Although no trams have yet carried passengers at Crich Tramway Village in 2013, the activity has continued within the confines of the workshop. The main focus of the staff and volunteers’ efforts remains Sheffield 510, although the process of preparing the operational tram fleet for service is now getting underway and a few trams are receiving some additional attention ahead of another busy season.
Exterior painting of Sheffield 510 is progressing well, and some of the scaffolding around the upper deck of the car has been taken down, to make the panels more accessible. Several coats of cream and blue paint are now being carefully applied, meaning that a glance the tram looks very much like its only surviving sister car, 513 (owned by Beamish Museum and currently based at East Anglia). Once the top coats are complete however, the familiar paintings and ‘Last Tram Week’ slogans will be restored. Independently of the tram body, the truck has been almost completely re-assembled and it too is currently in the latter stages of being repainted. A test assembly of the new spring planks has recently been undertaken with no reported problems.
Other work has seen some new rubber panels fitted to the modern ‘blade’ lifeguards of Blackpool 630; these will be refitted to the car when it enters the workshop for commissioning shortly. The air receivers on Blackpool 762 have been tested successfully and declared fit for purpose, completing another of the many small but important tasks needed before this tram can operate at the museum.
Sadly, with no tram service being provided at present, the museum has missed out on the chance to get some useful extra publicity from images of its trams operating in the snow. Instead, recent posts on the attraction’s website and social networking pages have focussed on some young children building a snowman during one of the weekly ‘Tramway Tots’ activity sessions. Perhaps the children could have been encouraged to build a snow tram instead, so that at least one tram could have been seen in the village street!?