Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Enthusiasts Day

Former NCT Leyland National.
Most of the currently operational trams were in service.
Chesterfield 7 was being prepared for a role on Bank Holiday Monday.
Finally several non-0perational trams were moved. Prague 180's place in the PCC Exhibition is now taken by Blackpool 166 and 180 was placed alongside fellow countryman Halle 902.Posted by Picasa


  1. There were 14 operational trams at the start of the day, but only 13 crews so 13 were running. At the end of the day there were only 13 operational trams as Sheffield 74 (which I was conductor on!) broke. I spent the rest of the day guarding on Cardiff 131 :D
    And by the way, Blackpool 166 is not in the PCC Exhibition. It is now sat in track 11 in the Depot. Why? It's too long to fit in the exhibition!!! LOL! They tried to move it in there and it wouldn't fit, so they put it on track 11 next to Blackpool 49 for a photo opportunity. Don't know where it is now though, I didn't look yesterday. Personally I would've left it in track 5 where it was, because Berlin 3006 and Blackpool 2 fitted neatly in front of it, but it is good that they are moved around when they can be.

  2. The above comment from Rich is wrong. Blackpool 166 was going to be put in Depot V, in front of Sheffield 189, but was too long and it would not have been possible to close the doors as it was sticking out. It was then moved to Road 11, before ending up in the PCC Exhibition later in the day - after Prague 180 had been moved. Phew!

    Moral of the story: check your facts before hitting the 'Post Comment' button.

  3. Richard is right, Rich. (That's confusing) 166 is now in Depot VI, P180 is in Depot V, 1282 road 9, 68 & 49 road 12. LCC 106 has also been moved into the workshop for commissioning.

    The shunt en masse on Sunday was to make space for Blackpool 167 in the running depots, as we didn't have a space that was long enough for it. We've now got tracks 7/8/9 with a demic at the back of each, plus track 12 with 35, 68 and 1282. 167 will now fit on 5 with 2 & 3006.

    When it came to 166 we were actually thinking "will it fit?" - but didn't doubt the man with the plan! When it came to it it wouldn't fit in front of 189 and was sticking out, so we put it back on the traverser and left it on Road 11 whilst we went to have a cup of tea. A backup plan was formulated meaning 180 ended up in V and 166 in VI.

    We've also now got an Eastern European display in Depot V, and a 'sort of' Blackpool display in Depot VI - I know some people criticised having three unrelated trams in there, so we've made it a bit better!

    Before you tell me i'm wrong, 166 IS in Depot VI, because I parked it there.

  4. Having 13 crews running is fantastic. Considering a lot of people would have wanted to be viewing the other side of this event. We at Heaton Park only have three guards and therefore it severely limits crews.

  5. Don't also forget that we managed to turn out six works cars too - though one was with a traffic crew (131) and another was driver-only (GMJ) - which gave rather a lot of crews! One of the traffic crews was also driver-only, as 3006 was running OPO for much of the day.

  6. I only saw 166 being parked in road 11 before going to the Workshop and being pert of the "traffic crew" that worked 131. We were a conductor short at the start of the day, and it is handy that 3006 can be operated by just a driver.

    LCC 106 was not in the workshop as of Monday evening, but I hope now that it is because it would be great to have another open-top tram running. But, a better open-topper could've been chosen to be commissioned: with the addition of 106 and LUT 159 to the fleet we would have FOUR London trams running (MET 331 and LPTB 1622 completing the line-up) but none from Edinburgh, Nottingham etc. Do we really need 106 operational when a new city can be represented in the operational fleet?

  7. Yes, it was in Road 11 for a while whilst we had a cup of tea to think up a plan B and to avoid delaying proceedings. As Andrew said, check your facts before posting!

    Same should apply again, 106 was moved from R1 to R2 on Sunday, so it would be to the north of 399, explaining why you probably couldn't see it. Trams do move rather a lot during the summer!

    As for your last comment... i'm speechless. There's a BIG difference between commissioning and restoring, I thought you would know that. The TMS are planning on sending 6 trams to Blackpool, and one has been an open topper since the list was first released. It was originally So'ton 45, but has since been altered to LCC 106. LCC 106 was withdrawn in 2007 mainly due to wheel/rail interface issues on now-removed trackwork, and so it is simply a case of commissioning a running car (similar to how Leeds 2 was the other weekend). Commissioning involves (amongst other things) drying out the motors and then checking body condition, electrics, mechanics etc - similar to stuff involved in the A/B/C exams. A lot less than Edinburgh 35 would need (at minimum an extensive overhaul, probably full restoration) or Nottingham 166 (Full restoration, truck, motors, controllers etc).

    LCC106 is also primarily to plug a gap in the fleet at the moment ("The Topper Crisis") and provide another car for Blackpool without depleting our fleet further. While LUT159 should be finished by then, there is a chance work could be delayed. From what I understand too it is also likely to only be on a limited-use/temporary basis for a couple of years before it needs a full body overhaul - though I am told that funding is in place from the LCCTT for that.

    However, more importantly, what do 166 or 35 add to the fleet? We've got lots of enclosed cars and lots of balcony cars. What else unrestored would add to the collection? Leicester 76? Grimsby and Immingham 14? Ok, the last one probably adds something (Very big car that was operated by BR) but that's besides the point. All of these cars listed need a full restoration, but none draw that much to the visitor, unless they happen to come from where the tram hails from. Indeed, if a topper is running they'll pick that over an enclosed car, so therefore get the toppers running! Ok, there's other toppers that could run (Newky 102, Howth 10, Derby 1, DHMD 1 etc), but all of those need complete restorations to run - none of which solve the immediate problem nor the fact that a topper is going to Blackpool in September. To quote yourself, "Rich, get your head out of your rear end" and see the bigger picture!

    Moral of the story once more: Think before typing.

  8. To your last comment rich, 106 is been commissioned for use and so it can possible go to blackpool later in the year if you would like to see a nottingham tram run please find the large sum of money that the workshop will require to do 166 that is stored at clay cross, 106 is complete and just requires some minor work compared to a full restoration and as your a newish conductor it is a nice tram to work

  9. Apothecary3/6/10 18:41

    Rich, as Jonathan says, LCC 106 is being commissioned for the Blackpool celebrations. While its truck is in good nick, the bodywork is in poor health, and needs a lot of TLC. Many of us would dearly love to get it back in service at Crich but I fear we'll have to wait a little longer before it comes out to play again. However Rich, if you get the chance, do a duty on it, and you'll understand what the fuss is about. It's not just a London car, but typical of many "small town" Edwardian trams, and utterly charming because of it.

  10. I agree with the discussion about the need for open topped cars, which is one of the reasons I think the restoration of the remains that have become Sheffield 74 was and still is a missed opportunity.
    It should have become a Bristol tram, adding a very early open topper to the fleet, representing a large southern system from which nothing has survived.
    As for now 74 is a beautiful tram (all credits to the Workshop and its staff) which doesn't add much to the fleet. Good value for money both from the collection point of view and from the necessary economical viability? I doubt it.
    Mind you, Blackpool 712 is interesting, because that car started its life as a 'Luxury Dreadnought', i.e. an open topper and a big one for that.

  11. You may be interested in something I found when looking through the old posts on this blog. Some very interesting ones, so I'd recommend a look.
    There is a forum available for this sort of discussion at tmscrich.iphpbb.com where there is also a private section for members of the TMS which is not viewable by Joe Public.
    It is much more appropriate for things to be discussed on there, rather than on someone's personal blog. Perhaps Christoph could shed some light on getting the forum active again, rather than just potentially?

  12. The forum seemed to be deprecated by the Yahoo group (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/tramway_museum/)which has remained active for several years when the forum has not. Indeed, it seems that in general with the enthusiast fraternity that email discussion groups and blogs are preferred to forums... I reference forum.tramways-monthly.com at this point!