Rebuilding trams into a different style has been one of things that the Seaton Tramway – and its forerunner in Eastbourne – have regularly done. Another tram which has had a recent built is the former no. 17 which now looks very differently to that pictured in this edition of Picture in Time.
Built in 1988, 17 was constructed to help cater for disabled passengers with some of the seats able to be removed for the carriage of wheelchairs. Based on the design of the Manx Electric Railway’s Crossbench cars the finished product was another stylish tram which could operate along the tramway between Seaton and Colyton and was soon popular not only for its wheelchair access but also for an open sided tram ride along the Ax Valley. Today the tram has been rebuilt to become a fully enclosed saloon with more year round operation requiring this type of tram whilst wheelchair access is now provided by the three newest trams in the fleet – 9, 10 and 11.
This photo shows 17 on the approach to Seaton in 2003.