Sunderland 16 sees daylight at last!

The heavily-delayed overhaul of Beamish Museum tramway stalwart Sunderland 16 has taken some significant steps towards completion this week. The tram was re-trucked on Wednesday 12th November, which allowed it to be moved outside allowing a sneak preview of its greatly improved appearance following the cosmetic attention carried out earlier in the year.

16 was withdrawn some time ago with worn tyres, however dismantling of its truck revealed a whole host of other issues which have kept the tram out of action for much longer than had been anticipated. However, following the return of the motors, the tramcar body and truck were finally reunited on Wednesday 12th November and the car was then shunted onto Road 3 in the main depot by Blackpool 31 so that it could be placed over the maintenance pit. This will allow the motors to be connected up as well as the re-fitting of brake chains and lifeguards, ahead of a release for test running which is now eagerly anticipated. Even this brief shunting move confirmed that the car’s riding quality has improved as a result of the extensive work lavished upon it this year. However, the most visible change has been to the appearance of the tram, which was seen outside for the very first time since receiving stunning new period advertisements, including the famous ‘Shop at Binns’ legend painted on each end, as is so commonly associated with Sunderland cars. Some relatively minor paintwork attention, including a full re-varnish, has also enhanced the attractive maroon and cream livery which previously looked quite dull but now looks absolutely stunning. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before this tram will be back in traffic, and the large enclosed double-decker is sure to be very useful to the museum once again when this finally happens.

What a beauty! Sunderland 16's new look is shown off to full effect during shunting on 12th November, with Blackpool 31 providing the motive power. (Photo courtesy of the Beamish Transport & Industry blog)


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2 Responses to Sunderland 16 sees daylight at last!

  1. Frank Gradwell says:

    Beamish issued regular updates about the technical issues with the suspension during the overhaul. It was very interesting to see how undoing the “make do and mend” of eighty years or so is being applied.

    The real proof will be in the riding.

  2. JOHN says:

    It looks stunning with those new adverts and a revarnish

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