After five months away at Beamish, Manchester 765 has returned to its home base of the Heaton Park Tramway following the conclusion of its successful loan period. The tram departed the northeast on the morning of Tuesday 2nd July before making the long trip across to Manchester where it will now be recommissioned with a planned return to service at this Sunday’s (7th July) Tramtastic 2019 event.
It was almost exactly five months since 765 had made the opposite trip with it having left Heaton Park for Beamish on Tuesday 5th February and arriving at the museum the following day. After a swift commissioning the first test runs of 765 took place on Friday 15th February and although it wasn’t expected to be used until the Great North Steam Fair a shortage of available trams and nice weather during the February half term school holidays saw it first pressed into service for this visit on Thursday 21st February. The tram was then used sporadically for the remainder of its stay including during the Great North Steam Fair before its final use on Sunday 30th June (during the Old King Coal event).
The plan was always for 765 to be at Beamish until late June and with Tramtastic 2019 – the main tram only event at the Heaton Park Tramway for the year – imminent the tram was soon prepared for its departure on Monday 1st July. It was then loaded during the morning of Tuesday 2nd July before departing Beamish and making the journey to Manchester and Heaton Park.
Now back in the northwest and the tram will be recommissioned for service with it due to be used on Sunday 7th July at Tramtastic 2019. It is planned that it will be one of three trams in passenger service – along with Hull 96 and Blackpool 623 – with many of the other stored and out of service trams on display around the tramway. There will also a be tram parade and you can see more outline details of what is planned here. A word of warning for anyone heading to Heaton Park though, the Manchester Metrolink Bury line will be closed all day to allow for works in connection with the Trafford Park line (presumably at Crumpsall where the extra platform is being constructed) so you will need to travel by bus to the tramway.