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What a day.  Today we assembled a rolling chassis for the tram.  We believe the first of its type to be manufactured in the UK since before the First World War, and even better it rolled beautifully and very smoothly.

We started off with Ian putting a top coat on the brake hangers and draw gear.  Jim spent the morning doing some finishing work on the canopy bends.  As it was a fine day I set my stall out to assemble the running gear onto the old underframe.  We cannot put the tram on its wheels where it is now so the plan is to assemble the running gear on the old underframe and then it can be transported as one item.  The three of us started by rolling the wheelsets out and then carrying the underframe out of the garage.  This was placed on supports above the wheels.  I then spent time removing the protective coating from the bearings and laying out all the parts.

Here you can see the underframe and all the parts in their places.  The wooden strips will be explained later.  The suspension parts were then gradually built up with the axlebox being hung on the axle and the bearing inserted before the suspension was built onto it.This whole process was lovely and messy (a little boy's dream) with me covered in thick oil and grease as the various parts were put into place.

A completed unit looks like this except that this needs another coil spring. 

Once all four had been fitted we then carefully removed the trestles and let the underframe slide down to its proper level.  To my utter surprise it just slid gently into place.  Jim couldn't resist giving the semi complete chassis a little shove and it rolled so easily that we were glad that the chocks were at hand.

Here is the completed chassis with temporary plywood tie bars inbetwen the axle boxes.  This is so that I can measure the clearances for the stays that run across between the wheels from the tie bars.  After this the whole unit was put away.  Much easier to push 3/4 of a ton than to carry out the individual parts. 


In the afternoon Jim started to cut the staircases to their finished size ready for trial fitting next week.

Away from the tram the brake blocks are now at the foundry for casting and we have also been offerred our first spnsorship deal by the window manufacturers.  Full details in due course.




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