Glasgow 1068: to run or not to run?

In a very surprising move, the newly repainted Glasgow 1068 (ex-Paisley 68) at Crich Tramway Village has been moved into the Great Exhibition Hall. The move occured shortly before the end of the main running season, following a brief period of storage in Depot V – 1068‘s place there has now been taken by London United Tramways 159.

Of course, 1068 has been superbly repainted in its Glasgow livery complete with blue route colour decency panels, with sponsorship from the Scottish Tramway & Transport Society. This work allowed the car to play a major role in the recent event to mark 50 years since Glasgow’s Last Tram, which included a special launch ceremony for the tram which was driven out of the workshop accompanied by the sound of bagpipes. It then performed faultlessly over the course of the weekend, but has not been used since then.

It was never made clear whether the tram’s return to service was intended to be temporary for the Glasgow event, or more permanent. On its launch day, staff had indicated that 1068 still has plenty of life left in it, whilst others suggested that it would require a full mechanical overhaul in order to be considered fit for more regular service. If the latter is true, then hopefully it won’t be too long before the required work can be slotted into the workshop schedule, as it would be shame for this beautifully repainted tram to be left to gather dust so soon after its brief moment in the limelight.

It is also surprising that 1068 has moved into the Exhibition Hall, although it remains to be seen whether it remains there long-term. The already severe lack of space at the museum has been made worse by the limited space in the workshop after scaffolding was erected around Sheffield 510, but it is to be hoped that the previous situation of the Exhibition Hall being used as a store for withdrawn trams is not repeated to the extent that its role as an exhibition space is compromised too much. Currently positioned between Douglas Head 1 and Brussels Snow Broom 96, 1068 is also out of sequence within the display that aims to show the development of tramcar design between 1862 and 1962. If it is to stay there then hopefully it can swap places with Hill of Howth 10 in order to give better continuity. However, most readers will no doubt join us in hoping that the static display of Glasgow 1068 will only be a short-term measure and that it will rejoin the operating fleet at Crich in the near future.

Glasgow 1068 gleams in the late afternoon sunshine at Stephenson Place on its first day of service since being repainted. Will scenes like this be possible in 2013 though? (Photo by Andrew Waddington)


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2 Responses to Glasgow 1068: to run or not to run?

  1. The tram looks absolutely fantastic!!!

    Perhaps both versions of its fitness are true and it has plenty of life in it, but needs some work to get it to top notch?

  2. James says:

    When I first went into the exhibition hall and I saw 1068 lurking there I was quite disappointed as I thought this was implying that it’s long term future would be as a static exhibit but I am guessing this move is just temporary due to the lack of storage space in the depot. I hope it comes back soon along with 869!

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