Ah, dear readers. Too much time has elapsed since my last post, but such is life. So many positive and interesting developments have emerged in the past two months, and we’ll jump back in with a few happy notes from the UK — by no means a definitive account of what has been happening on Britain’s modern and historic tramways, but hopefully an enjoyable peek for you.
The first item I’d like to mention was the public launch, on 12th May, of Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 at its new home, Crich Tramway Village. The modernised 1937-vintage tram, constructed by Brush of Loughborough, Leicestershire, entered service at the museum in 1990s livery — complete with distinctive period fleet logos — courtesy of a Blackpool Transport repaint before it departed the Lancashire resort last year. Tramways Monthly Editor Jack Gordon was kind enough to send the photos seen here. For more on the car and its Crich debut, see:
- 22 December 2011 Crich article on delivery of the car.
- 4 May 2012 Crich preview of launch.
- 14 May 2012 Crich review of launch.
- British Trams Online launch review by Andrew Waddington.
- Wikimedia Commons photos of Brush 630.
- YouTube video of 630 leaving Blackpool on 21st December 2o11, by user Dalrigh.
- Page of 630 photos on the 15C Railway Photo Gallery of Jason Cross.
Heaton Park Depot Appeal
From Crich, we head to the home of another preserved Blackpool Brush car, namely Manchester’s Heaton Park Tramway. Readers may recall seeing photos of Brush 623 at Heaton earlier this year, in my post about driving another one of that facility’s trams. Many thanks go out to tireless museum member Joe Savage for sending out regular emails full of photos depicting the goings-on at this growing operation.
The latest item of note is Heaton Park’s big push to raise the final £10,000 for its new depot, as described here. That was the amount required as of 11th May, when the page was updated. Surely some new donations have come in since then, but no doubt the organisation can still use more help in reaching this worthwhile goal.
As you may recall, operations are currently based out of a cramped depot built from a vintage tramway shelter in the park. The new depot will be at the opposite end of the line, near the boating lake.
Purple Caterpillars on Parade
And it has been so long since I last blogged that I have yet to mention perhaps the biggest news in the world of British tramways this spring, namely the April launch of Blackpool’s new Flexity 2 low-floor trams. In this, I owe particular apology to enthusiast Dave Monaghan, who was kind enough to send me some pictures of the new cars — which some have dubbed (derisively or not, I can’t quite tell) purple caterpillars — as far back as April 9. Below are two of Dave’s Good Friday images, with my thanks.