Update: Restoration of 279

Today we paid a visit to the Fylde Transport Trust to review progress with the restoration of 279. Rewiring of the tram has now started, with this work being undertaken by JRW Developments, specialists in industrial electronics. The old traction cabling has already been discarded, and will be replaced by railway standard approved materials, including modern insulation.

Internally, window cappings have been replaced with newly machined woodwork, which looks excellent, whilst externally a frame has been fitted below the sole bar to affix the lower edge of the panels – to the same specification as Boat 600 and Balloon 717. This stops distortion of the side panels due to a lack of support.

The new cab frame ends have both recently been removed for painting in a protective primer, and that at the no.1 end is now properly fixed in place, complete with the back plate of the Z type controller. The National Tramway Museum (Crich) have kindly loaned some old style Balloon car windscreens, and the most suitable will be copied to ensure that 279 looks correct when complete.

Good work so far by the FTT in recreating a missing piece of the English Electric streamlined family. We look forward to seeing it completed in due course!

Our photos show the new cab frame at the no.1 end, with a roll of new traction cable insulation to the side; the exposed cable conduits and new window cappings in the saloons; and also much of the old cable and cotton insulation now discarded.