Beamish Town crossover back in use

The little-used tramway crossover in the centre of the tram line through Beamish Museum’s period town area, has recently been brought back into regular use for the first time in a number of years. This crossover has been rarely used since the completion of the full circular tramway around the perimeter of the museum site in 1993, but recent engineering works have forced it to be utilised once again.

The use of this rare stretch of track was brought about by works taking place between Foulbridge depot and the Town, which has required total possession of this section. As a result, all trams operating anti-clockwise must terminate at the Town, and reverse using the crossover before heading back to Foulbridge in the clockwise direction, passing through Pockerley and the main entrance stop en route. However, this move is only happening on weekdays, with the full circuit available at weekends. With the museum now closed on Mondays and Fridays for winter, this means that for the last few weeks the crossover was used every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

In other news from the museum, the truck from beneath Sunderland 16 has now been stripped down and the wheelsets dispatched to Blackpool, where they will be re-tyred and the condition of the axle boxes will be assessed. The remains of the truck are currently housed in the Regional Heritage Engineering Centre (RHEC), along with the remains of horse tramcar Leamington & Warwick 8 which is stored at the rear of the building.

Meanwhile, the annual Christmas festivities at Beamish kicked off on Saturday 16th November with all four currently available trams in use, including open toppers Blackpool 31 and Newcastle 114 – highlighting why the loan of Blackpool Railcoach 680 has been arranged! The event started with the arrival of Father Christmas and a procession of camels through the Town street, which was certainly a very novel sight and made a change from the usual assortment of traffic!

An unusual view of Grimsby & Immingham 26 using the Town crossover before loading passengers outside the Bank. (Photo from the Beamish Transport & Industry Blog)


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