New extension opened by Pete Waterman – without technical hitches and cable thieves

Double Deck Tram, Heaton ParkFrom the outside, it could be seen as ‘me too-ism’, following the opening of Metrolink’s new Chorlton-cum-Hardy line last week. Elsewhere, north of Manchester, another tramway extension was opened. That of Heaton Park’s historic tramway.

Prior to this week, the 3/4 mile long tramway stopped short of the boating lake. Today, this goal has been achieved with trams stopping by the lake itself. All nicely timed for the forthcoming Trans-Lancs Vehicle Rally in September.

In Chorlton-cum-Hardy, the first 24 hours of its opening was greeted with eager passengers, boarding from St Werburghs to Old Trafford, and its first cable thieves. Meanwhile in Heaton Park, professional rail enthusiast and music mogul Pete Waterman cut the tape.

Whereas its bigger brother has state of the art Flexity Swift M5000 trams, The Heaton Park Tramway has a fine collection of preserved vehicles from Manchester Corporation, Blackpool Corporation and Hull Corporation. As well as operational vehicles, it has some in storage.

Its depot, nearest the Middleton Road entrance of Heaton Park is a small museum, converted from a tram shelter. The tramway was a branch from Manchester Corporation’s system which allowed special cars to operate from the city centre for Sunday School outings.

Heaton Park Tramway operates most Sundays, summer Saturdays and all Bank Holidays. Fares start from 60p (Child return) and £1.20 (Adult return). Multi-ride tickets (£1.20 and £2.40), family tickets and 10 trip tickets are also available.

It’s well worth a trip, especially if you cannot afford or get to the Crich Tramway Village. The Middleton Road entrance (nearest to the tram depot) is well served by bus with the 59, 64, 149 and 167 stopping nearby. Nearer to the new boating lake terminus is Heaton Park Metrolink station and bus stops for the 135, 137 and 484 routes.

S.V., 12 July 2011.

2 thoughts on “Manchester’s Other Tramway Extension

  1. It takes me back to the day back in the 1980’s when our family went to the opening of the line from the gates on Middleton Road up the straight road into the park for a short distance. It was a single decker tram that was running that day and one of my sons still has the tickets issued, plus all the literature, from that day.

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    1. Hi Paul,

      The Heaton Park Tramway is a real hidden gem (unless you live around Prestwich and Blackley). What amazes me every time I board one of the preserved trams is how smooth the ride is! Mustn’t forget my annual post-Trans-Lancs Vehicle Rally journey, now that the extension’s a good reason.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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