Coming soon: Approved extensions across the British Isles

Can’t keep up with which extensions have been approved and either about to start or have started construction or are just ideas and may happen in the future? Well, if you are worry no more as if here is you one stop overview of all approved extensions across the British Isles. We’re not including those places where there is just a renewal of existing lines (i.e. Douglas Bay Horse Tramway) but will look at all tramways whether traditional or modern and their planned extensions.

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Posted in Blackpool Tramway, East Anglia Transport Museum, Edinburgh Trams, Manchester Metrolink, West Midlands Metro | Leave a comment

In Pictures: 1950s weekend at Beamish

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July saw Beamish head back to the 1950s (or is that forward to the 1950s?!) for another weekend event. As always the trams provided a vital transport link around the museum site with the Saturday of the event seeing four trams allocated to service all running in a clockwise direction. The four trams were Blackpool 31, Blackpool 40, Newcastle 114 and Sheffield 264. Leo Dembry has provided us with the following photos.

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In Pictures: It never rains but it pours in Sheffield!

We head back until Sunday 2nd December 2018 for this small pictorial article as heavy rain in Sheffield lead to trams having to plough through surface water as they continued running the normal service without much complaint. In this update Nigel Pennick was in the Hillsborough area of the city – where both Blue and Yellow route service runs – and captured these images of the original trams constructed by Siemens-Duewag in the early 1990s.

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Around the World in Trams: Krakow 3042

Poland is the location for our worldwide tram series for the next few weeks as we head to the southern city of Krakow.

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Call made for memorial to Burton tram tragedy

During the peak years of first generation tramways in the UK there were a number of accidents which saw people tragically lose their lives and now a call has made for one of these to be commemorated as the centenary of the incident approaches. On 8th October 1919 Burton & Ashby 19 lost traction on the track which caused the tram to head back down a hill and then derail and overturn. Two people tragically lost their lives, including the conductress on the tram, Lillian Parker and one passenger.

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Happy 10th birthday to the M5000!

13th July 2009 saw the delivery of the first of a new class of trams for Manchester Metrolink with Bombardier built M5000 3001 arriving at Queen’s Road Depot. At this time the M5000s were only been ordered to add to the T68 fleet but this decision was soon changed and they were to become the sole type of tram to operate on the network with 120 examples now in service in the city (and another 27 now on order).

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This week on British Trams Online

This week’s pair of Photo Galleries both come from traditional tramways in the UK:

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Luas Green line hit by overhead line problems

Overhead wires – great when they work and power trams across the British Isles but as soon as there is an issue with them that’s when things start to go awry to the service. The latest place to suffer a major problem with its overhead has been the Luas network in Dublin with the Green line severely affected on Saturday 13th July after an issue was detected when trams returned to depot after the previous day’s service.

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Picture in Time: Midland Metro 10

This week our modern archive image comes from Midland Metro showing one of the original T69 trams in its second livery style.

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Performance goes up on the Tyne and Wear Metro

Some good news to report from the Tyne and Wear Metro where the last four week performance period has seen an increase in train punctuality – both in comparison to the previous period and also the same time in 2018. The magic number this time is 87%.

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In Pictures: Birmingham Westside extension

It will be the next tram extension to open in the UK and should be open within the next six months (opening still remains promised for late 2018). We are, of course, talking about the Birmingham Westside extension of West Midlands Metro which will see trams running from the current Grand Central terminus through Victoria Square to Centenary Square as phase one of this line (by 2021 trams will head to Hagley Road, Edgbaston). The line will also be the first UK tram line to be built without overhead wires allowing the CAF Urbos 3 trams to operate under battery power. This pictorial update shows the scene of the line in early July.

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In Pictures: A Tramtastic day at Heaton Park

On Sunday 7th July the Heaton Park Tramway has their big tram only event for the year with Tramtastic 2019 taking place, with all trams on site playing some part in the day’s goings on. The day saw the return to service at Heaton Park of Manchester 765 after its eventful trip from Beamish a few days earlier whilst one of the other highlights was a five tram parade including the three service cars plus Blackpool 619 and Stockport 5, both of which are currently undergoing workshop attention.

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Work begins on temporary Metro depot in North Tyneside

The Tyne and Wear Metro will soon have a second depot with work now having started on the construction of a temporary depot at Howden in North Tyneside. This depot is due to be ready for use by summer 2020 and is required to provide accommodation to trains whilst the current depot at Gosforth is rebuilt ahead of the delivery of the new trains.

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Supertram gets ready for areas 3, 4 and 5 of rail replacement works

Whilst the area 2 rail replacement works on Stagecoach Supertram are still continuing – schedule to finish on Thursday 18th July – plans have now been revealed for areas 3, 4 and 5 which will take place between Monday 22nd July and Friday 30th August. Taking place around Shalesmoor, Hillsborough and the University of Sheffield these works will once again see the Blue and Yellow routes operating a revised service with replacement buses also in operation to service the affected areas.

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In Pictures: A dull and damp July weekday sees Box 40 in action

With most schools still hard at work – at least for a few more weeks anyway – Beamish is currently in the inbetween season, sort of the calm before the storm of the summer holidays if you want!, with a three tram service enough to suffice those visitors to the museum and this is exactly what greeted Trevor Hall on Tuesday 9th July. This included Box 40 which is now the sole on loan tram in the north east (scheduled to remain until the end of August) and it was joined by two further enclosed trams in the shape of Sunderland 16 and Sheffield 264 with it being a rather dull and damp day (the sunny weather seems to have gone on holiday itself again for now).

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Driver’s accept pay deal on Tramlink

Earlier this year services on London Tramlink were severely disrupted for two 24 hour periods after driver’s voted to strike over a pay offer made by Tram Operations Limited. However, after a fresh offer was made – including a minimum 9.9% pay increase over three years plus additional rest days – the industrial action was suspended with ASLEF members being asked to vote on whether to accept this new deal. It has now been confirmed that just less than 9 in 10 drivers who took part in the ballot have accepted the deal bringing an official end to the dispute between the drivers represented by ASLEF and Tram Operations Limited. Further negotiations will now be taking place between Unite the union and Tram Operations Limited concerning other workers on Tramlink who are not part of this deal.

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Picture in Time: Vienna 4225

Another image from Crich features in this edition of Picture in Time as we head back nearly 47 years for a view of a tram which has a different identity today.

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In Pictures: Crumpsall gets TMS equipment ready for Trafford Park service

The Manchester Metrolink Bury line was closed in its entirety on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July with the main purpose seeing the installation of the majority of the TMS (that’s Tram Management System not Test Match Special!) equipment needed to control the new platform when trams from the Trafford Park line start to terminate in early 2020. This is a vital step for the introduction of these services and will allow the safe movement of trams into the bay platform here. The chance was also taken on Sunday 7th for some work to take place at Victoria with a half set of switches (points) replaced at the city end of the stop. Steve Hyde has provided us with these photos.

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In Pictures: And the trackworks go on

In around a week’s time there will be that rare phenomenon in Sheffield – a full tram service running across the whole network, well for three days anyway! The latest rail replacement progress has been concentrated on the inbound track between Wood Street and West Don Street (both roads which can be found along Infirmary Road between the stops at Langsett Primrose View and Infirmary Road) with the usual efficient process of removing the old track, dealing with the track base and then putting the new track down taking place. These area two works are due to finish on Thursday 18th July when a full tram service will run during the Tramlines festival – then its back to it with areas 3, 4 and 5! Stuart Cooke provides the latest images.

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Parade to disrupt Edinburgh Trams

Edinburgh Trams services on Sunday 14th July will only run between the Airport and West End Princes Street for a few hours with a parade taking place as part of the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. This parade will mean that the last full route service from Edinburgh Airport to York Place will run at 1240 with the last departure from York Place back at 1322. A full route will resume no later than 1603 from the Airport and 1644 from York Place. The parade itself starts at 1500 with performances in Princes Street Gardens getting going from 1400 with the tram the easiest way to get there!

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