2.6 million watch Tyne and Wear Metro documentary

The first episode of ITV’s documentary on the Tyne and Wear Metro attracted 2.6 million viewers, according to overnight viewing figures. Screened at 1930 on Tuesday 14th January the first episode of The Metro: A Rail Life Story concentrated on passengers using the Metro to get to the Spice Girls concert in Sunderland last summer with unprecedented access having been given to film crews.

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In Preview: Blackpool Winter Gold, 18th & 19th January 2020

The new year may be but a few weeks old but it is already time for the first main event in Blackpool with January’s Winter Gold event taking place on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th January. With a newly revised timetable and 13 weather and time of year appropriate trams due to run it looks set to be the best chance so far this year to get your Blackpool tram fix!

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In Pictures: Old tram track discovered in Edinburgh Trams extension

Over the years we’ve become used to old tram track being uncovered in various roadworks across the country, still in their original position having just had concrete poured over them once the tramway had been abandoned but some recent tram track discovered is a little different!

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Balloon 709

Its time to head into the archives again as we are off to Blackpool in the 1980s.

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In Pictures: Metrolink around Oldham Town Centre as power supply problems hit Victoria

On Friday 10th January, power supply problems at Victoria led to service alterations on Manchester Metrolink with no trams able to access the station for a time. At the time British Trams Online contributor, Steve Hyde, was in Oldham Town Centre and the following pictorial article shows some of the short-running services as well as a few other sights around the area of trams in action.

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition back at Seaton

For the second year in a row the world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is back at the Seaton Tramway terminus, this time staying for three months as part of its world tour. Featuring 100 high-quality images the exhibition will be at Seaton from 15th January until 3rd April 2020.

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Still Standing – Extra! Ashton-under-Lyne Horse Tram Depot

As a follow on from yesterday’s edition of “Still Standing!” we head back around 60 years to take a look at the structure again, at a time when there were fears it may have to be demolished following a fire.

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Blackpool 31 leads the way at Beamish

If ever you needed an example of how hard working the trams are at Beamish on a year by year basis you only have to look at the latest mileage figures released on the Beamish Transport & Industry Blog with over 25,000 miles covered during 2019. Top of the list was Blackpool 31 which alone covered 6,000 with Sheffield 264 and Sunderland 16 not far behind.

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In Pictures: Another tram Joins the Pact in Edinburgh

Often the Hogmanay tram in Edinburgh can carry on for quite some time into the following year but not so in 2020! 264 has already lost its special Hogmanay vinyls and is the latest tram to have “joined the pact” as it too now advertises Johnnie Walker and their Join the Pact campaign.

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Still Standing! Ashton-under-Lyne Horse Tram Depot

In this edition we go way back to the horse tram era for a structure which was originally opened for trams in 1881 by the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company in Ashton-under-Lyne.

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Work continues on Railcoach 279

It would appear that the lack of motivation after the Christmas break doesn’t extend to the Fylde Transport Trust as less than two weeks in and there is another update on the restoration of Railcoach 279 with more progress being made.

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Where are they now? Barrow Corporation Tividale trams

Following the closure of Barrow Corporation Tramways in 1932 six Tividale design trams were sold on further use as holiday accommodation before some were then sold on for possible preservation. The question mark in the headline is very much a question mark though as their whereabouts now seems to be unknown so we are throwing it out to the readers of this website to see whether anyone can help!

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Picture in Time: Snaefell Mountain Railway 4

With 2020 marking the 125th anniversary of the Snaefell Mountain Railway we step across to the Isle of Man for this edition of “Picture in Time” and head up to the summit some 60 years ago.

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In Pictures: Beamish starts another year

Similarly to Blackpool, there isn’t much of a closed season for the UK’s hardest working heritage trams at Beamish with the museum open all year round (although at this time of year it is closed every Monday and Friday). 2020 has started for the trams much as 2019 ended with Sunderland 16, Blackpool 31, Oporto 196 and Sheffield 264 all currently available for service. Between one and two trams have been used each day so far in 2020, and at this time of year that is plenty as an open air museum in January doesn’t seem to top of everyone’s list of things to do plus there aren’t a huge number of school trips just yet.

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Fares to increase on Edinburgh Trams

The latest tram company to announce revised (increased!) fares for 2020 is Edinburgh Trams with their new fares structure due to start on 2nd February. This will be the first increase in fares since 2018 and will not affect those tickets purchased in advance through the website.

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Heaton Park Tramway win Tramway of the Year as Isle of Man also wins big in Tram of the Year

There can be no denying that 2019 was a challenging year for the volunteers at the Heaton Park Tramway with the theft of overhead wires in September bringing a temporary halt to operations but following on from industry help and a resumption in services just a month later they have now been rewarded by readers of British Trams Online with the accolade of Tramway of the Year in the annual Tram of the Year contest. Meanwhile the main “Tram (Traditional) of the Year” remains on the Isle of Man with Manx Electric Railway trailer 54 receiving the most votes with the Manx Heritage Transport Festival also winning in the “Event of the Year” category. The final category – “Tram (Modern) of the Year” saw a tie with Blackpool 001 and Manchester Metrolink 3006 getting exactly the same number of votes.

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This week on British Trams Online

The quiet start to the year continues on British Trams Online this week as we move the Advent Calendars into the Gallery:

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15% rise in passenger numbers on Luas

2019 saw a rise for the third consecutive year in passenger numbers on Ireland’s only tram system, Luas. 48.1 million journeys were recorded which was an increase of 15% on the previous year’s figure.

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Around the World in Trams: Potsdam 409

Passport packed and we’re off around the world again! As we resume our look at trams from outside of the British Isles we stop off for the next few weeks in Potsdam, Germany where trams having been operating since 1880.

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Ian Longworth back in charge at Isle of Man Transport

At the end of 2018 it was announced that Isle of Man Director of Transport Ian Longworth would be stepping down from his role as he started to prepare for retirement with a reduced hours job to manage Department of Infrastructure major capital projects. But fast forward 12 months and Mr Longworth is heading back to his old role – retirement seemingly put on the back burner!

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