After being temporarily sidelined following a derailment incident in July 2013, pleasing news to report is that Metropolitan 331 is almost ready to resume its operating career at the Crich Tramway Village. Having spent a short period of time in the museum workshop, some damage to the car’s underframe was quickly repaired and the tram now requires only a few finishing touches before it can return to service.
Earlier this month, Feltham car 331 was admitted to the workshop where it was lifted from its bogies to allow the extent of damage caused by its derailment to be fully assessed. Fortunately, this was found to be less severe than had been feared, and was soon repaired with some assistance from a specialist contractor. The car has now been reunited with its bogies and, having been repaired in record time, has already made its first moves under power around the depot area. This makes a refreshing change from most repair/overhaul work on trams at Crich and elsewhere, where such examinations usually reveal various other issues and end up taking a lot longer, and costing far more, to put right than is initially estimated!
Some of 331‘s lower deck side panelling has sustained some minor damage and this will now require the attention of the museum’s professional coach painter. However, the tram should be back in service within the next few weeks once routine commissioning is completed, and can hopefully then put its mishap from last summer behind it. This is another welcome positive development for Crich, and is also another step towards having 25 operational passenger cars available for use at September’s ‘Electric 50’ celebrations.