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APS saves Standard Tram 1408

filed on: 15.02.2007 (15th Feb 2007)

Kurbeli The "medium-weight" (Mittelschwer) or Iab/Ib variant of the Swiss Standard Tram, better known in Zürich as Kurbeli (Be4/4 1351-1415) must be one of the most typical and iconic of all Zürich trams. The timeless elegance of the design, both inside and out, combined with its aura of proven robutsness and the roar of it gears as it struggled up to Zoo in its final days on route 6 made this to one of the most characterstic types that ever ran in Zürich. The last Kurbeli was withdrawn in the mid 1990s and the type is represented in the heritage fleet by number 1392, which is restored to original condition with conductor seat, passenger flow and the original dark blue livery with white lines.

Kurbeli Aktion Pro Sächsitram has long been intending to secure a second vehicle of this type to preserve it in its latter and most iconic condition — with automatic doors, enclosed bogies and standard fleet livery of blue with white window band. Besides 1391, several other Zürich Kurbelis survive in Zürich and Bern, albeit heavily rebuilt, as works (and cargo) trams. Additionally some are still in use in Pyongyang (North Korea) and 1379 is preserved by AMTUIR in Paris (The collection is sadly currently closed to the public). None of these vehicles are immediate candidates for APS' goal. But there is one further survivor: 1408 has, through a quirk of fate, escaped the scrapman but has suffered somewhat through extensive periods of stabling in the open. Its survival is acutely threatened by the shortage of space caused by new trams being delivered and withdrawn trams accumulating at all suitable locations.

Kurbeli As an immediate restauration is out of the question financially, APS have set about securing the future of the vehicle by seeking to transfer it to a safe location for storage. Such a location has been found and the measure was approved by an extraordinary general meeting on 26th February. Following removal of asbestos by VBZ, the tram will be transported to the yard of a building company outside town where it can remain for five years. 1408 could, at some point in the future, be restored to working order as a museum car, or restored cosmetically as a static exhibit or even exchanged with another museum to be able to repatriate some-other exotic survivor. The most important thing is that the tram is now safe.

source: Aktion Pro Sächsitram

More Standard Tram photographs.

This news item is from the 2007 newslog.


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