LUT 159 returns to service for ‘A Capital Weekend’

The latest London-themed event held at Crich Tramway Village has witnessed the much anticipated return to traffic of London United Tramways 159 for the first time since its launch in July 2012. Following remedial attention, the car ran successfully all day on Saturday 6th July 2013 – completing its first full day of passenger service for an incredible ninety years!

159 operated alongside fellow London trams, Metropolitan 331 and London Transport 1622, plus Glasgow 1068 which was a popular choice due to the glorious sunny weather which blessed the day. The Access Tram Berlin 3006 also did several journeys and there were a few demonstrations runs by both Cardiff 131 and Croydon Tramlink 058 in the afternoon. Other high points of the day included a line-up of trams from other capital cities, including rare daylight appearances by both Edinburgh 35 and Prague 180, and a procession of trams and other vehicles from London. This was rightly headed by LUT 159, making up for the disappointment of a similar event last year when the London cavalcade was actually led by Johannesburg 60 due to 159 being unavailable! One low point came at lunchtime when 159 split the points on entering Wakebridge loop on its way back from Glory Mine, but this is believed to have been due to an issue with the track rather than the tram, and thankfully the car was able to remain in service once the points had been attended to.

Despite the weather, Crich wasn’t all that busy for day one of the ‘Capital Weekend’, which concludes tomorrow (Sunday 7th July) with a similar programme planned. However, those who did attend seemed to enjoy themselves and the event was certainly a vast improvement on last year’s rather underwhelming London day. More extensive coverage of this day at Crich will feature on British Trams Online in the near future.

A feast of London trams and other road traffic in the street at Crich, headed by the stunning LUT 159

Contrasts in open top tramcar design, as LUT 159 meets Glasgow 1068 at Wakebridge on July 6th.

Line-up on the depot fan with Edinburgh 35, Prague 180 and Cardiff 131 representing other capital cities of the world. (All photos by Andrew Waddington)

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