A remnant of Manchester’s transport history
Heaton Park Trams
2 May 2010
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Manchester has had (new) trams running through its streets for a little under 20 years. Previously, its "traditional" electric tramway system was, at its heyday, the third largest in the UK (after Glasgow and London). Nevertheless, it was an early victim to closure, services ending in January 1949. Remarkably, a short stretch of double-track tramway survived (albeit under tarmac). Entirely within Heaton Park, in the city's northern suburbs, it had served a terminus in the park. The tarmac was removed in the 1970s, and trams began to operate again under the aegis of the Manchester Transport Museum Society. The  Society's website tells the full story. I would be travelling homewards from Yorkshire during the bank holiday weekend, and checked the websites for a suitable visit to break the journey. Remarkably, most of the steam railways in the area seem to have chosen the weekend for all kinds of
Geoff’s Rail Diaries
antics, many of them involving the locomotives wearing faces. Perhaps not. Then I remembered the tramway... MTMS have in their custody the lovingly-restored former Manchester car no. 765; however during the spring period services are being operated by a much more exotic beast - visiting from Beamish, but originally from much further away - Porto car no. 196 (I wonder if it was one of the cars we rode in 1972? See Raildiaries pages  Portuguese Steam) The original track has been extended, running alongside existing roads further into the park, and there are plans for further extension. Judging from our fellow travellers, the tramway is already well used as a means of getting around in the park - the extension will doubtless enhance this use and add to its fund- raising potential for the activities of the society. Link: Heaton Park Tramway 
196 in the park 196 Blackpool works car no 752 Detail on overhead support pole 196 approaches 196 in the woods Approaching the depot (formerly the terminus shelter) The time-honoured manoeuvre On the original tramway, at the park gates Beyond the gates... 196 interior Manchester 765 Horse tram no. L53 L53 - rear Approaching the depot Returning from the park gates Lakeside terminus departure