Trams in trouble at Crich

Two members of the operational tram fleet at Crich Tramway Village have been in the wars recently, having to be towed back to the depot following mishaps. Blackpool 630 and Metropolitan 331 were the trams involved in two unrelated incidents in the last few weeks, although in fairness both are almost certainly victims of bad luck.

The normally super-reliable Blackpool Brush Railcoach 630 suffered a rare breakdown at Wakebridge recently whilst being used for crew training, and had to be towed back to the depot yard. It is believed that the problem relates to the car’s resistances. The problem has now been diagnosed as the resistance bank being life-expired, as of course the tram was commissioned after fairly minimal attention following its arrival from Blackpool in December 2011. In addition, its pantograph has also been damaged and as a result 630 is expected to be out of action for the next few weeks. On the plus side, this enclosed, low capacity car will probably not be greatly missed at the height of the summer season although the required work will obviously place further pressure on the staff and volunteers in the workshop.

Meanwhile, the second day of the ‘Capital Event’ on Sunday 7th July was severely disrupted when Metropolitan Electric Tramways 331 derailed at Glory Mine during the early afternoon. The tram left the rails at the far end of the line when exiting the passing loop, on arrival at the terminus. Unlike the minor problems experienced with the points at Wakebridge loop on the previous day, this was a more serious incident and once 331 was re-railed, it had to be dragged back to the depot by the Blackpool electric loco. Unfortunately, the resulting chaos meant that the planned London procession later that afternoon had to be cancelled although fellow London trams 159 and 1622 did manage to operate successfully until the end of the day. It is sincerely hoped that 331 has not sustained any damage as a result of this incident, and that it will be able to remain in service for the rest of 2013, as there are already more than enough trams waiting for workshop attention without the MET car adding to the list!

Our thanks go to Ian McLoughlin and Stuart Ibbotson for the information and photograph of 331‘s derailment.

Apparently going to 'Highgate' but actually going nowhere - MET 331 is seen derailed at Glory Mine on Sunday 7th July, with engineering staff in attendance. (Photo by Stuart Ibbotson)



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