In February 2005 when I retired from full time work, I rejoined the TMS after an absence of about 10 years. On a winter's afternoon I attended for a medical and couldn't believe my eyes. A big red Tatra T4D at Crich! Unbelievable. When I learnt that it was to be a second Access Tram, I knew something was badly wrong in the decision making process.
I have known Tatra T3s and T4s since my first visit to Prague in 1966 and ridden thousands of kms on them over the years. I love these Tatras and was thrilled to ride on a few last week in Bucharest. However it would be difficult to think of a more unsuitable access tram. Tatras are very power hungry with fast acceleration and jerky braking at low speeds even when driven by experienced drivers. The foot pedal operated control system is different from any other tram at Crich and requires different driving techniques.
Town End track
The track at Town End was relaid by contractors early in 2005 but the old rails were re-used. Five years later the job was re-done using new materials. (For details of these abortive projects see Journal 190, April 2005).
Leeds 345 and LUT 159
On April 1st 2006, Leeds 345 was officially launched after a complete restoration funded by the TSO. Now 5 years later a small fortune is being spent by the TMS trying to put it right. There has recently been a call, which I support, to stop spending good money after bad and make 345 a static exhibit.
The restoration of 159 funded by the LCCTT is nearing completion and this magnificent tram may well run next year but nearly every job has had to be re-done at the expense of the TMS.
All these debacles divert resources from other projects and yet no apologies or explanations are given and no one is held to account. I will try to find out how much money has been wasted at the AGM - it will be thousands, perhaps a million pounds. I find it incredible that 3 of the Board members responsible for these disasters are seeking re-election. They won't get my votes.