Glasgow trams galore at Crich

The two-day 2012 enthusiast’s tram event at Crich Tramway Village kicked off on Saturday 15th September with glorious sunny weather, a fantastic selection of trams in service and plenty of surprises. Of course, as has been extensively reported on this website, the main focus of this year’s event was a commemoration of fifty years since the closure of the Glasgow tram system, with four trams from the Scottish city in service and an extremely rare daylight appearance from Glasgow 1115 amongst the day’s many highlights.

The morning saw the former Paisley 68, now reborn as Glasgow 1068 emerge from the workshop – with bagpipe accompaniment! – fresh from its repaint. After speeches by representatives of the Tramway Museum Society and the Scottish Tramway & Transport Society (who have funded its repaint as 1068), the tram left the depot yard, heading a procession of Glasgow cars 22, 812 and 1282. After completing a full round trip, the trams were then posed in the depot yard along with Glasgow 1115 for a superb photo opportunity, illustrating the evolution of Glasgow trams as well as a wide range of the system’s famous route colours. Afterwards, the four operational cars entered service for much of the afternoon, with the use of Glasgow ‘Coronation’ 1282 being a particular highlight. This particular car had not carried passengers for almost nine years, and despite suggestions that both this and 1068 may have to run empty, both trams were well used in service and performed impeccably.

Other attractions during this day included an outing by Sheffield works car 330 which unusually carried passengers, and Brussels snow broom 96 was displayed on the traverser which was a very welcome surprise for all present. Edinburgh 35 and Oporto 273 also made brief appearances on the depot fan, whilst Leeds 345 joined the service trams on the main line for a series of test runs.

In all, this was an extremely enjoyable day at Crich with lots of action, both on the main line and in the depot yard, with something to keep all visitors entertained throughout the day. As if that wasn’t enough, the event continues tomorrow – Sunday 16th September – with a repeat of the Glasgow line-up, plus a different selection of trams in service and another surprise photo opportunity. If day two is half as good as day one then this will be a very special occasion indeed! ‘Live’ coverage will hopefully be provided on the British Trams Online Facebook page, and a full review with photo gallery will follow on the main website in due course.

An excellent line-up of Glasgow trams, led by the immaculate 1068, seen at the car park stop on their way back from Glory Mine. (Photo by Tony Waddington)

After many years being entombed within the 'Tram at Night' display, Glasgow 1115 basks in the sunshine on the afternoon of September 15th. (Photo by Tony Waddington)

Having succesfully completed its first day in public service since 2003, Glasgow 1282 is seen returning to the depot. (Photo by Andrew Waddington)

 

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21 Responses to Glasgow trams galore at Crich

  1. Dan says:

    Is it likely that 1068 could make a return to regular service then? Same goes for 1282, is it likely to become a regular performer?

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      1282 was a one-off for this weekend only due to it being in a fairly delicate condition. No idea about 1068 I’m afraid, though it seemed to perform well. Hopefully someone from Crich will be able to confirm this one way or another!

      • Dan says:

        Will 1282 be going for an overhaul soon after 510, 106 and 869? Thanks for answering by the way :)

        • Jack Gordon says:

          Neither 1282 nor 1068 are planned to return to regular service following their forays this weekend, with both cars expected to be withdrawn again once more, with both cars due overhaul work in the future, as funds and space allows.

          The workshop schedule (And funding) is not yet decided beyond 510 and 106 either, although the TSO are due to be balloted imminently on their next project. If you’d like to have a say in this decision, you can find out more about the TSO at http://tramcarsponsorship.org/. Don’t forget that 223 006-4 will also be returning to the workshops this winter for the completion of its ‘balanced’ overhaul.

          But, as ever, nothing is for certain in tramway land, and always be prepared to expect the unexpected.

          Jack
          TMS Workshop Volunteer

          • Andrew Waddington says:

            Hopefully good sense will prevail and 1068 will be kept running – considering the amount of time to commission and test the car, it ran superbly and is surely up to the job of running more often. Even if its use is restricted it would give added variety in the running fleet, and open toppers are always popular of course! As for 1282, I think now would be a good time to launch an appeal to carry out an overhaul on the car, seeing as so many people have been reminded how wonderful it is! Whatever the future holds though, I am extremely grateful that both trams did carry passengers last weekend and hopefully the many happy passengers made the hard work involved well worthwhile.

  2. Dan says:

    I didn’t realise that 223-006-4 was going back in for an overhaul. It’s a shame that they won’t be returned for regular service just yet but it was great to see them both at the weekend. I hope they are both returned to service in the near future after their popularity at this event.
    I know it is a little off topic but how long is 510s overhaul expected to last?

    • Jack Gordon says:

      It’s been widely publicised that 223 006-4 went in for a ‘balanced’ overhaul due to the need to have it available ‘in season’, although many do seem to have forgotten this…

      1282 and 1068 are both ‘getting on’ since their last major work which is why they were limited use, and let’s not forget that the same has happened for other trams such as Leeds TW2 back in 2010.

      It’s hard to say how long 510′s overhaul will last at the moment until we start to take things off and dismantle the trucks etc…

      • Dan says:

        Thanks. I haven’t read much on Berlin 3006 as I am quite new to trams, thought it was completely overhauled last year. Ah well…

        • Jack Gordon says:

          No worries – welcome to the hobby! The car didn’t have a full overhaul last winter, rather just attention to the ‘underside’ (motors etc) and a new livery etc. Work is still required to other components on the car, including controllers and various electrical components. I’ll try and dig out the original details of the overhaul published a year or so ago…

  3. john woodman says:

    BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE REACHED DERBY

    The once in a blue moon display of operating Glasgow trams at Crich attracting many enthusiasts to the NTM for a weekend, gives pause for reflection on just exactly what is being achieved other than this brief encounter by Scottish enthusiasts with old but familiar tramcars – just north of Derby.

    A marvellous transport museum lies amid vacant waterfront land in a stalled property development on the banks of the Clyde. An area and community once served by the Coronations and Cunarders (and of course other famous Glasgow ‘caurs’).
    The site offers potential for an extended tourist tramway to assist regeneration and new commercial (and other) investment, much like the visionary scheme of Peel Holdings for the derelict waterfront at Birkenhead.

    The likelihood of funding becoming available to bring about return to service of 1282, 1115, 1100 at Crich has as much chance of occurring as a snowball has of traversing hell in these stringent economic times we all live in. The NTM’s problems of static visitor numbers, declining involvement by volunteers, an out of the way site reached only (or mostly) by car and the increasing expense of petrol to get there (especially from Scotland) – calls for out of the box/blue skies/visionary thinking if any of these wonderful trams (sorry ‘caurs’) are to be brought back to life in what should be their natural environment – Glasgow and Scotland. Another Coronation lies hidden away awaiting its place in the sun – subject to lack of funding and problematic restoration resources. However it is at least in Scotland.

    I would appeal to Scotland’s transport heritage fraternity – and there are many – to think long and hard at the case for a ‘Scottish Beamish’ on the banks of the Clyde where perhaps the TMS (I am a Member) could be recruited/persuaded/cajoled to support a credible initiative north of the border in which it is a partner through cooperation and contribution on extended loan or license – of Glasgow trams (and an Edinburgh one). These wonderful vehicles are presently taking up space in capacity filled sheds in the Peak District and now little seen and rarely operated. Whatever happened to the two Glasgow works cars which travelled south and now seem to have totally disappeared? When will 1100 ever come back into public view (in our lifetime)?

    The quite exceptional success of the Beamish Open Air Museum must have lessons in Scotland – and for the heritage of Glasgow and Clydebank. Ironically it was Clydebank which actually operated the final Glasgow tram after Glasgow’s own ceremonies. Instead of applauding this once in a blue moon chance to see some wonderful exhibits in daylight – I would urge on committed enthusiasts the need to work together and build the business case for a working heritage line at Clydebank to strengthen the wonderful (and significant) investment in the Riverside Museum. If Wirral Waters emerges with the help of former Blackpool trams (and others) through commercial leadership together with local government endorsement of urban heritage renewal – then there is no reason why future enthusiasts need to trek down south to Derbyshire from the Scottish Highlands, Lowlands or Isles ( or indeed the central belt of the country). Releasing many of Scotland’s trams from their present constrained condition in Clay Cross and Crich would ease pressure on the operations of the NTM ; provide a new visitor and tourism attraction of significance on Clydebank using the ‘Beamish Model’ supported by Scotland’s government and private sector – and give Scotland’s strong tramway enthusiast body something tangible to build on with support of new (and much younger) generations.

    Derby proved to be the end of the road (in England) for Bonnie Prince Charlie – it does not need to the final terminus for wonderful trams assembled in the early Sixties by contributions and lead of the STTS (STMS) and others. There are far more
    appropriate destinations which should be put in easy reach of Scottish transport enthusiasts and their supporters. Clydebank is most definitely one of them.

    • Dan says:

      Crich wouldn’t just give up half of their glasgow trams though would they? They are valuable exhibits even if not in working condition.

  4. Ken Walker says:

    I wouldn’t hold out much hope of Peel Holdings doing much for heritage at Birkenhead after they refused point-blank to find a small corner in their vast empire to house the former Isle of Man Steam Packet the Manxman, the last surviving Cammell Laird-built ship of her type, leading to loss of Lottery funding and to the ship being scrapped instead of being preserved for posterity. They said the Manxman was not suitable for the Birkenhead scheme, despite being built there, and our maritime heritage has lost a valuable mid-20th century vessel as a result.

  5. john woodman says:

    My understanding is that over half a million visitors went into the Riverside Museum on its opening last year. We dont know the visitor count for 2012 but suspect it will be well over half a million far surpassing the flatlining 90,000 annual numbers to the NTM at Crich. If ever there was a case for a Scottish working heritage tramway that is part of a vibrant commercial waterfront scheme – then it will be found in the present dormant development on Clydebank. Since the precedents for the extended loan of trams from the NTM are already well established here at Blackpool where Box 40 has been a classic example – Hull 132 at that city’s museum; and of course not to forget the Garden Festivals at Gateshead and naturally Glasgow – I see an even stronger case for the TMS to release space in its depots (and Clay Cross mausoleum) by agreeing period loan of selective Glasgow trams to run again in appropriate settings in the city of their birth. I am quite certain there is absolutely no chance of 1100 or 1115 ever operating again in the next decade or two – or for that matter 1282 without a huge infusion of cash from an external source. Creating a dedicated operating Crich north of the border with involvement of Scottish tourism agencies, Strathclyde authorities and private sponsorship of Scottish companies – would be a perfectly deliverable objective, if people could think out of the box and ask the questions ‘what if and why not?’. Are there any enthusiasts of that ilk still out there I wonder?

    As far as Wirral is concerned – and the fate of the vessel in question. This is not something I am informed of and therefore cannot comment. However there are in fact active discussions underway involving |Wirral Council, Peel Holdings among other bodies – which suggest a shared objective of extending the existing Birkenhead Museum tramway and creating an enhanced heritage line that complements huge private capital investment and visionary waterfront development. The loss of the steamer should not deflect nor deter interested groups and enthusiasts from working positively in support of a scheme which is well outside the resources of a limited museum operation.

    There are pressures facing most museums in the economic times we are living through – and likely to experience for many years to come. New approaches to restoration and display (and indeed operation) of old trams are needed if a new
    generation of enthusiasts are to be attracted into meaningful engagement with
    organisations and societies north and south of the border. Once those who can
    recall the great years of traditional trams running in towns and cities pass on -
    what incentive is there for younger people to travel hundreds of miles to see or
    ride on vehicles they have no personal knowledge of amid many more compelling
    distractions closer at hand.

    • Dan says:

      I’d much rather they were at Crich to be honest with you. If they could just get the money to build another depot at the museum to replace Clay Cross Glasgow 1100 could come back too. I don’t think it is important if they are in Glasgow or not, they are in a great place right now where they are well worked after.
      Perhaps, they should try a new-build tram? It has worked with Tornado, it could be a lot easier with trams due to lower costs?

      • David Taylor says:

        New builds are a great idea and I for one would be interested to see trams that never survied like those from chester or some of the earlier trams of Liverpool. To save money it would be possble to re-use chassis and working parts from other cars such as Blackpools balloons or railcars as I feel that there are too many about, especialy as they are rusting away in fields.

  6. David Taylor says:

    I see the interest generated above but Scotland already has an operating heritage tramway. Summerlee is like Crich on a smaller scale. It has 4 trams and if investment was available it could house more. It is easier to get to by train than Crich and the non- tramway exhibits are better. Should a new depot be built then I would like to see the trams moved from Riverside as this is just a storage area. It is not possible to photograph properly as the information boards are placed in front or the objects are parked too close to each other.

    It is not just me that has a complaint about the store (Sorry exhibition area,) a visit to trip advisor will show many other complaints.

    I have suggested the closure of Clay Cross in the past but staff at Crich told me that management do not want unrestored trams on the site.

    As for the Manxman, if it was so important why was it ot taken to Liverpools Boat Museum as it used to run from the pier head to the IOM.

    • Dan says:

      It’s a shame they don’t want unrestored trams on the site, even though they have one already lurking at the back of a depot. They could have depot closed to the public on the part of the line before Wakebridge where it becomes single track. This could house the trams aren’t fit for public viewing and give Crich some much needed storage space.

    • Paul says:

      Have to agree with David,

      Rather than creating a new line close to an existing museum tramway thereby fragmenting the available resources, visitors and volunteers; why not put that effort into developing/expanding the existing line at Summerlee??

      Paul

  7. Walter McCormick says:

    I hadn’t realised 1282 being run was such an unrepeatable event and now even more regret not being able to be at Crich on the 15th/16th. Static preservation for transport always has to be the cheapest and safest, but not best, option. Preservation by operation is risky and expensive – see PS Waverley as well as steam railways, and I’ve always thought it a shame that Glasgow’s successive Transport Museums have been so timidly static-museum-minded. NRM at York has more bottle. Perhaps a Scottish Euromillions winner could be approached?

  8. George Broom says:

    To complete the coverage of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Glasgow Tramway closure please allow me to report on the Summerlee events. On Tuesday 4th September we remembered the closure by running a free Tram service till 8.30 in the evening using our three working trams Lanarkshire 53, Dusseldorf 392 and Glasgow 1017 (the School Car). We had a good turnout of uniformed crew who were able to share memories with our visitors who turned up for a nostalgic hurl on the cars. Through the efforts of our member John Kennedy three representative vehicles from Bridgeton Bus garage also took part in the ceremonies adding interest and colour to the event. At 8.30pm the trams left in procession from the main gate to the depot with Glasgow 1017 fittingly being the last to enter.

    Being Scots one celebration was not enough to quench our passions. On Thursday the 6th September (the 50th Anniversary of Clydebank’s last tram run) the Summerlee Transport Group held an open night for members and friends. Again trams were run late into the night and the evening ended with a substantial Supper served in the depot. Had a ceilidh band been available I am sure we would all have been up for it, to recreate the dance sequences seen in the 9 Dalmuir West (Glasgow’s last tram) film.

    Regarding the debate on the restored Coronation trams at Crich and Riverside, at Summerlee, we have just started the restoration of 1245 with the aim to regularly run the tram in the Park. We are a small group with limited resources and we would welcome any advice or help with this project. To find out more about the Summerlee Transport Group please visit our website at http://www.monklands.co.uk/stg/

    George
    Summerlee Transport Group