Leeds 107 comes out to play

The recent heatwave has persuaded open top trams at various locations across the UK into action, and even Leeds 107 was tempted to come out of its normal hiding place on Wednesday 17th July. This horse tram is now in the latter stages of a full restoration to running order, ahead of its much-anticipated launch at the Middleton Railway next month.

Recent progress has seen the dash panels, now adorned with the golden fleet numbers, fitted to the tram, which also sports the first of its decency boards and an advert panel at one end only. Some further paintwork has been continuing, along with work on the bell rods. However, the most exciting development of the latest weekly working party saw Leeds 107 moved outside over the railway’s ash pit so that further work on the underside could be undertaken on 17th July. This required a shunt around, with the workers at Middleton happy to oblige by moving two cranes out of the way, allowing the tram to soak up the sunshine. There was also time for a brake test, which happily proved the car’s braking equipment to be most effective. A very busy (and hot!) day of work concluded with the volunteers present enjoying a short photo session, to enjoy the fruits of their labours in daylight.

The valuable assistance of the workers at the Middleton Railway must also be mentioned, as without their support, as well as use of their facilities, the recent work on 107 could not have been carried out. The small team of volunteers have also been assisted by the Crich workshop, as of course the horse tram will ultimately be based there following its initial launch into service. It is expected that it will enter service in Derbyshire either this year or next, when it will become the first double-deck horse tram ever to run at Crich.

Leeds 107 basks in the afternoon sunshine at Middleton, showing off its newly fitted dash panel complete with ornate fleet numeral.

The other end of 107, showing the first of its external advertisements. (Photos courtesy of the Leeds Transport Historical Society)

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11 Responses to Leeds 107 comes out to play

  1. Tommy Carr says:

    Did Liverpool 43 run at crich on a few occasions?

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      No it was only ever on static display there. I don’t think 43 is able to run as there are issues with its wheels and brakes, but perhaps one day these jobs will be tackled.

      • David Taylor says:

        Best not to hold your breath as there are two cars in front of it that are going to take a few years yet. 245 may be ready for the Tram bus show but Warrington 2 needs an upper deck and the chassis completing and all this must wait until 245 is up and running.

  2. David Taylor says:

    With all these horse cars now coming out of the closet it may prompt someone to start a horse tramway. Birkenhead has two and Heaton park another. Along with Leeds 107 it would be a good start. The major expense would be the horses.

    • Tommy Carr says:

      A good idea, a horse museum. And maybe MBRO 84 from clay cross could run as well.

      • Andy Bailey says:

        Tommy, slight problems with 84 is that it is a kit of parts on pallets with many bits missing like wheels, axles, pipework, condensors, steam drier, coke tank, injector tank, mechanical water pump to name the major parts

    • David Holt says:

      Proper track would be a major challenge. The horse tram in the LT Museum stands on outrageously-clashing Ri59 or 60.

    • Mar.tin D Johnson says:

      Has nobody ever heard of a pantomime horse . I could be the back end and my friend Andrew Bailey ( who has made a comment above can do the front end } . any ideas for names , Dobbin might not be appropriate . seriously though Leeds 107 does look to be a very professional job .I would like to send my regards to all who have been involved ,both the Middleton railway and the LTHS .

      • Jamie Guest says:

        Thanks very much for the kind comments Martin, they are much appreciated by all involved. As to the pantomime horse., I have been offered many old nags to pull 107 by various males. Unfortunately when i inspect them they all turn out to have 2 legs not 4.

        Jamie

  3. john woodman says:

    Perhaps loans to operate on the douglas horse tramway might add to the iom visitor attraction. they have horses stables knowledge and visitors. Tram rail might even be right as well. Think creatively.