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Going back in time to the days of the original Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway .

Thorne Farmers Market Day Sunday 5th March 2006. This was a popular event held every 1st Sunday in the month for which the railway used to operate. Tables set out for the visitors to enjoy the late winter sunshine and train rides. A mug of tea for one of the members as steam is raised for the occasion. 
The miniature railway was named the "Thorne Memorial Park Miniature Railway" between 2000 - 2012. Then a new name was adopted "ThornePark Railway" with a new website with that name and a new Domain name. The link is provided above. As far I know no trains, locomotives have operated on the tracks for 2017 until Easter Sunday.  A new page has been added to the From the Digital Archives in addition to the original page. Already the extra new page is nearly full so a further archives page will be added next time.

The Sheffield Tram/Train project slowly moves forward

Work continues to construct Britain's first tram/train project from the Parkgate Shopping Centre at Rotherham. Work has now started on the construction of the platform for the new Parkgate.  Work has been delayed and the expected opening date is Summer 2018. 

A pacer unit passes over the crossover installed ready for the trams heading towards Sheffield. The overhead standards are rapidly been put into place for the overhead wires that are expected to be energised at the normal  25 kV, 50 Hz AC, well that was the original plan, 399 204 is seen here stabled at the extremity of the line at Halfway after failing earlier on. Of note in this photo is that a notice is attached to the side cab window saying "Vehicle OK to be used outside Nunnery Depot".

Overhead line electrification at Great Bentley which may be more typical of that proposed for the tram project. Just 13 miles away is Doncaster that is wired up for the East Coast Mainline. Will the overhead be linked? Apparently not  well not for some years unless a scheme to electrify the Trans Pennine line between Manchester-Sheffield- Doncaster and then to Hull ever gets the go ahead in the 2020's.  The train from Lincoln is seen arriving.

Heaton Park Tramway Manchester first operating day of 2017

On the 19th February 2017 the tramway operated two trams for the day 19th February 2017. The beautifully restored Hull tram No 96 / formerly Leeds 6 was the tram chosen to carry fare paying passengers.  The tram was built as open-top Hull 96; Bellamy top-cover c.1907; totally-enclosed with platform doors and bulkheads removed c.1930; cut down to single-deck; works car 1933, sold to Leeds 1945; P.1959; to Mode Wheel, Salford, 5/1985; operating at Heaton Park 6/1988; loaned to Beamish 6/2010 (running as passenger car in Leeds works car configuration); back to Heaton Park 4/2013; restored as Hull 96 10/2015

Left above photograph take at Beamish Open Air museum. Middle the Hull coat of arms. Right look through the windows of the drivers platform at the Manchester Californian tram that was on driver training duties.

The Manchester tram travels down the avenue of trees from the park entrance where the tram track linked up with the tram service s on the A576 Middleton Road about 1904. These tracks in the photograph were covered over when the tram services ceased  in 1949.  Manchester City Council was approached during the 1970s and following negotiations a start was made on unearthing the existing tram rails. The trees have grown considerably as seen to the right but with trams once again running on the very original rails this probably makes it the only such place in the UK where this has happened.

The point work at new depot end of the present day tracks next to the park café are cleaned for the arrival of Manchester No. 765 on driver training duties that was built in 1914 and was one of a series of unusual combination bogie cars (cars with a central saloon and open smoking compartments at the ends) built for routes such as the No. 53 route with low bridges. The '53' route ran from Brooks's Bar to Cheetham Hill Road, via Belle Vue, forming an angular shape; two low bridges at Pottery Lane and Stanley Grove made running double-deckers impossible. The first batch of these trams made their appearance in Manchester in 1903 and over 60 were in the fleet. The first batch of these trams made their appearance in Manchester in 1903. The bogies were constructed by G. F. Milnes with car 765 being finally erected at the Hyde Road Car Works of MCT in Ardwick. They were of an American design--which has led to them being referred to sometimes as a 'Californian' type. Their route, the 53 was converted from trams to buses in 1930 and most of the combination cars were disposed of then.

765 is the only surviving combination car; having been stored in Yorkshire at Pioneer Farm, Blackmoorfoot, near Huddersfield. Members of the then Manchester Transport Historical Collection (MTHC) (later to become the Manchester Transport Museum Society (MTMS)) set about preserving the tram in 1960.For a period the tram was stored at the National Tramway Museum, Crich but was moved to the Birchfields Road depot in Rusholme, Manchester for restoration. After restoration it returned to Crich for a couple of years before returning to Manchester in 1979. Since then it has operated on the Heaton Park Tramway. Its bogies (trucks) are not the originals and are re-gauged ones from the Hill of Howth Tramway in Dublin, Ireland. 
If you would like further information about the Heaton Park Tramway click here

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Thursday, 09 March 2017