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  • British Trams Online
    Shortlist Edinburgh Trams 275 We all know the story of the controversial Edinburgh Trams project but 2014 finally saw the first passengers carried between the Airport and York Place in the city centre On Saturday 31st May large groups of would be passengers congregated at Gyle Centre waiting for the first revenue earning service and the tram chosen for the honour was 275 Departing Gyle Centre at 0500 the tram was packed on its first journey to the City Centre the first tram to carry passengers on the cities streets since 16th November 1956 Manchester Metrolink 1007 Back in 1992 the whole idea of modern trams on UK streets seemed to be a fanciful idea but it was in that year that the way was paved for other cities across the country when Manchester Metrolink opened When it opened there was a fleet of 26 T68 LRVs purchased to operate the service between Bury and Altrincham and although they may not be the most aesthically pleasing vehicles ever to traverse a tramway they have an incredibly key role to play in the history of UK trams As Manchester Metrolink has expanded a new fleet of trams was acquired and the decision was taken to withdraw the original T68s It seemed for a time as though this historic fleet would completely disappear but then the Heaton Park Tramway came along and saved 1007 for preservation Although the LRV was withdrawn from service in February 2014 it remained serviceable and had the honour of performing the last ever passenger runs of a T68 when on Monday 26th May it operated a Farewell T68 tour along with sister 1016 It was during this tour that 1007 was officially presented to the Heaton Park Tramway although at the time of writing it remains on Manchester Metrolink property In being handed 1007 becomes the first second generation tram in the UK to be officially preserved and for that reason it is included on our shortlist Midland Metro 20 It has been a year of new LRVs being introduced across the UK and Midland Metro was not to be left out Built by CAF in Spain the Urbos 3 trams are being introduced to replace the original T69 fleet After several months of testing and two chances for locals to inspect the new vehicles the first of the Urbos 3s carried passengers on Friday 5th September On that day four of the vehicles were used in service but it is no 20 which makes our shortlist as it was the tram which was chosen to operate the very first service and was used at the official launch ceremony Nottingham Express Transit 218 Another system to introduce new trams in 2014 was Nottingham Express Transit The East Midlands city welcomed a fleet of Alstom built Citadis 302 trams with the first passenger runs for this class being on Sunday 27th July The very first of the fleet to be used in passenger service was 218 which has since been named Jim Taylor and it is that vehicle which has been chosen for the shortlist becoming the very first Alstom built tram to run in the UK Tramway of the Year The Shortlist Crich Tramway Village 2014 has been a good year for the Crich Tramway Village home of the National Tramway Museum with several excellent special events taking place But it is not just the special events Best of Sheffield Electric 50 Blackpool 711 s 80th birthday which warrants its inclusion on the shortlist as the year has seen 26 different passenger trams operate including horse car Sheffield 15 an attempt to run at least three trams a day throughout the season and for the first time since the extension opened passengers have been able to alight at Glory Mine opening up a whole new batch of photo opportunities Edinburgh Trams After all the delays and controversy 2014 finally saw trams return to the streets of Edinburgh Saturday 31st May was the date that many had been waiting a lifetime for as for the first time since November 1956 the public were able to travel on a tram in Scotland outside of a Museum of course For no other reason than this Edinburgh Trams deserves its place on the shortlist Heaton Park Tramway Last years winner makes it onto the shortlist again in 2014 This year has seen the new Lakeside Depot officially opened although trams were stabled in the building since the end of last year but it is for other ongoing projects which also warrant its inclusion Manchester 173 has made a trip across to Leeds to help commemorate the start of World War One whilst both Manchester Metrolink 1007 and Oldham 43 have joined the ever increasing and varied collection Manchester Metrolink Yes it is true that Manchester Metrolink often makes the news for the wrong reasons as a result of delays across the system but there is much good about Manchester Metrolink which means it has to be on the shortlist The latest piece of the extension jigsaw was opened in November when the Manchester Airport extension carried its first passengers over a year early 2014 had also started with the two final sections of the Oldham Rochdale line opening The expansion of Metrolink will also not stop there with construction underway on the important Second City Crossing and the Trafford Centre extension has now also been given the go ahead Seaton Tramway It was a Valentines Day present that no one wanted a bad storm overnight saw a chunk of the trackbed washed away just before Seaton Tramway was due to open for the February Half Term period However rather than allow themselves to get down about this problem the Seaton Tramway soon put a plan into action which would allow them to operate a limited service whilst repairs were undertaken Hiring a lorry two of the tramways fleet were transported to Colyton so that a service could be operated from there

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear14.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online
    five is of course for its loan spell at Beamish in April where it eventually arrived during the second day of the Our Friends Electric event and then proved to be a very popular temporary addition to the fleet there for the next few weeks The first Scottish tram to run at Beamish the tram then returned to Crich and again proved popular during the sunny summer weather Leeds 107 After an eight year restoration and 112 years since it last carried passengers 107 made a return to the rails at the Middleton Railway in its home city during the August Bank Holiday Festival of Transport Granted the launch event did have a tragic accident but that should not take away from the efforts of the Leeds Transport Historical Society in restoring this fine double deck horse car Shortly after the event in Leeds the tram was moved to its new home at the Crich Tramway Village where the tram was able to be displayed during the Enthusiasts Event as part of the horse car line up Stockport 5 If you had asked us before the nominations opened whether 5 would make the final five the answer would likely to have been no but its popularity during the nominations phase has meant it has been selected Although the tram only spent a winter out of service when it returned it had a different apperance and shows just what a small time on a shoestring budget can achieve when they put their minds to it Featuring a more authentic look including adverts the tram was again popular during the summer indeed it is no coincidence so many of the nominees this year are open trams following the warm and sunny summer we experienced Other trams which nearly made it onto the shortlist and were probably equally deserving but we had to draw the line somewhere were Blackpool Brush 631 London United Tramways 159 Midland Metro 11 Snaefell Mountain Railway 1 Other trams were of course nominated but our expert panel decided they had not done enough to make the shortlist If you would like to know why your choice hasn t made it please contact us and we will try and explain Tramway of the Year The Shortlist It has to be said that this category has been a huge struggle as though several tramways musuems have achieved things this year they have also had problems so there is no one place which really stands out Nevertheless we have come up with three nominees Blackpool Tramway A rather predictable nomination but one which has to be on the shortlist really 2013 has shown that heritage trams can operate alongside a modern light rail system and the revised way heritage trams have operated has proven to be a success with enthusiasts actually supporting this year An enhanced service has also been operated on the tramway with a very regular service operating on Illumination Fridays and Saturdays the best for many years Passenger numbers have also increased during the year However it hasn t been all plain sailing as anyone visiting Blackpool during the Illuminations will testify The age old problems of the service collapsing when the trams are busy was seen all too frequently particularly on Fridays and Saturdays with large gaps between trams Heaton Park Tramway Another nominee which is added to the shortlist due to its heavy support 2013 has seen continued progress made on the new depot which is now nearing completion and during 2014 should enable their remaining trams to arrive at their new homes The year also ended with a successful Gala in November Manchester Metrolink We will probably be ridiculed in certain quarters for this being on the shortlist but despite the well documented problems Manchester Metrolink has also achieved a fair amount over the past 12 months Extensions have opened to Droylsden Rochdale East Didsbury and Ashton under Lyne during 2013 and next year should also see further lines opening with the Oldham and Rochdale town centre sections next up Unfortunately it hasn t been all good with problems at Cornbrook leading to delays and recently ice on the overhead had led to many complaints in the local media and on Twitter But as we are not looking for the best operator in the UK this does not mean Metrolink hasn t done enough to be nominated Event of the Year The Shortlist Probably the easiest category of the lot to come up with a shortlist with four events clearly out in front during the previous 12 months Blackpool Heritage Service rejuvinated OK yes we have cheated a bit with this one 2013 started with a stark warning to use it or lose it following the low turnout during the heritage service in 2012 and that it exactly what enthusiasts did in their numbers Only operating at Bank Holidays and in connection with special events the new format proved to be a success with tram changeovers during the day and also out of service vehicles displayed outside Rigby Road Depot It would be unfair and almost impossible to take just one of the periods of heritage operation alone so we have cheated and taken the rejuvination of the heritage service in total instead for this year only Crich Tramway Village Enthusiasts Day Back to just a one day event for 2013 the Enthusiasts Day at the Crich Tramway Village gave exactly what you expect from an event of this sort at the home of the National Tramway Museum lots of trams both in service and on display With an extensive tram service in operation including all those trams which could run running the depot fan was the scene of a London tram line up a horse car line up including Leeds 107 for the first time and the rare appearance of Leicester 76 outside Great North Festival of Transport Beamish A lot of people nominated Our Friends Electric for the event of the year but

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear13.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online
    Germany during September But the tram we have gone for is the pioneer 001 It may not have done anything really special in the past 12 months but is the first of the class which have revolutionised the Blackpool Tramway Blackpool Boat 236 Having been out of service in Blackpool since 2004 236 or 607 as was underwent major attention in the workshops at Blackpool before being moved to its new home at Crich in April As part of the attention the tram underwent a repaint and for the first time in many years a Boat Car was finished without windscreens It is mainly for this reason that 236 ends up on the shortlist rather than fellow Boat Cars 230 repainted and returned to service in Blackpool but only after a couple of years out of service and 233 repainted and returned to service at Beamish but again only after a few years out of use Blackpool Twin Car 272 T2 On 6th November 2011 many enthusiasts present in Blackpool thought they were saying goodbye to the operation of the popular Twin Cars in service when 672 682 returned to Depot following service But wind forward ten months or so and 672 682 now under its former identity of 272 T2 returned to service as part of the Heritage Fleet but in the all cream livery these trams operated in when first introduced As always with the Twin Cars this was a popular return to service and you have to admit it looks good in cream much better than Orange and Yellow Blackpool Brush 623 623 had left Blackpool back in May 2010 and was initially displayed at the now defunct Museum of Museums alongside Balloon 702 When this Museum closed rather than join the other Heaton Park owned trams in storage at the East Lancashire Railway it was moved to its new home tramway where preparations were made for its launch into service This duly happened on Sunday 22nd January 2012 when 623 became the first Brush Car to operate in preservation For this reason 623 is preferred to sister 630 which was launched into service at Crich later in the year Glasgow 1068 As plain old Paisley 68 this tram had spent a few years out of service at Crich but with the 50th anniversary of the closure of Glasgow s last tram route coming the Scottish Tramway and Transport Society funded a repaint whilst returning the tram to its Glasgow identity of 1068 The finished result which was the Blue route colour livery from Glasgow and thus completing the full set at Crich was ready in time for the Glasgow 50 event in September and if that wasn t enough the tram was returned to service for the weekend as well Fellow Glasgow tram 1282 was also returned to service for this event but because 1068 also received a repaint this gets the nod for the this nomination Grimsby Immingham 26 For the past 40 years this

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear12.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online - Tram of the Year
    since it was withdrawn from service in Blackpool in the early 1960s and it didn t put a foot wrong throughout the event clearly being the star of the show for many who attended The tram was such a star at Beamish that many tram enthusiasts found it very difficult to peel themselves away from 11 as it went round and round and round British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2011 Results Blackpool Marton VAMBAC 11 109 votes 55 Stockport 5 62 votes 31 Manx Electric Railway 7 28 votes 14 Tram of the Year 2011 Time to Vote Tram of the Year 2011 The Shortlisted Trams The three trams shortlisted for the British Trams Online Tram of the Year 2011 have now been selected and brief details are given below as to why they have been added to the shortlist Thanks to all those who nominated trams this year and apologies if your chosen trams hasn t made it Blackpool Marton Vambac 11 Why is it nominated Starring role at Beamish s Power from the Past 11 was a nearly tram in 2010 with its proposed loan to Blackpool for the 125th anniversary having to be cancelled after agreement couldn t be reached between the involved parties But in 2011 it certainly wasn t a story of nearly it was more a case of wow what a star that tram is The annual Power from the Past event at Beamish the Living Museum of the North in September had the theme of Circular Tour Riding for Pleasure and this meant trams which ran at the seaside and what better excuse than to get 11 away from its home since 1969 the East Anglia Transport Museum A short stay was all that 11 managed at Beamish but in that time it proved what a quality restoration it was as it got the chance to stretch it legs for the first time since it retired in Blackpool Manx Electric Railway 7 Why is it nominated Returning to service on the Isle of Man after a major restoration The very first Manx Electric Railway vehicle to make the shortlist 7 makes the cut following its major restoration and return to service carrying the attractive Douglas Laxey Electric Tramway livery of Blue and White The tram had last run in passenger service back in 2002 following which it was used as a works car until early in 2007 before a start was made on its restoration The tram made its return to service on 5th June 2011 and was then a regular in service on the railway often paired with matching liveried Trailer 48 Stockport 5 Why is it nominated Moving to Heaton Park and actually seeing use The 2011 shortlist is completed by Stockport 5 which was moved from Blackpool after 15 years of scandalous underuse It went to the ever improving Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester where it was quickly commissioned and was operating within just a few days of

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear11.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online - Tram of the Year
    the rails in 2010 after 18 years out of use 8 almost stole the show of the 125th Anniversary celebrations when it was used on a test run behind the Cavalcade on 29th September For a long time it looked like 8 would not turn a wheel during the celebrations having only arrived at Rigby Road just over two weeks previously and still requiring work For many all they could hope for was a sighting of the tram in the Electrical Compound at the Open Day However Blackpool Transport staff worked their magic on 8 over the next couple of days including the fitting of a tower and pantograph and it made its first apperance for over 18 years May 1992 was the last time the tram had last run on the Prom before this on the morning of 29th September on a short test run All was passed fit for the tram to then run during the Cavalcade arriving at Pleasure Beach just before 1400 having run from Depot via Foxhall crossover It then ran as the eight car in the Cavalcade from Pleasure Beach to Bispham and then back to Depot making a fine sight on the Prom in its Plum and Custard livery And if that isn t a good enough reason for its nomination then the last week of the season should help convince you when it ran a couple of tours for its owners the Lancastrian Transport Trust The first of these was for invited guests who had contributed to the restoration project on Thursday 4th November before its big day on Saturday 6th November when it ran a whole days enthusiast tour Blackpool Marton Box 31 Why is it nominated Three different tramways in one year and two different guises Where to start with 31 It started the year as plain old 31 operating on the tramway at the Beamish Museum before a spring repaint into Works Green and a return to its former identity of 4 to play a starring role in the Power from the Past event in April Following this event the tram returned to the Beamish workshops where a start was made on a repaint into 1920s Red White and Teak livery Once this repaint was finished the tram re entered service at Beamish being a very popular good weather high capacity tramcar 31 was transferred to Blackpool in mid September to take on a starring role in the 125th Anniversary celebrations arriving on 15th September The tram was first used on an enthusiasts tour on 24th September before seeing public service on 25th September and then another enthusiasts tour in the evening It was also the only visiting tram for the events to see use outside the events week on 16th and 27th October All of that was plenty to confirm 31 s place on the shortlist but then it was announced that it was to go on loan to the Heaton Park Tramway for the Winter period It

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear10.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online - Tram of the Year
    return to service after a major restoration One of the most hotly anticipated return to the rails of recent years Blackpool Illuminated Western Train 733 734 has been turning heads throughout the 2009 Blackpool Illuminations having undergone a major restoration funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund The trams last ran at the end of the 1999 Illuminations and during that 10 year hiatus they had been much missed and there was even a campaign by the Blackpool Gazette to get the Train back onto the rails Following its restoration 733 734 first ran on the Prom on Wednesday 15th April on test with the first passenger journey undertaken on Tuesday 12th May followed two days later by the official launch Another notable outing was at Totally Transport during June when they ran a couple of special tours from Harrowside to Little Bispham Starr Gate and back to Harrowside before they settled into a regular patten of Illumination Tours in September October and early November Despite a few teething problems the tram has proved popular with enthusiasts and general public alike Cardiff 131 Why is it nominated Completion of restoration to help celebrate 50 years of Crich For the first time a works car is on the shortlist for the award with Cardiff 131 131 was restored in the Workshops at Crich as it was the very first tram on the site back in 1959 and it was decided to help celebrate the 50th anniversary it would return to working order Looking resplendent in the maroon and cream colours of Cardiff Corporation Tramways the Water Car was restored in Crich s own workshops and played a starring role at the Crich50 celebrations over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in late May and was the first tram in the major cavalcade on

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear09.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online - Tram of the Year
    Vanguard 619 made a shock return to service in time for the 2008 Illumination season in the resort after a need was seen for some more appropriate trams for illumination tours The tram had last run during the 2004 season when like so many other trams it was mothballed with Blackpool Transport seeing the need for less trams due to changes in the operation of the tramway In August Blackpool Transport shocked many people when they announced that 619 was to be prepared for a return to service in time for the Illuminations to help the two Illuminated trams with the nightly tours from North Pier Although the tram failed several times on its first night of duty it soon settled into a regular pattern of service and even ran in slightly dodgy The tram may not be universally popular with enthusiasts because of its fake nature but it certainly turns heads on the Blackpool Prom and deserves the chance to compete for Tram of the Year 2008 The tram is due to move to the Heaton Park Tramway for 2010 Blackpool Balloon 717 Why is it nominated Return to service in Blackpool after major heritage overhaul Blackpool Balloon 717 was a very popular nomination and was probably always going to be on this year s shortlist The tram last run in the resort in 2003 when it was withdrawn along with some classmates before the major cull a year later It was suffering with serious underframe defects which would require the tram to have a major overhaul and so it had to wait five years before it could return to service If it hadn t have been for a Philip R Thorpe when the tram came to its turn for overhaul it would have had one similar in style to 713 But Mr Thorpe s will bequeathed a six figure sum to restore a Blackpool Balloon car to near original condition and 717 was the lucky tram chosen The result has some modern safety features the front bumper being the most obvious and although the tram was originally fitted with a trolley a pantograph is now fitted 717 ran its first passenger journeys on 20th July 2008 at Fleetwood Tram Sunday having undergone a Private Hire for Blackpool Transport Board members a couple of days previously The tram soon settled into a regular service pattern on the Fleetwood circuit The tram should have a fairly secure future when the tramway upgrade is undertaken thanks to this work Manchester Eades Reversible Horse Tram L53 Why is it nominated Into service after long standing restoration and the only Eades Reversible Horse Tram in service in the world Like 717 the inclusion of Manchester Eades Reversible Horse Tram L53 on this year s shortlist was always pretty much guaranteed The tram returned to operational condition after a restoration which can be traced back nearly 40 years the tram having been originally discovered back in 1970 It was originally commenced as a A

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear08.html (2016-04-25)
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  • British Trams Online - Tram of the Year
    nominated Has been all over celebrating the centeneary of the opening of the tramway in the North Wales towns With the Centenary of the opening of the 3 6 gauge Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway fast approaching the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Tramway Society decided the event must be marked with something tangable Sadly with the exception of one tram No 6 which returned to Bournemouth after the closure of the line in 1956 no other rolling stock from the former seaside tramway remained The Society had earlier located the body of another ex Bournmouth Brush built open top Double Deck Tram No 126 which was similar to 9 of the 10 which operated in North Wales for 20 years from 1936 A massive search locally found many original parts such as some upper deck seats old railings and netting lamps and other artifacts Over 9 months between September 2006 and May 2007 these were put together to form a Replica Tram which could be taken for display to various local events As no suitable location could be found for laying any track it was decided to mount the body on a road trailer so it could be towed round using the 1943 Matador Mighty Muriel already owned by a member of the Society We were delighted to receive the cup for the best exhibit at the Llandudno Carnival The tram has even been hauled to the Birkenhead tramway where it became the start attraction of the Wirral Bus and Tram Event on Sunday 7th October standing alongside the operational 4 8 1 2 former Merseyside trams After a visit to the former private way trackbed at Bodafon fields Llandudno on the actual Centenary on 19th October see attached pictures the tram was hauled the following day along the

    Original URL path: http://www.britishtramsonline.co.uk/tramofyear07.html (2016-04-25)
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