Up close and personal with London 159

Following the welcome return to service of London United Tramways 159 at Crich Tramway Village on 6th July, British Trams Online is pleased to bring you some more unusual images of this tram, showing the high quality of work which has gone into the restoration of this car from a derelict wreck into a stunning operational electric tramcar.

Although LUT 159 is a beautiful tram from the outside, its lower deck saloon is even more extravagant, with plush blue seats, curtains and tassles suspended from rails above the seating. A floor carpet is also provided, although this was not seen on this visit as it was reportedly being kept clean ahead of the Royal visit two days later! Even the bell pushes are golden and look almost too good to use, but they do indeed work. Decorative glass and varnished woodwork, along with a very attractive ceiling, give a real ‘first class’ image to a tram which was originally used in the upper class areas of London.

Galavanised decorative metalwork adds to the ornate appearance of this car, with touches of extravagance even apparent atop its destination boxes. The livery is also stunning, with decorative gold leaf applied to many parts of the bodywork in a very attractive manner. The end result is an incredible vehicle that really needs to be seen to be believed, and one that could rightly be considered as the pride of the fleet at Crich. Following seven long years of restoration work, followed by further remedial attention after its mishap last year, the tram is now finally at the beginning of what will hopefully be a very long and fruitful operating career at the museum.

A look inside the interior of LUT 159 showing the incredible amount of detail work which has gone into recreating one of the most extravagant preserved trams in the UK.

A close-up of interior details, showing a bell push and some of the patterned glass inside the lower saloon.

159 is the only London tram at Crich to have a coat-of-arms displayed on its rocker panels, as shown in this view.

Our final image show LUT 159 in all its glory as passengers descend its unusual 'Robinson' staircases at Stephenson Place. (All photos by Andrew Waddington)

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2 Responses to Up close and personal with London 159

  1. Wow! it looks fantastic.

  2. David Holt says:

    159 is surely a contender for the world’s best-ever tramcar restoration.

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