Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) have come together to help the Heaton Park Tramway after it was targeted by thieves.
At some point between late on Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday, thieves stole overhead copper wiring that is used to help power the trams.
The tramway, which is run by Manchester Transport Museum Society, is the only remaining part of the Manchester Corporation Tramways, which ran between 1901 and 1949.
Upon hearing the news TfGM – along with other groups including the Tramway Museum – approached KAM to see what can be done to help repair and reinstate the damaged overhead line.
KAM and TfGM have now confirmed they will provide a section of contact wire used on Metrolink to enable Tramway Museum staff to check if it is suitable for use on the heritage network.
If suitable then a length of wire will be provided, with staff on hand to assist with the installation if required.
If the wire is unsuitable efforts will be made to source a replacement from elsewhere.
Chris Stinchcombe, Director of Engineering at KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM), said: “We were saddened to hear the entire future of Heaton Park tramway was under threat because of the theft.
“There are strong links between us and them and, over the years, our staff have volunteered their time and expertise to support Heaton Park Tramway.
“We just have to try and help – so we’re trying to source wire for them that matches their equipment and offering the expertise of KAM’s own engineers, and our partners Pod-Trak, to complete the repairs in hope we can get the tramway moving again.”
TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “Not only is Heaton Park Tramway a gateway to our transport history, it’s a fantastic attraction enjoyed by thousands of people every year.
“While it is out of operation there will be plenty of very disappointed people and it’s appalling that thieves would target it in this way.
“As soon as soon as we heard about the theft, we knew we had to do whatever we could to help. Hopefully, by working with KAM, we’ll be able to help reinstate the tramway sooner rather than later.”