With Wallasey 78 already out of action with a number of problems currently being rectified, there has been further bad news for the Birkenhead heritage tramway with Liverpool 762 also now out of service. The tram was withdrawn in late August due to concerns regarding its resistances which were overheating – a problem which is thought to derive from its motors.
Initial attempts to cure the problem have failed so the motors are now considered the most likely cause. Fortunately, the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society do have a spare ex-Glasgow underground motor (the same as those fitted to 762) in stock which could potentially be fitted, although this would require the car to be lifted off its bogies. Whilst Wallasey 78 remains on the tram jacks this cannot be undertaken and so for the time being Liverpool 762 will sit idle. The completion of work on car 78 has been considerably delayed for a number of reasons, not least the discovery that the rewound motors were not up to the required standard, whilst new brass motor bearings have been required and this in turn meant that two of the pinions only recently produced will not fit and so will also have to be replaced. All of this is placing a huge strain on the MTPS’ finances
The unavailability of 762 meant that this attractive tramcar was not available for a planned event commemorating the 60th anniversary of the closure of two key Liverpool tram routes, held on 5th November. However, the tramway’s other operational Liverpool car, Baby Grand 245, was used in service on this day whilst 762 was on static display and Liverpool horse car 43 was posed in front of the Pacific Road depot. Both 43 and 762 have been stored at Pacific Road since September 30th, thanks to a new agreement with the Chamber of Commerce who are currently leasing this building. It is planned to rescue another horse car of local interest, Birkenhead 7, from storage shortly and place it on display at Taylor Street in the space recently vacated by 43. This is at least some good news for local trams and hopefully the fortunes of cars 78 and 762 will also improve next year.