This weekend looks set to be another big weekend for heritage trams in the UK with the Heaton Park Tramway reopening (the first normal operation since before the pandemic!) as down at the Seaton Tramway it is the 24 hour Tramathon taking place from midday on Saturday 5th June.
The Heaton Park Tramway will be officially reopened at 1130 on Saturday 4th June at Middleton Road Depot before specially invited guests will then board a tram for a ride to Lakeside. Then from 1200 normal public services will commence and this will be the first normal operation since March 2020 (the launch of Stockport 5 in December 2020 was a special service and the tramway then ran during December of the Lightopia event for ticket holders to that event only).
The service will be operated by Stockport 5 and Blackpool 623 while Hull 96 will also be out on the line running on pre-booked Tram Driving Experiences. Capacity on board the passenger trams will be reduced and masks should be worn by everyone travelling (unless exempt). Services will start and end at Lakeside with passengers having to get off between trips to allow for cleaning of the tram before its next service.
Fares will be £2 for an adult return, £1 for a child return (5-15 years old) and a family return is £5. Payment must be made by card. Anyone who is either a member of the Manchester Transport Museum Society or of a partner organisation will still be able to use their membership card for free rides.
Meanwhile, down in Devon and its time for the 24 hour Tramathon again. One of the highlights of 2020, the Tramathon this year will have the added bonus of real people being able to ride on the trams! Starting at midday trams will run be running for a full 24 hours until midday on Sunday 6th June. Using a number of different trams, with various special trips included special tickets can be purchased to travel on board the Tramathon service (a normal tram service will also be running alongside (and your ticket for the Tramathon includes a trip on that Tramathon service and an All Day Explorer).
You can find more details on the Tramathon – including how to book tickets – by visiting https://www.tram.co.uk/events/view/tramathon-live. This link also gives the plan for which tram which be running which service although this is subject to change. Suffice to say 4 should be running the bulk of the trips!
But the Tramathon isn’t just about running trams for 24 hours, it has a fundraising aspect too to help the tramway continue to thrive and improve by getting extra funds through the door. As with all heritage tramways the past year has been very challenging for the tramway with periods of closures and reduced visitor numbers and so this is a chance for the Seaton Tramway to raise more funds o continue doing what we all enjoy!
If you can’t get along to the tramway you can still watch what’s going on at the following links:
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeatonTramway/live_videos
On YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/seatontramway/videos
On the Webcam at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IamIIRmNniA
And don’t forget there will also be heritage trams running in Blackpool, at Crich, the East Anglia Transport Museum, Summerlee plus on the Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway on the Isle of Man. Plenty to keep you occupied!