Another day of progress.  Jim spent the morning putting the final small panels in the corners of the monitors then spent some time masking up the edges of the areas that needed vaenishing.  In the afternoon he finished put a coat of varnish on all the upper woodwork.  This has totally transformed the appearance of the interior as the ceiling is now darker but looks very good. 

Stephen and I spent the morning bringing the old underframe and wheels out of the garage with the idea of fitting the axleboxes and suspension.  We then realised how many small jobs needed to be done for this to take place.  Stephen then made two of the four mud seals that stop dirt getting into the bearings.  These are pieces of plywood that stop dirt and grit getting into the bearings and fit into a slot cast into the back of the axleboxes.  I spen the rest of the day taking excess paint off the various parts and making sure that they all fitted together.  Then the heavens opened and I had to try and get the wheels and underframe back into the garage.  Fortunately they all pushed back as a unit even though the bits weren't bolted together. Hopefully we will make more progress over the next few weeks.


A strange day.  We seemed to be doing not a lot but ended up with a transformation. 

Jim and I spent the morning getting all the details right on the catenary rods.  I worked on all the screws holding the brackets to the monitor ribs and got them all seated properly and fully tightened without breaking any of them.  They are brass so twist to break quite easily.  Jim spent some time sorting out the corner panels in the monitors and then seating the pattresses at B end.  I then sorted the D end pattresses and got them screwed in. Meanwhile I started rubbing down and priming some newly arrived steelwork. I had collected the spring hangers from Fidaport on Monday and a new contributor, Brian Hackney who lived near Bernard, had offerred to do some lathe and other metalwork.  He had called last week and took the draw gear away to slot the main part so that the push rod can be inserted to fit it.  No pictures of this but it is a very simple way of fitting the rod which a picture in due course will explain.  Anyway he has done a great job very quickly and so Ian scraped off two years of surface rust before putting on the primer.

In the afternoon, whilst Ian was busy painting, Jim and I started to tighten up the catenary rods.  After only 1 1/2 turns on each nut, the temporary roof prop fell out. This proved that the rods were doing their job of keeing the body from bowing.  A quick measure showed that there is no trace of sag in the sides.

This success inspired Jim to tidy up and sweep out the saloon ready for varnishing the ceiling.

As we now had a clean tram we spent the last hour having a design conference about how to fit the stairs.  I made a temporary landing for D end from some old plywood and we then placed a staircase in position to get some idea of what needs to be trimmed at top and bottom.  The answer was not very much but it threw up various questions about positioning the stairs but the end result was this.

What a transformtion and a trbute to Bernard's measuring and plotting skills, not to mention all Jim's hard work while I was on holiday.  It completely alters the appearance of the tram.


Another day and some lovely damp Yorkshire weather but at least it wasn't cold.  Jim and I spent the day sorting out the catenary rod pattresses.  All 4 of these should be identical but we have discovered that the A side ones need to be 1/8" narrower than the C side ones so we spent some time marking them and then cutting and filing till all four fitted.

Here you can see one finally put in place.

Ian did some filling and painting on the roof and then after lunch started rubbing down the paintwork on the staircases ready for glossing.

After lunch Jim and I started to fit the catenary rods again after fettling the threads on the ends where the Manchester spanner had damaged them slightly.  By afternoon tea break the C side one was in place and then we manged to get A side done.  This looks good on the interior.

Next week we will finish off all the small jobs and screw the patresses in place and then put some tension on the rods so that the temporary strut can be removed. 

It may not seem much but it is nice to make progress.


As I've been on holiday for the last three weeks cruising round the Med (and riding several tram and  train systems including Tunis) there have been no updates but work has not stopped.  While I was away Jim took all the staircase components home and assembled and painted them in his garage.  This is a major undertaking and each staircase weighs about 90 lbs.  This morning I went and helped Jim load them into my Volvo estate.

As you can see they only just fitted but we got both of them to the tram shed and trial fitted the D end one.  The bottom riser needs to be slightly shortened but everything else looks fine.  I just need to work out Bernard's notes and see where they have to go along with the shape of the landings.

After that we put the stairs away and fitted the second catenary rod. This took three of us and much persuasion with a 2lb "Manchester Spanner", a lump hammer to the uninitiated. I then fitted the remaining torsion lozenge on A side while Jim fitted the door arches.  After lunch we used the Manchester Spanner again to fully seat the screens and fit the arches then found that the pattresses wouldn't fit so we had to take both rods out and start again.  We have now enlarged the holes in the wood that holds the pattresses and filed various bits of them.  Next week we plan to install them again, hopefully for good.  Ian spent the day doing some rubbing down under the D end canopy .  All in all a one step forward two steps back day but lessons were learnt.




Another day with some great progress.   Even though Jim is away Ian came in the morning and spent time painting the underside of the canopy bends which are now looking good.  I carried on fitting the D end door.  This proved to be awkward as one of the rails on the bulkhead was out of square and couldn't be removed so I had to chisel out a channel in its underside.  This was in an awkward space but eventually got done.  The door then ran but was a little sticky.  However I was able to make and drill the axles for the split pins and get the door runners fully mounted.  Stephen then turned up and concentrated on getting the rebates for the seat rails cut in all the remaining screens.  Paul arrived after lunch and soon sorted out the sticky door so we were able to finish the D end door and this is what it now looks like.

The result is worth the effort.  

Stephen and I then started to fit the catenary rod on C side.  This is easier said than done as the holes only line up with a fully curved rod.  The rod was threaded through at B end, then all the fittings and brackets were threaded on it, after that we bent it enough to start if through its holes at D end before using straps to bend it into shape.  Then Paul made a brass tube to guide it through the various holes before we screwed the brackets into place on the monitors (the picture gallery explains it better).  Finally the brackets were screwed into place and the end nuts and their plates fitted.  The end result looked great. 

After that the last screen was reinstalled and both seat rails trial fitted.

All in all a very good day's progress.