Peckham truck crosses the Atlantic
filed on: 31.10.2011 (31st Oct 2011)
Back in April, this newslog reported on the surviving Peckham trucks in Zürich. The newslog entry mentioned the imminent departure of one of these for Edmonton in Canada. According to the newsletter of the Edmonton Radial Railway, the truck left Zürich on April 28th, arriving in Edmonton on July 4th. This wasn't the truck's first transatlantic trip as the truck was built in Kingston NY 113 years earlier. The truck will be rebuilt as standard gauge (a relatively simple operation seeing the type's modular build) and used under the body of a Saskatoon car (originally from Charlotte NC). The adjoining clippings are from the Edmonton Radial Railway's newsletter (EERS) issue 1/11 and 2/11.
source: Edmonton Radial Railway
Meanwhile, the body of Ce 2/2 93 (also mentioned in the above posting, and more fully described in this entry) finally left Zürich last week. The tram has spent a protracted period of storage in Zürich (at one point even being temporarily returned to operating condition), with the claimed ultimate goal being be recreate a replica car Ce 2/2 45 representing the initial batch of Pecham-trucked trams used in Zürich. In contrast to the later cars these had open balconies, and would hence have made a markedly different contribution to the museum fleet. During the restoration of LSB Ce 2/2 2, a lot of work was done in parallel for number 45 with numerous parts being acquired and set aside. With focus of the tram museum's efforts shifting towards the museum itself, and with pressing overhauls and repairs on the core fleet, the longer term projects are slipping to a more distant future. This, combined with legal questions over the ability to operate an open-balconied car, led to the decison to dispose of the body of 93, with only the truck being retained in store.
The decison to dispose of the body appears to me to be unfortunate. Recerating a new one from scratch will require a considerably greater effort. Although on-track storage space in Zürich is limited and costly, an off-track and off-site alternative could have been sought. In terms of its attractiveness as a museum piece, the differences between many of the existing cars may not be immediately obvious to many non enthusiast visitor whereas a clearly different open-balcony car would have had immediate appeal (as indeed the popularity of other obviously different cars such as of the LSB or ZOS shows). In my opinion this project should have been prioritised rather than set back. If legal hurdles genuinely preclude such a car, why retain the truck? But the decision no doubt had its sound reasons.
Meanwhile, learning of the body's impending demise, an initiate from Germany moved to secured the car and was able to collect it last week. The body is being placed in safe storage for a future replica project. More details will be released later.
This news item is from the 2011 newslog.
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