Season’s start on the MER and at Crich

A sure sign that Spring has almost sprung is the return of more tramways for another season of operation – Saturday 16th March saw two more lines start their 2019 season, those at Crich and on the Manx Electric Railway.

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Tram derailed after collision with bus in Dublin

Nine people suffered injuries after a tram was derailed in a collision with a bus in Dublin City Centre in the early morning of Saturday 16th March. Both vehicles suffered major damage in the incident which saw the front section of the tram come off the rails following the impact with the bus.

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This week on British Trams Online

This week we feature photos of battery trams now operating in West Midlands Metro:

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Canal tunnel reopened as Birmingham Westside works continue

Work on the West Midlands Metro Birmingham Westside extension are continuing at a pace with the Broad Street Canal Tunnel reopening on Thursday 14th March – two days ahead of schedule. This is all part of the second phase of this extension which will link Grand Central with Hagley Road, Edgbaston which is due to open in its entirety in 2021.

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Picture in Time: Croydon Tramlink 2546

Another all over advert carried on one of the trams of Croydon Tramlink in the early days of the system features as the latest image in Picture in Time today.

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Details announced for 2019 Manx Heritage Transport Festival

It may still only be March but that doesn’t mean it is too soon for details of what will be happening at the 2019 Manx Heritage Transport Festival to be announced. Traditionally one of the earliest events of the year to actually release full details the 2019 Festival takes place between Wednesday 24th and Sunday 28th July and although it isn’t such a significant year for the Manx Electric Railway that doesn’t mean it won’t be included!

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Punctuality up, reliability down on Metrolink

The latest performance statistics of Manchester Metrolink have been released ad whilst the figures remain fairly consistent they have shown an increase in punctuality with a small decrease in reliability. These figures relate to two four week periods from 9th December 2018 to 5th January 2019 and 6th January to 2nd February 2019.

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2019 NET Community Hero tram named

One of the recent traditions on Nottingham Express Transit around its anniversary is the naming of a tram after a Community Hero with Citadis 222 the tram reserved for this honour. The 2019 renaming took place on Friday 15th March with the lucky recipient being David Stewart OBE, a local head teacher and Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

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Planning application submitted for tram marquee in Douglas

Whilst we still don’t quite know when the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway may start running in 2019 (25th April is still the nominal date announced but is subject to change depending on progress on the Prom reconstruction works) plans are currently continuing for a service to operate at some point in the year, including a planning application for a temporary marquee to be put up to house the horse trams.

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London Tramlink strike set for 28th March

ASLEF have confirmed that they are instructing their members to go on strike on Thursday 28th March in a dispute over the latest pay offer made to staff on London Tramlink. As we reported earlier this month a ballot was called over a pay offer of 3.2% for each of the next three years and following this ballot there has been an overwhelming majority of ASLEF members who are favour of taking industrial action.

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Box 40 enters service at Beamish

Thursday 14th March was a momentous day for Blackpool & Fleetwood Box 40 as it entered service at Beamish – becoming the third tram to run on four different tramways in UK tram preservation. 40 is unlikely to be used on a daily basis just yet with this use in passenger service part of its testing and commissioning period.

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It’s a yes! Trams will go to Newhaven after approval given to extension

It’s the news we have been waiting for – Edinburgh Trams will be extended to Newhaven via Leith Walk after councillors at a full council meeting on Thursday 14th March voted in favour of the £207.3 million project going ahead. The 2.8 mile extension will continue the current line beyond the terminus at York Place (which will be removed and replaced by a new stop at Picardy Place) to Newhaven with first trams due to run in public service in 2023.

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Picture in Time: Seaton 19

Another of the trams converted for operation on the Seaton Tramway from an original first generation tramway is no. 19 – which started off life on the local Exeter Corporation Tramways system.

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In Pictures: More from Talbot Square

With much of Talbot Road now reopened whilst we all wait for the tramway extension to open – which as we have reported many times won’t be for quite some time as we still await the demolition of Wilkinson’s and construction of tramway terminus – attention is now being concentrated at the Promenade end of the route on both the platform at Talbot Square and also as the tracks meet the existing tramway.

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In Pictures: New signage on Edinburgh Trams

Over the past few months a number of new signs have appeared along the reserved track sections of Edinburgh Trams aimed at improving safety with new Temporary Speed Restrictions now put in place at all pedestrian crossings on these sections following on from the fatality in 2018 when a man was hit by a tram.

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NET get on the publicity machine as it reaches its 15th anniversary

In recent months local media have been reporting on what they see as the frequent service disruption on Nottingham Express Transit but now as the network celebrates its 15th anniversary the Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Advisory Committee have been told that it is a “world-class network to be proud of”.

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More overhead problems in the West Midlands

Coming hot on the heels of the previous disruption, Sunday 10th March saw further delays for passengers on the West Midlands Metro with overhead problems seen between Priestfield and Wednesbury Parkway causing shuttle services to operate until repairs could be undertaken.

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Wakebridge to act as terminus as Crich gets ready for new season

Over this winter the big project at the Crich Tramway Village has been to relay the track at Glory Mine but unfortunately it has now been confirmed that the work isn’t going to be completed in time for the start of the 2019 season with trams set to terminate at Wakebridge during March. Crich is due to open for the first time this year on Saturday 16th March.

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Engineering Car 753

It is a tram which it is hoped will be back on the rails sometime in 2019 for the first time since withdrawal in 1990 but it will look significantly different this time around as it will be a passenger tram once more having been converted into an overhead line car back in 1958. We are of course talking about Engineering Car 753 – or Standard 143 if you prefer.

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Tyne & Wear Metro performance improves but still down on 12 months ago

The continuing travails of reliability on the Tyne and Wear Metro have been shown in the latest performance figures as revealed in posters at each station on the network (but not made available on loan). These figures show that in the four weeks between 6th January and 2nd February 2019 81% of trains arrived on time – one percent up from the previous period but 5% down on the equivalent four weeks in 2018.

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