Aberdeen tram body moves into preservation

You may remember back in December we reported on an Aberdeen tram body which had been discovered in use as a house – the only remaining tram in Aberdeen. At the time it was hoped that a band of enthusiasts would be able to rescue the body and start restoring the tram to something like its former glory. In the intervening months the group have had to overcome many hurdles but on Thursday 22nd August they overcame the last of these as the tram was removed from its resting place for a new life in preservation.

The tram – its exact identity is not known at the moment but it is possibly one of six – is from the batch of 1901 double deckers and was one of the first electric trams of Aberdeen Corporation Transport. Like so many other trams following withdrawal it was purchased and converted into living accommodation and it eventually found its way to being part of a house at Cedar Cottage, Wellington Road, Aberdeen where it had remained until now.

On Thursday 22nd August the tram body was cleaned and prepared for removal by the dedicated band of enthusiasts and was then separated from the rest of the building. Then with the help of Jacks Crane Company and M.G.S. Haulage who supplied a low loader the body was craned off the site it had occupied since 1930. The lift entailed the use of a large 50 ton crane although the tram in its present state weighs only 4/5 tons. The main sticking point here was that it had to be lifted over electricity wires but these were isolated as a precaution and the tram was safely removed from its home of 83 years. It was then onto the low loader and off into its new life in preservation.


Images showing the tram body being removed from its resting place since 1930, onto the low loader and into its new life in preservation. (Photos: William Brown)

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14 Responses to Aberdeen tram body moves into preservation

  1. Colin Smith says:

    Great news. Surprising to see how well it seems to have stood up to the ravages of time and its “mutation” from tramcar into domestic accommodation.

  2. keith hopkinson says:

    Well done to those concerned . Lets hope that the restoration is not too problematic , a good plan and lots of money later should see the car alive and well — what are the ideas for display . Will it be for a static display or operation at one of the museums ?

  3. Deckerman says:

    I agree and amazing for it to survive for so long still as a decker. What an incredible survivor. Well done to all concerned.

  4. Mar.tin D Johnson says:

    this looks like a really interesting project . What are the chances of some one posting a photo of one of these cars running in Aberdeen . Also does the group Who own it and will restore it have a web site so we can all follow this project from afar . Very good luck to all in this project .

    • William Brown says:

      There are plans underway at the moment for a website which will include a history of the tram, which is of course still an ongoing story, a section on the social use/context of the tram in Aberdeens past history, a picture gallery, ongoing news of the project, and a chance to make a donation towards this unique restoration. It is expected that the website will be quickly established as the group were waiting for the tram to be safely lifted before going ahead with is side of things. The tram is outwith Aberdeen, but is in secure accommodation. W

    • Mike Mitchell says:

      A new website is under development at the moment and can be viewed at http://www.aberdeentram.co.uk
      There is a blog and photos/historical articles.
      Donations are welcome and should be sent for now to Ian Souter, one of the trustees. He can be reached via the Alford Bus museum (Aberdeen & District Transport Preservation Trust)

  5. BillBrinkley says:

    Good news

  6. Malcolm Dear says:

    I knew there was a Aberdeen tram body exists,but I thought it was in darkest Aberdeenshire on a farm.

    • Bill Brown says:

      Martin Dear can find the Aberdeenshire survivor at Insch near the Picardy standing stones, but the farmer does not want visitors to see the remain. The local enthusiasts know and understand his view

  7. Bill Brown says:

    Having moved the tram under relative secrecy due to danger of damage before moving off its site, arrangements are in hand for a website to be inaugurated as soon as possible with history of vehicle, social context of the tram in Aberdeen and present and future plans for the remains. That is for others to bring to your attention, but be assured the remains are in secure accommodation for the next part of the journey, and I am sure donations will be welcomed as well!!

  8. Victor Burne-Jones says:

    Saw this car in it’s new home, Dundee Museum Of Transport on Sunday 25 August. I can assure you it’s in safe and secure keeping now. amazing!

  9. Laurence Winram says:

    I lived in this tram back in 1969, it was my first home when I was born in 1968. I think my folks lived in it from ’66 to ’69. We have some photos of it when my brother and I were babies. I’d love to see it in it’s new home!

    • Andrew Waddington says:

      That’s amazing! If you have any photos of the tram that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you and maybe put them on this website. It’s really nice to hear from you though, and I hope you found the article about the tram interesting.

  10. Bill Brown says:

    I am sure that if Laurence contacts the restoration team at the website aberdeentram.co.uk they will be pleased to see any photos regarding his time living there. He will also see quite a bit of interest already on the site about the removal of the tram last week

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