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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Three Way Turn

The illuminated trio are rarely (if ever) featured on this blog but a chance encounter at Rigby Road this afternoon has helped correct this (glaring) omission. A daily ritual for the heritage tram staff at the Works is to ensure the unidirectional units are facing the correct way for departure each evening. Arriving back at Hopton Road every night after their duties on Illuminated tours has meant the driving positions are facing east - given the fact two of the three feature trams are unidirectional. Whilst the third has its front (or prow end) distinctively different from its rear, although both ends of the 'Trawler' have full driving cab positions. Below : Walking the Trawler ...

Walking the Frigate :

A consequence of this whilst driving past the yard today saw all three feature cars being treated to a three way turn using the triangular track layout which exists in front of the Engineering Shop and Depot Access track. It was worthwhile breaking my journey to witness the daily ritual whereby each tram in turn was more or less gently guided through the procedure which allows them to later depart on to the Promenade in the correct order - which permits taking up tour duties at the Pleasure Beach Heritage Stop front end leading (after reversal over the Foxhall points). Below : The custom angled crossing allowing trams to travel across the Engineering Shop Access Track.

The solitary trailer also showed off its 1939 English Electric bogies which once were under a 'Sun Saloon'. (Below). These were cascaded onto the Pantograph cars following the upgrade of the 'Saloons' to become 'Marton Vambacs' in the early 1950s. Only 167 and 176 retained their original 1928 bogies with 176 being later scrapped in Blundell Street Depot. !67 of course became the Copse Road based Permanent Way car before being judiciously acquired by the Tramway Museum Society for their new museum at Crich.

A standard image of the Western Train - this time about to take its journey over the trackwork pictured above,

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