Winter work at Crich

There may not be any trams running at Crich Tramway Village this winter, but that doesn’t mean that nothing of interest is going on there. In fact, the workshop has been a hive of activity in the last weeks, with trams from Blackpool and Berlin under attention, whilst the major overhaul of Sheffield ‘Roberts’ car 510 continues to make good progress.

First looking at Sheffield 510, which is currently being rewired, which has required its seats to be covered up in order to protect the newly repaired upholstery. Externally, the roof has been repainted and the trolley base refitted, whilst new upper deck side panels are now fitted and painted in a pale green undercoat. Refurbishment of the four-wheel truck is now well advanced and this is beginning to be re-assembled within the confines of the Crich workshop extension. In addition, various small but important parts are being worked upon with air receivers, track brake coils and spring planks amongst those under attention. New axle-mounted gears have been ordered and delivery is now awaited.

Whilst 510 is the main focus of the workshop team at present, several other trams have also been receiving some TLC during the closed season, including the Access Tram, Berlin 223 006-4. Following major work on the body and wheelseats last winter, the car’s electrics are now being tackled and the tram is being completely re-wired. Work is also continuing on Blackpool Jubilee car 762 in prepartion for its entry into service at the museum, over a year after its arrival. Its floor traps have recently been removed for some remedial attention and the huge task of cleaning and painting the underframe and bogies continues to progress. The air compressor and tubing have been hailed as life-expired and replacements have been sourced. There has been no further information provided as to when 762 will be available for service, but hopefully the amount of work being carried out should see it carry passengers in its new home for the first time at some point during 2013.

Other, smaller jobs have been carried out on several members of the regular operating fleet during their winter lay-off, with Chesterfield 7, Leeds 180, Blackpool 236 and Blackpool 630 all being worked on. 630 is set to receive some new destination blinds soon as a member of the workshop team has very kindly offered a fund a new set, to replace those currently fitted which are different at each end. Finally, it will be of interest to some readers that the Outside Works team have made some adjustments to the trolley reverser at Town End, with the cusp wire being extended so that Blackpool ‘Boat’ 236 can use this device. This will restore a practice not demonstrated by a Boat car since the closure of Blackpool’s inland routes, and will enable the museum to operate this tram in a more authentic manner from next season.

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