1980

SK3455 : Road-rail bus at Crich, 1980 – 5

taken 44 years ago, near to Whatstandwell, Derbyshire, England

Road-rail bus at Crich, 1980 – 5
Road-rail bus at Crich, 1980 – 5
Derailed on the approach to Wakebridge. The rear axle had dropped off the rails. The restricted location made getting the recovery equipment into place particularly tricky.
Lucas Aerospace Workers Road Rail Bus at Crich, 16 August 1980 :: SK3454

This was a project by the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards Committee to develop a socially useful project to combat redundancy. (It was not backed by the Lucas company).

The idea of creating a vehicle capable of combining the energy efficiency of railed traction with on-road flexibility was not new, but the project sought to do it with more modern technology.

The Crich tramway was chosen as a suitable place for a test run because of the ease of switching from road to rail mode, and an initial test run was carried out on Saturday 15th August 1980.

The bus used was a former Hants and Dorset Motor Services Bristol LH. The traditional front axle was replaced by a bogie with two road-wheel axles either side of an axle with two rail-profile steel wheels. This axle could be lowered hydraulically when running in rail mode to provide rail guidance, the pneumatic tyres still carrying most of the load. There was a similar guide axle behind the normal rear axle of the bus.

The bus made a return trip between Town End and Wakebridge, but the test was not without incident, as the vehicle derailed on the sharp curve entering Wakebridge. As the location is in a narrow rock cutting, restoring the bus to the rails was not entirely straightforward. A significant factor in the derailment was that the profile of the rail wheels was intended for use on a normal railway profile rail, rather than the traditional grooved tramway rails at the museum. A further trial in September, which was attended by a number of industry professionals was concluded without any problems.

The vehicle later made further test runs on the West Somerset Railway, but the project never made any progress beyond that.

Crich Tramway Village and National Tramway Museum

Crich Tramway Village is the recreated historic village that is the setting for the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. The village is set around a period street, with several re-built buildings from all over the country, including the façade of the former Assembly Rooms from Derby and the Red Lion Inn from Stoke-on-Trent. The site has been developed at a derelict limestone quarry.

The museum has over 60 tramcars from various locations; about seventeen vehicles are currently in operational condition, with more on display or being restored. Every operating day, the museum selects between two and four trams and operates them over its line to Glory Mine, via Wakebridge. The village also includes a cafe, old-style sweetshop, and the museum's tram depots. There is also a re-created Victorian park, children’s play area, woodland walk and sculpture trail.

LinkExternal link Crich Tramway Village web site
LinkExternal link Wikipedia article

Historic views at the Tramway Museum - 1957-1995 :: SK3454

Follow this Link to take a trip along the line following stages of development at differing locations.


Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Historic sites and artefacts Roads, Road transport Railways other tags: Crich Tramway Village Tramway Road-Rail Bus Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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Grid Square
SK3455, 435 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Photographer
Alan Murray-Rust   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Saturday, 16 August, 1980   (more nearby)
Submitted
Friday, 17 July, 2020
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3410 5547 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:5.7211N 1:29.5335W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 3409 5550
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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