Bye bye, White Blob!

Blackpool’s Paint Shop is now occupied by a tram for the first time this year, having recently been kept busy with the application of vinyls and other finishing touches to Blackpool Transport’s new fleet of double-deck buses. The lucky tram to be under attention is B Fleet car 718, one of the four flat-fronted Balloons also known as ‘Millennium’ cars, albeit the only one which is currently active.

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Picture in Time: Manchester Metrolink 1013

We head back to the archives again today for the latest edition of Picture in Time and we are in 1992 for some early images of Manchester Metrolink with the subject being T68 1013.

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In Pictures: Box 40 on tour

On Sunday 9th April, Blackpool & Fleetwood Box car 40 operated a full system tour of the Blackpool tramway for its support group, ‘Friends of 40′. Primarily aimed as a social event and tram ride for many of the people who have financially supported 40‘s continued presence in Blackpool over the years, this trip was also opened up to other interested parties and thanks to Bryan Grint, who was one of the passengers, we have a small selection of images from the day.

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Allocations announced for Easter Gold in Blackpool

The Easter weekend looks set to see another action packed weekend of heritage trams in Blackpool with the popular Gold timetable in operation again on Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and Monday 17th April. As usual with this timetable six trams will be in service each day including one acting as a shop for all those unmissable Heritage Tram Tour goodies!

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Heaton Park Tramway New Volunteers Day – Saturday 22nd April

Volunteers are the lifeblood of heritage tramways across the UK and without them it is incredibly unlikely we would be able to enjoy the excellent events we see year on year. All heritage tramways are continually looking for more volunteers to help not only run these events but also the day to day operations and to this end the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester are holding another New Volunteers Day on Saturday 22nd April.

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SNP back plans to extend Edinburgh Trams – with conditions

The SNP have released their council manifesto for the forthcoming elections for seats on Edinburgh City Council with strong mention of proposals to extend the tram line down Leith Walk. Having previously been opponents of the scheme they seem to back the proposals, although there are strict conditions they set for their full support.

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Communications failure disrupts Metrolink

Manchester Metrolink services were disrupted by a communications failure at Trafford on Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th April. The problems were first reported during the evening rush hour on the Tuesday and saw services across the network being affected. The communications failure meant that Metrolink control room staff were unable to monitor tram movements or CCTV, although the problem was only experienced intermittingly. The following day further issues with communications meant that services on the Eccles line were affected as it was not possible to operate the intermediate MediaCityUK service with all Ashton-under-Lyne to Eccles services operated via MediaCityUK. Meanwhile services from Manchester Airport were only operating to Cornbrook rather than Deansgate-Castlefield.

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Nottingham’s longest serving tram driver retires

Graham Cusick, the longest server driver on Nottingham Express Transit, has retired after 14 years behind the controls. Graham was one of the first intake of eight drivers employed in February 2003 at the start of testing and commissioning of the original lines between Station Street and Hucknall/Phoenix Park and since then he has become the line’s longest serving drivers.

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Manchester Metrolink service change: Monday 17th to Thursday 20th April

Maintenance work and tram testing will mean that Metrolink services on the Airport line will only run between Manchester Airport and Firswood between 0300 and 0600 on Monday 17th to Thursday 20th April. A replacement bus will operate from Firswood to Deansgate-Castlefield.

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Picture in Time: Blackpool Railcoach 611

In this edition of Picture in Time we are again featuring a tram from Blackpool with Second Series English Electric Railcoach 611 in the frame.

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A new season begins for the horses in Douglas

After another winter of uncertainty the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway resumed operation on Saturday 8th April for another season – the earliest start for the tramway in a number of years but that didn’t matter to the public with capacity loads seen for much of the day. Despite the historic Summerhill stables having been up for sale over the winter and Strathallan Depot being cordoned off for safety reasons normal operations resumed on this day with the approved temporary horse and tram accommodation at Derby Castle not yet having been built.

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In Pictures: First UDE of 2017 at Crich

Saturday 8th April saw the first Ultimate Tram Driving Experience of the year at Crich with Liverpool 869 the tram chosen for the role. Alongside 869 a three car service operated – Chesterfield 7, Glasgow 22 and London County Council 106 – whilst Blackpool 167 was also out on the line running for Young Members Day. This small pictorial update shows the UTDE in action on the day; courtesy of the Crich Tramway Village.

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Picture in Time: Glasgow 585

In this edition of Picture in Time we feature a tram which is the last tram to remain in the ownership of the Science Museum – Glasgow 585.

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Beamish Steam Fair pulls in the punters

The annual Great North Steam Fair at Beamish Museum was held this year from Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th April, and as usual, this featured a mouthwatering array of steam engines plus numerous other working transport exhibits and, for the weekend only, a model tram exhibition as well. These events are always extremely well attended and 2017′s was no exception – to the extent that it has arguably become a victim of its own success!

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In Pictures: Wallasey 78 runs on test

After a lengthy period out of action, it is pleasing to see that Wallasey 78 has finally been re-commissioned at the Birkenhead heritage tramway. The tram has been undergoing various mechanical work, including the replacement of cracked wheel spokes and repairs to the motors, and has been beset by a whole host of unforseen issues which delayed its return to service.

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This week on British Trams Online

We only have the one Photo Gallery for you this week (there is more to come but time has run out to get them ready for this week) but it is quite a significant collection:

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Picture in Time: Stagecoach Supertram 123

Off to Sheffield again for today’s Picture in Time image and we catch up with tram no. 123 during 2003.

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Application put in to purchase land for Midland Metro Edgbaston extension

The Midland Metro Alliance – on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority – have submitted an application to the Department for Transport for the Edgbaston Extension Land Acquisition Order. This will enable the Alliance to purchase the land needed to construct the Midland Metro extension to Edgbaston.

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Edinburgh Trams scores high for customer service

Edinburgh Trams has been named as one of the UK’s top transport operators for customer service. The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) undertook a survey earlier this year and awarded Edinburgh Trams a score of 85.8 – more than 11 points above the transport industry average.

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Stagecoach Supertram service change: Sunday 16th & Monday 17th April

Services on Stagecoach Supertram will be affected by further works to connect the Supertram track to the Network Rail route to Rotherham over Easter with no trams able to run between Meadowhall South and Meadowhall Interchange on Sunday 16th and Monday 17th April. Buses will operate between these two stops with Yellow route trams only running from Middlewood to Meadowhall South, the Purple route will operate from Herdings Park to Cathedral. A Sunday service will be in operation on both days.

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