You’ll probably have seen the news headlines today as the queues of people outside non-essential shops as they reopened for the first time since January but that isn’t all that has been able to re-open following the latest relaxation of restrictions – heritage tramways can also now start to run! And Monday 12th April saw two heritage lines in England run for the first time this year – the Crich Tramway Village and Seaton Tramway.
Both lines will be continuing to run with their successful regulations which were put in place last year – although with small tweaks to improve the “customer experience” – which means it isn’t quite like the old days but at least it means for the first time since trams ran at Heaton Park for Lightopia at the very start of the year, there are heritage trams carrying paying passengers in England!
Going at this alphabetically, three trams were allocated to service at the Crich Tramway Village on the first day – all stalwarts of the operational fleet over the years. They were Glasgow 22, Blackpool 167 and Leeds 399 which operated the complete length of line with social distancing measures in place and tram rides having to be booked at admissions subject to availability.
Inside exhibition areas remain closed for now and Rita’s Tearooms are offering a takeaway service only but with attractions such as the Woodland Walk still available there is plenty for the family to see and do!
Outside areas and tram rides are now open at Crich until Sunday 16th May six days a week with the museum closed on Fridays. From Monday 17th May to Sunday 20th June inside exhibition areas will be reopened with the museum still closed on Fridays (except for 4th June) but there will still be Covid restrictions in place. It is then open Monday 21st June to Thursday 15th July (still closed Fridays) with later dates to be confirmed later.
Meanwhile, down at the Seaton Tramway services started operating on the Orange timetable at 1000. Trams run every half hour with Accessible trams due to run at least the 1030, 1230, 1400 and 1600 departures from Seaton (1130, 1330, 1500 and 1700 return from Colyton) – other accessible trams may run on other services as well. Trams 9, 10, 11 and 12 were scheduled to run on the first day although it appears 8 also made it to the Seaton terminus so may have run on the first day as well or instead of one of the above.
Services will now be running on the Seaton Tramway every day until 31st October. A number of different coloured timetables will run and you can find all the details at https://www.tram.co.uk/timetables
Heritage trams are back – we’ll just ignore how cold it has become and enjoy that fact!