Winter in the workshop at Crich

Although the big project for the closed season at Crich Tramway Village is of course the refurbishment of the depots, that doesn’t mean that the tramcar collection will not be getting any attention – far from it! As well as the ongoing reconstruction of London County Council 1, two trams which missed the latter part of the 2017 season have now entered the workshop for some repairs which will hopefully allow them both to return to use in 2018.

First to enter the works was Sheffield 510 which has been out of service since July following a mishap, and spent some time stored in Depot V. Now the tram has moved to the back of the workshop for some attention, which has included the removal of its dash panel at one end.

More recently, Oporto 273 has also appeared in the workshop following some concerns relating to one of its pony axles. This has actually been removed without lifting the entire tram body off its trucks, and this will now be assessed with a view to rectifying the problem which prevented 273 from operating for the final weeks of the season. Hopefully this will turn out to be a minor issue, but when dealing with historic vehicles it is generally better to be safe than sorry, especially when said vehicles are carrying the general public.

Sheffield 74 also remains in the workshop but has recently moved to track 1 with its repaint nearly complete, and the car has also been moved around under its own power. This car was of course a victim of the damp conditions in the depots and required replacement of its upper deck ceiling which had gone mouldy; its reappearance in service next year is eagerly awaited as the tram has been missing in action for the past two years.

Blackpool Standard 40 is also currently in the workshop, presumably for storage due to Depot 2 being emptied for its roof to be replaced. The need to fit more trams into the workshop required the flat platform used as part of the LCC 1 restoration project to be cleared, the space it occupied on road 3 now being taken up by Sheffield 510 with Oporto 273 and the Blackpool electric locomotive in front.

Oporto 273 was unavailable for service during 'Tram Day' on 16th September, but is shown that afternoon being shunted as it passes London Tramlink 058 in the depot yard. Hopefully 273 will return to the operational pool in 2018. (Photo by Andrew Waddington)


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