In an unusual but very welcome development, Crich Tramway Village will throw open its doors on Saturday 1st February to allow enthusiasts to see some unusual shunting movements. A number of trams which rarely emerge into the great outdoors are scheduled to be moved on this day as part of a major shunting operation, some of which are then unlikely to move into the open air again for the foreseeable future.
As part of preparations for the start of the museum’s main open season on March 29th, various trams are to be moved in and out of the Exhibition Hall on February 1st as part of an advertised ‘Big Shunt’. This is expected to allow some of the trams that were brought out for last year’s Enthusiasts Day to be returned to their usual display positions, whilst others will be moved around to create additional storage space within the depot complex. Exercises such as this normally take place behind closed doors, however in a very positive move the museum is inviting enthusiasts to come along and watch the shunting take place on this day. Star attractions are expected to include Edinburgh 35, which will be transferred to the Exhibition Hall following cosmetic attention, meaning that this could be a unique opportunity to photograph this tram with its recently uncovered period advertisements. Leicester 76 should also be appearing again having been stored in the main running sheds since its starring role in last year’s events.
This will be a limited opening day with no tram rides available, although refreshments will be available from the Red Lion and it is hoped to allow access to the workshop viewing gallery so that the various current projects can be viewed. Better yet, there will be no charge for admission on this day, due to the lack of attractions on offer to the casual visitor, but for the hardcore tram enthusiast wishing to see and photograph trams that do not often come outside, this should be a very enjoyable day. The museum site (depot yard and street area only) will be open from 9:30am to 2:00pm only. The main car park will be open as normal, however visitors will be requested to walk to the staff entrance gate as the main admission kiosk will be closed – understandable, due to the costs of staffing it.
Please note that due to the nature of the event, all tramcar movements will be supervised by engineering staff and visitors may be asked to move out of the way if required. Anyone planning to attend is also strongly advised to keep a close eye on the museum’s official website, blog and Facebook page in case it is necessary to postpone or cancel the event at short notice due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.