Tramway News - November 2014...

Tramway News – November 2014…

The photo above is a taster of what our new arrival, Blackpool 284 (nee 621) might look something like once restored – casting our minds back to the visit of Blackpool 11, the beautifully restored Vambac car from the East Anglia Transport Museum, and wearing the lovely 1950s livery that I hope we might enjoy on 284 in the future at Beamish.

Below: 284 arrived at Beamish this morning and was unloaded straight on to the pit road (3) to enable an inspection of the underside before the tram is shunted to the rear of Road 4 for a sojourn in store.  It is seen here in the company of fellow Blackpool trams, 31 and 280. Its restoration (for this is what it requires) will be a little way off, but I have some ideas for this tram that will make it rather special and hopefully open doors to the funding required to carry out the level of work necessary to comprehensively restore it.  More on this at some point in the future…!!!

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Below: An interior view – note the retention of the swing-over seats but also acres of white!


Below: This is 284 when new – note the roof windows in particular and the split destination blind, the removal of which later created the step above the cab that so transformed the Brush Railcar’s appearance.

284 builders photo

Below: And here is a Railcar in the 1950s variant, with the deep ‘V’ swept down the front panels and the side sweeps filled in with green too.  No.11 really brightened up the days it ran at Beamish, as did 233 when it was here, the combination of light cream and green being a very attractive feature and one many of us enjoyed during 11 and 233’s operation here.  Thanks to James Millington for the archive photographs.

298 post 1945 livery

Below: Wednesday also saw 16 reunited with its truck – seen here ready for placing underneath the body and also once the body was set down on it once again.  Final assembly of the life trays, brake gear and electrical connections will continue this week.  Some work is needed on the trolleyplank to investigate water ingress and there are some other smaller jobs to attend to now that the car is in one piece again, but the real eagerness is to see it in daylight and observe the gorgeous deep crimson livery in natural light…

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Below: … and here it is in natural light – looking very smart!  It was shunted by 31 from Road 1 to Road 3, over the pit, where work on fitting the life trays and brake chains could begin.  The motors also need connecting before any thought of a powered test run begins.  However, its short foray across the depot tracks showed the pendulums to be moving and so it suggests that we can anticipate some improvement in riding qualities – the degree to which these will be obvious remaining to be discovered!

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Below: Wednesday also saw the collection of a set of Leyland Cub axles – spares for the restoration project down in Byfleet, of which more will be reported soon…