We have been very fortunate that our colleagues in the heritage tramway world have felt happy to send tramcars from their collections to Beamish, for both short and long term visits. Here are those trams that have visited us:
This horse drawn tram has visited us on two occasions from the Heaton Park Tramway. It is notable in being the only working (indeed, complete) Eades Patent Reversible Horse Tram and the facility to rotate the body was ably demonstrated during its public running sessions at Beamish. It is currently on display at the Bury Transport Museum.
Built in 1901 by Hurst Nelson for the Hull Corporation, 96 originally ran as an open top double deck car. It was later modified to include a roof of the ‘Bellamy’ type, featuring open end balconies. The car was totally enclosed about 1930, as part of an experiment in single man operation, having platform doors fitted and bulkheads removed.
96 was cut down to single decker form in 1933 for use as a stores car and snow plough. The closure of Hull’s tram routes led to 96 being sold with a number of passenger cars to Leeds in 1942-45. There it ran as Stores Car number 6, until the closure of Leeds City Tramways in 1959.
96 was bought by a local enthusiast and stored on the Middleton Railway before being moved near to Wakefield and in 1974 back to Leeds. The Manchester Transport Museum Society later bought the car, restoring it as a single deck passenger car at Mode Wheel workshops in Salford. 96 has run at Heaton Park Tramway, Manchester, since 1988, and has seen a great deal of use, especially on wet days. During construction of track extensions, 96 was also used as a works car. In 1994 it visited the Manchester Metrolink depot at Queens Road for its wheels to be re-profiled, and was also on show at the Metrolink depot Open Day that year.
2008 saw 96 receiving an overhaul to its bodywork, truck and motors, emerging in the autumn in its austerity grey livery as Leeds Works Car 6. It is currently on an extended loan to Beamish over the summer, Beamish’s Oporto Tram 196 having travelled the other way for the duration of the exchange.
Click here to visit Heaton Park Tramway’s webpage for the tram.
The Tramway Museum Society, who own the remarkable collection at the National Tramway Museum, Crich, Derbyshire, sent Cardiff 131 up for our four day ‘Corporations and Contractors’ weekend in April 2010.
Yet again the cooperation between Beamish and the Heaton Park Tramway was exemplified by the visit to Beamish, for a month period, of the truly stunning Manchester 765, a combination type tram not dissimilar to a small number operated in Gateshead before the First World War.
This was the one that many enthusiasts had been waiting for! The superbly restored Blackpool 11, a tram equipped with VAMBAC control, visited in the late summer of 2011 from the East Anglian Transport Museum and operated with near capacity enthusiast loads throughout!
This tram arrived from the Birkenhead Tramway, where it is operated by the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society, for a working visit in the spring of 2012.
In the autumn of 2012 the Lancastrian Transport Trust owned Blackpool Coronation car No.304 operated for several weeks at the Museum. Whilst large, long and heavy, it proved very popular with its near silent and swift acceleration and luxurious interior. It is seen here breezing up Pockerley Bank in late autumnal sunshine.
Lisbon 730 visited Beamish for the tramway 40th anniversary and operated from the 6th to the 21st April 2013. It was regularly paired with Oporto 196, the first time two trams from these two Portuguese cities have run together on standard gauge tracks. 730 visited from the Wirral Tramway in Birkenhead, their second tram to visit, after Birkenhead 20’s previous trip to the north east.
One of the most colourful visiting trams was Glasgow 1068, from the National Tramway Museum at Crich. It operated, alongside Lisbon 730, for the 40th anniversary period 6th to 21st April 2013. It was the first Scottish tramcar to operate at Beamish, and the first visiting passenger carrying car from the NTM.
Heaton Park are the owners of Blackpool 680 (nee 280) and in late 2012 agreed to a working visit by the car, which had up until December been in store at Blackpool Transport Service’s Rigby Road depot. It was commissioned in January 2014, the tenth visiting tram to Beamish, with green stripes being added at this stage also. It is due to stay at Beamish until May 2014.
The latest visitor is Blackpool 167, making an extended visit from the National Tramway Museum and the fourth visiting Blackpool tramcar. It arrived on the 27th January 2014 and was trialed later the same day following commissioning. It is due to remain at Beamish until late April. It is seen here on its maiden run, parked in the Town street.