Picture in Time 24: Brussels Snow Broom 96

The latest tram to feature in our occasional series of archive images is Brussels 96, a snow broom car which is a static exhibit at the Crich Tramway Village painted in a generic brown colour scheme, representing show room condition as it was once displayed as the centrepiece of the J G Brill display in the Trade Exhibition. However, we are turning the clock back almost two decades to see how the tram looked when it first arrived at Crich.

When it was initially shipped to the UK, Brussels 96 headed to the West Yorkshire Transport Museum at Bradford where it was displayed for a number of years. A re-think of the museum’s collection policy ahead of a move to a new site known as ‘Transperience’ (which also subsequently closed down having failed to attract much custom) led to the snow broom being declared surplus to requirements, and so in 1995 it was transferred to the National Tramway Museum at Crich with some financial support from the Tramcar Sponsorship Organisation. After spending the latter part of that season stored in the main depots, it was then transferred to the workshop for cosmetic attention which saw it shed its unusual Brussels works car livery in favour of the aforementioned brown – the idea presumably being to show off a Brill product and also acknowledging the fact that similar trams did operate in this country. The tram has been a constant feature of the display inside the Exhibition Hall since 1996 and has only very rarely appeared outside for shunting operations and the occasional photo opportunity at enthusiasts events.

Our very grateful thanks to Derek Hopkins for kindly allowing us to republish these rare pictures from his collection.

Brussels 96 is shown here at the top of track 12 in the depots at Crich, blocking in Newcastle 102 (then recently withdrawn from service). This is how 96 looked when it first arrived to Crich, in a much more distinctive livery than that which replaced it.

Another Crich depot view from the summer of 1995, with Brussels 96 just visible alongside fellow works car Sheffield 330.

A further view of Brussels 96, this time with the unusual livery more in evidence with 330 moved out of the way. (Photos x 3 by Derek Hopkins)

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1 Response to Picture in Time 24: Brussels Snow Broom 96

  1. derek hopkins says:

    Many thanks for publishing these photos.

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