Saturday, July 16, 2011

Money wasted (2)

A reply from a TMS member together with my comments in blue.

"You seem to show a habit which is all too prevalent these days, the negation of the concept of human error. People make mistakes or to be more precise make decisions which with the benefit of hindsight are identified as mistakes but quite frequently appear to be the correct decisions at the time and under the circumstances then.
I agree about human error. All I want is for mistakes to be admitted. "Sorry chaps we got this wrong".
Tramcars with PCC technology operate successfully in museums with their own lines in the Netherlands, in Denmark, in Sweden and in Germany*. Why the museum which is probably the leading tramway museum in the world should be unable to follow is beyond my comprehension. The only explanation I can offer is a reluctance to accept foreign technology. One issue which has been overlooked without doubt is the door height which is too low for a standing person pushing a wheelchair. This will require some extra modifications to the door, which have been carried out elsewhere.
We have operated a PCC type tram at Crich - Leeds 602 but with restricted use and restricted drivers. A very, very important requirement for an Access Tram at Crich is for all drivers to be able drive it. I have driven most trams at Crich but never 602.
As far as Town End is concerned, the answer is in the issue of "The Journal" you mentioned: "A 'minimum cost' job was required."
When judging 345 please consider two issues: The experience of the persons working on the car and responsible at Board level on one side and the legacy presented by Leeds Corporation on the other side. With hindsight we have human error on all sides again, I think.
These are factors that should have been considered by the Board before allocating resources to the project.
I cannot comment on 159, but could you please elaborate on "nearly every job has had to be re-done"?
OK. A significant number of jobs have had to be redone. Examples that come to mind are body side panels, dash panels and the bogie frames pictured on the rear cover of Journal 194 were discarded.
And finally, I question the responsibility of the three Board members seeking re-election. Only two out of four were Board members then 902, Town End and 345 happened. Only three were Board members when the restoration of 159 started. Only one was Board member responsible when the most of the work you criticise was carried out but has not been responsible for 159. A case of "journalistic inexactitude" perhaps?
With regard to who was on the Board and when, all Board members are Trustees of the Tramway Museum Society and have legal responsibilities to conserve our Museum and its assets. In this they are all failing."

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