The timing couldn't be better with publication this week of Tribute to Marton Trams (the 2018 Edition). Excavation work directly in front of the Town Hall revealed a complete section of automatic pointwork and track which led to the Talbot Square terminus of the Marton service. The entire section was carefully uncovered by diligent contractors allowing some immediate sharp eyed residents to capture this briefly visible reminder of times gone by. Above : Colin MacLeod caught this view of a Marton Vambac on its way from the terminus immediately behind and directly on the pointwork and track photographed below. One of many great images from Colin in the new and expanded edition of 'Tribute to Marton Trams' by Rigby Road Publications - out now.
Below : the Author snapped these images directly outside the Town Hall steps of the pointwork which served a short single track section linking the Marton terminus with Clifton Street. These were automatic points controlled from an overhead power supply for trams arriving from Clifton Street and selecting the terminus track (one of two) just ahead in Talbot Square. The former Yates Wine Lodge site is behind the black fencing in the background and which will become a new hotel during the coming year. The new North Station tram service will run directly up Talbot Road to the left of the contractor vehicles facing the camera.
Some solace can be taken from knowing that the first generation tram track layout in Talbot Square is giving way for a second generation layout with double track junction on the promenade allowing trams to access and depart from the Talbot Road extension. Pointwork for this junction was pre-embedded (and funded) in the original light rail upgrade of the tramway.
A tram stop/station platform will be added inbound on the northern side of Talbot Square (hopefully blotting out at least one of the many drinking dens now permeating this once civic space).