Christchurch Tramway Update

26 May

Down in Christchurch this week I photographed our dinky tramcar No. 11 (the Box Car) leaving the earthquake-ravaged Red Zone en route to Ferrymead Heritage Park in preparation for the Christchurch heritage tramway restart.  Secured to the trailer deck of a huge Kenworth road truck, it definitely looked outside its comfort zone as it progressed along Lichfield Street, earthquake rubble piled on all sides. Decidedly incongruous were the still colourful artificial flower decorations placed on the tram to promote the 2011 Christchurch Flower Festival. I had previously photographed No. 11 against idyllic backdrops of New Regent Street and neo-Gothic Christchurch.

Half an hour later when negotiating a tight bend in Truscotts Station Road No. 11, catching the sunlight, looked as charming as ever. Along with Restaurant Tram No. 411, it had been trapped in the city tram barn after the damaging earthquake hit on February 22, 2011. It suffered broken windows and scrapes from randomly dislodged items.
Its arrival at Ferrymead heritage village attracted an impromptu crowd of curious spectators as it was carefully unloaded on temporary light rails to sit comfortably on the Ferrymead tramway.

The transport guys, along with Christchurch tramway mechanics, Steve Lee and Andy Rowe, made the unloading look relatively easy. They had done this on several occasions.

Joe Pickering drove No. 11 to the Tramway Historical Society’s tram barn where repairs and a repaint are on the cards. No. 11 is the oldest electric tramcar in the Christchurch city fleet, built in 1903 by J. G. Brill of Philadelphia for the opening of the Dunedin Corporation tramway. In Christchurch it was a favourite with the tourists. Three other Christchurch trams are stored under cover at Ferrymead.

We are progressing, albeit still in notch one, towards a grand re-opening of the Christchurch city tramway.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: