The only surviving Leeds horse tramcar, Leeds 107, has been the subject of a long-running restoration programme in its native city, on which work has accelerated in the last couple of years. With the lower saloon now essentially complete, the time has come for the upper deck and truck to be fully assembled, but due to a lack of space around the car in the shed where it has been undergoing restoraton, it was essential to move the tram into a more spacious environment to allow further progress to occur.
So it was that, on Wednesday 15th August, Leeds 107 was extracted from its resting place with a crane helping to place the incomplete tram onto the waiting lorry. Unusually, Scott’s Heavy Haulage were not contracted to move this car, presumably because a smaller wagon was considered adequate for the task of transporting it across the city. After a few delays, 107 made its journey to a new temporary home at the Middleton Railway where it was placed on a small accomodation truck so that it could be shunted into a nearby shed where it will keep a number of railway vehicles company. Its own truck is expected to join it shortly and once fully assembled, the tram and truck will then be united at last. Various components for the open top deck are also awaiting fitting, which will undoubtedly transform the appearance of the tram. 107 is still on target to be completed during 2013 and is expected to be displayed in its home city, although it is believed that it will eventually move to Crich Tramway Village, and will hopefully become the first double-deck horse car ever to operate there. There it would also complement the already impressive Leeds tram fleet, although such an attractive tram would be a brilliant addition to any museum.
The Leed Transport Historical Society deserve considerable praise for the impressive work lavished upon 107, which was little an a bare shell just three years ago when it made ublic appearance at a local transport event. Hopefully in the near future, the hard work of a dedicated few will be rewarded with the sight of the tram carrying its first passengers for more than a century!