In Pictures: Leeds 602 shunted ahead of the King’s Coronation

We all love a good shunt of trams at Crich don’t we? And when it’s a tram which hasn’t seen the light of day for a while its even more exciting and that was the case on Sunday 23rd April when Leeds 602 was extracted from the Great Exhibition Hall ahead of a starring role at a yet unannounced Coronation event due to take place at the Crich Tramway Village at some point over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend (6th-8th May).

Despite not having run in service since 2006, Leeds 602 is a tram which needs very little introduction amongst enthusiasts being one of just three trams in the UK to still be fitted with VAMBAC equipment. Its also been a high-profile tram as the decision has been made that is should be conserved as it is now rather than go through a restoration (for which money had set-a-side in a bequest a few years ago). It was moved into the Great Exhibition Hall back in 2010 during the last major re-exhibit which took place and as far as is known has not been moved since then.

With the tram having been introduced into service during 1953 – at the time of the last Coronation we saw in this country of course – and receiving a regal purple livery for that reason (which it retains today) it is thought to be an ideal tram to be used during a special Coronation event set to take place at the museum to help celebrate King Charles III’s crowning. Its expected that 602 will be displayed in the depot fan.

The shunt took place on Sunday 23rd April and saw 602 extracted from its long-standing display area and moved into the depots. With space always a premium at Crich its place in the Great Exhibition Hall had to be take by something and it was decided to place Blackpool Jubilee 762 there instead. As most reading this will be aware 762 is a very big tram but precise measurements showed that it would fit – and it did! 762 is currently out of service awaiting chance to go into the workshops for repairs.

The swap will remain in place for the rest of the 2023 season with 602 now residing in the depots and 762 in the Great Exhibition Hall.

Having been extracted from the Great Exhibition Hall, 602 was moved into the Workshop for inspection. Its seen there alongside London County Council 1 – itself once resident in Leeds.

Blackpool 762 in its new position within the Great Exhibition Hall. Alongside is Glasgow 1297 giving the chance to compare two “modern” double-deckers side-by-side.

As part of the shunt Sheffield Works Car 330 was also moved to take 762’s place in Depot VI.

Following its inspection in the Workshop, 602 was then dragged back out by the Blackpool Electric Locomotive. As can be seen its also received some decorations to further enhance its appearance for the Coronation.

The shunt of 602 continues to the opposite side of the depot fan. As can be seen the decorations are illuminated.

602 was placed into the depot waiting for the time that it will go on display. Blackpool 166 and London United Tramways 159 provide company. (All Photographs by Peter Whiteley, 23rd April 2023)

This entry was posted in Crich Tramway Village. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to In Pictures: Leeds 602 shunted ahead of the King’s Coronation

  1. mac says:

    Shame about 762.

    • John says:

      Why? Its awaiting funding for repair.

    • Andrew says:

      Why is it a shame about 762? Its only in the Exhibition Hall temporarily and the plan is still to carry out the required motor repairs, its just not a top priority at the moment.

      I’m delighted that the wonderful Leeds 602 will get to play its part in the Coronation celebrations and hopefully there will be a few opportunities to see it outside this year. Thanks to all involved in bringing it out!

  2. Andy says:

    The whole thing about 602 not being restored now needs to be reassessed for a number of different reasons… My understanding is they decided to “conserve” the car because it is in origional condition and they didn’t want to change anything. However that’s definitely not the case. 602 has run in service at Crich with decorations before (I think it was the 1977 silver jubilee?) when it had a far more elaborate roof display fitted than it’s got now. It’s also had a major re-panel and a few re-paints while at Crich, not to mention a modification to the braking system, for similar reasons to that being carried out to the VAMBAC Coronation car in Blackpool right now. So all that stuff about it being in “as withdrawn” condition is absolute nonsense. There is even film somewhere in the Crich archive of it running part painted with new panels if anyone cared to look for it! Add to all this the fact that anyone who knows anything about preserving old vehicles will tell you they are far better to be kept running, not stuffed and mounted in a draughty ex-cow shed on top of a Derbyshire hill.

  3. Thankyou to Mr Whiteley for sharing such excellent photos. I love the fact the National Tramway Museum is tastefully celebrating this historic occasion and organising a special event. The reaction to what is surely positive news generally has been dissapointing (as a mere observer I just cant get head round it). Indeed some bemoaning 762 with its defective traction motor been displayed for the 2023 season in the Exibition Hall just find baffling. They deserve top marks for getting the thing operational and reliable member of fleet for a number of years.

  4. David Holt says:

    the swap makes far more efficient use of the space available for housing trams at Crich

Comments are closed.