also ran a narrow gauge system) but before that happens – it will take some time to make arrangements for its repaint – the tram looks set to be prepared for use in its current bright yellow Lisbon livery.

The tram was unloaded at Beamish and placed onto road 1 in the tram depot to await commissioning. This entailed the move of fellow Portuguese tram Oporto coal tram 65 which has now been sheeted over ahead of a move to another building on site. Gateshead 52 which also occupies the depot is also due to be moved out of the tram depot for storage ahead of its eventual restoration.

This year will see a couple of other changes to the operating tram fleet at Beamish as well, Oporto 196 is due to be taken out of use requiring overhaul whilst Gateshead 10’s overhaul should be completed allowing it to enter service once more. Work on 10 has now turned towards painting the interior of the tram.

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