Heaton Park Tramway
The Heaton Park Tramway is a heritage tramway running old trams as a visitor attraction in Heaton Park, Manchester.
Shortly after Heaton Park was bought by Manchester Corporation the tramway was extended into the park and the first tram arrived on 31 May 1903, bringing visitors from Manchester. By 1934 buses were taking over from trams and the tramway was disconnected from the main system and covered in tarmac for use by buses.
The Manchester Transport Museum Society (MTMS) was founded in 1961 with the aim of creating a museum in which to exhibit the society's collection for public display. It was decided that Heaton Park would be a suitable site for the museum and proposals were made to the Parks Department of Manchester City Council.
The initial idea, to construct a tramway from Grand Lodge to Heaton Hall, was considered too expensive, as it would require remedial works to carry it across the railway tunnel. A new scheme was proposed to open up the old Manchester Corporation Tramways spur from Middleton Road to the old tram shelter 300 yards (270 m) inside the park. The original track was buried under a layer of tarmac which was cleared and the tram shelter restored to form the centre of the society's operations. Work was completed in 1979 and the Heaton Park Tramway was officially opened on 28 March 1980.
The operation based upon the original siding has been extended using track salvaged from elsewhere, largely on a right of way to a new terminus by the boating lake. Plans exist for a further extension as far as the hall. Major restoration of the depot and museum complex was completed in 2007.
The tramway currently has an operating fleet of three electric trams. A Manchester 765 single deck combination car dating from 1914, a Stockport open top tram number 5 which arrived on 25 August 2011 and as of 22 January single deck Blackpool Brush car 623. Replica Blackpool Vanguard number 7 is currently on site but not in the operating fleet.
- Blackpool open-sided single-decker No. 619: (Originally OMO 7 but was rebuilt into its present form as a Blackpool and Fleetwood vanguard tram).
- Blackpool Brush railcoach single-decker No. 623 (286) built in 1937.
- Manchester Tram number 765 'California' type single-decker built in 1914.
- Blackpool railgringer works car No. 752 built in 1920. (Used on engineering duties).
- Undergoing overhaul, restoration or repair
- Leeds No. 6 (Formally Hull 96) single-decker built in 1901. (Undergoing overhaul where it will resume its former identity as Hull 96).
- In storage
- Stockport No. 5 open-topper built in 1901. (Stored awaiting further repairs).
- Rawtenstall No. 23 single-decker built in 1912. (In "kit" form awaiting restoration).
- Oldham No. 43 single-decker built in 1902. (Awaiting restoration).
- Manchester No. 173 open-topper built in 1901. (Stored in the depot awaiting restoration).
- Blackpool No. 702 (239) Balloon double-decker built in 1934. (In storage).
- Blackpool No. 708 (248) Balloon double-decker built in 1934. (In storage off site).
- Manchester Metrolink No.1007, single-decker T-68 built in 1991 by AnsaldoBreda (One of the original batch of trams from the modern Manchester Tramway).
Trams on loan
- Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company L53 built in the 1880s. (The only Eades Reversible Horse Tram survivor. On loan to Bury Transport Museum).
- Blackpool Brush railcoach No. 680 (280) built in 1935, rebuilt in 1961 (On loan to Beamish Museum).
Trams that have visited the line include:
- Blackpool & Fleetwood No. 40 single-decker built in 1914.
- Blackpool No. 225 Boat open-decker built in 1934.
- Oporto No. 196 single-decker built in 1935.
- Marton Box No. 31 open-topper built in 1901.(The First Decker to run at the park since 1925).
- Blackpool No. 706 Balloon open-topper built in 1934 Balloon.
The main project is fund raising for a new depot building to provide storage for all of the current collection of trams, planning permission for this has now been granted. Other projects are the restoration of Manchester Corporation Tramways open top tram 173 built in 1901. Now that the refurbishment of Stockport 5 is complete a similar program of work will commence with Manchester 765.
- http://www.museumofmuseums.org.uk/exhibitors/heaton-park-tramway[dead link]
- Heaton Park Tramway on Facebook