Southampton Tram Project’s trams welcome the public

The three trams of the Southampton Tram Project have gone on public display this weekend as part of the Southampton Maritime Festival. The three trams – Southampton cars 11 and 38 and Lisbon 715 – could be found in their workshop at Southampton Docks’ berth 49 which is shared by the Dunkirk Little Ships Association (with one of their restoration projects also to be found in the workshop).

This was a very rare open day allowing the public to see these trams and is in fact the first time the workshop has been open to the public since they were moved there in 2011. Visitors to the Festival could see the current state of the three trams with 11 – a domed roof double decker – the most advanced of the home trams in its restoration with it said to be 80% complete. 38 is a long-term project but remains unrestored currently whilst the Lisbon tram would be able to run tomorrow although that won’t be happening in the UK as unlike Birkenhead’s Lisbon car 730 it has not been regauged. It was also possible for members of the public to get on board both 11 and 715 to see the interiors of the trams.

Externally 11 is substantially complete although some finishing touches are still required including the fitting of some panes of glass. The tram carries the standard Southampton
tram livery of red and white and work is currently being undertaken on the finishing touches of the livery. Internally both staircases are in place and the seating is installed on the lower deck but remains to be fitted upstairs.

The Southampton Maritime Festival is at Ocean Cruise Terminal, Dock Gate 4 and continues on Monday 6 May between 1000 and 1800 and away from the trams there are a number of boats on display including the Steam Tug Challenge and the SS Shieldhall. There are also other heritage vehicles including a Sentinel steam wagon on display and plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Tickets cost £6 on the gate and for those travelling from Southampton City Centre there is a free heritage shuttle bus running every half an hour.

Southampton domed roof tram 11 seen head-on on 5 May during the Southampton Maritime Festival.

The lower saloon of 11.


The upper saloon of 11 with the domed roof clearly evident.

The other Southampton tram in the workshop, 38, is also seen on 5 May.

Lisbon 715 also in the workshop on 5 May.

A general view of the three trams taken from a handy platform which was probably actually there for the adjacent boat being restored but serves this purpose just as well! (All photos: Gareth Prior)


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5 Responses to Southampton Tram Project’s trams welcome the public

  1. Tommy Carr says:

    It appears that 715 has been reprainted since I saw a recent pic of it. Hopefully 715 won’t be scrapped and can operate somewhere, even better if they can open their own tramway where it can operate.

  2. David Taylor says:

    I doubt that they will open a tramway with just two working trams. Even when 38 is up and running which is a long way off it will be tough going to keep a service running. Does any one know if there are any other small projects down south that could run on a tramway? I believe there was a tram inportsmouth depot before it closed. What happend to that?

    • Gareth Prior says:

      The Black Country Museum only have two working trams currently so I don’t think that would stop them opening a tramway. The plan was for a small tramway to run between the proposed Aeronautica Museum and Town Quay but these plans are some what up in the air at the moment.

      There are several other trams in the south including Portsmouth 84 on static display at Milestones in Basingstoke and several unrestored Bournemouth trams (although these are of non-standard gauge) plus Bournemouth 85 ex of the Museum of Electricity with its future still to be fully confirmed. The tram you mention which used to be in Portsmouth is Portsdown and Horndean 13 and currently resides at Wicor Farm, Porchester with no public access.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I thought there was another tram, number 57 from Southampton. Whatever happened to that?

    • Gareth Prior says:

      Southampton 57 is in the Hampshire County Museum store near Winchester and is no longer part of the Southampton Tram Project’s collection.

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