Liverpool 869 comes back to life

Whilst most visitors to the Crich Tramway Village were enjoying the London-themed activities taking place on Sunday 14th June, another exciting development was taking place in the depot yard. There, Liverpool 869 was making its first tentative moves under its own power following an overhaul which commenced last year, ahead of its expected return to service later this year for the first time since 2010.

869 has received fairly extensive attention including overhaul of its bogies, replacements of axles and a refurbishment of the seating. Although a few jobs remain incomplete, the tram is now mobile again and this enabled it to be driven up and down the depot fan for the first time for a few years. The next major step towards its return will be main line testing, and providing this goes well it shouldn’t be too long before the ‘Green Goddess’ is back in service at Crich.

Meanwhile, inside the workshop, the overhaul of Glasgow 22 is now progressing well. Its truck has now been reduced to its most basic form as various components are overhauled, whilst the vestibules at each end have been partly dismantled and are to be rebuilt. The car is also being prepared for a complete repaint, which will be its first since 2003. It is unlikely that 22 will operate in 2015 but the work being carried out now should ensure that this useful workhorse remains active for many years to come. Incidentally, it had been claimed elsewhere on the Internet that Glasgow 22 has received no substantial restoration work since leaving Scotland (it was restored at Glasgow’s Coplawhill car works before coming to Crich), but this is untrue; as was quickly confirmed by a long-standing TMS member who was also involved in a previous heavy overhaul in the 1970s. Further restoration work was also carried out ahead of its year-long visit to the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988 which saw the two decks split for attention. All of this work, combined with the original durable design of the Glasgow Standards, has certainly produced a very robust tramcar and it has served Crich well for many years, and will no doubt continue to do so for many more!

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