It has been a little while since our last update on progress with our Depot refurbishment project, but there has been lots going on and the New Year especially, has seen major progress inside the building.

When we last updated you we’d just moved the trams back in underneath the roof of Depot 2 and the roofers were set to start on the next section of roof in Depot 3. With an ambitious programme to get all three roofs done by the time of our Christmas break on the 21st December, everyone needed to be on their toes to keep to the schedule.

First light fittings being fitted to lighting track in Depot 2.

New lighting track installed in an empty Depot 3.

Luckily due to the arrangement of the trams in the Depots, our lighting contractors were well ahead with their part of the programme, taking advantage of extra pockets of space to advance the lighting installation.

Our roofers now had a practiced method of removal and installation with the roof panels, and given the roofs of Depot 3 and 4 are shorter than that of Depot 2, they progressed the reroofing in no time at all.

Interior view as Depot 3 roof is worked on.

Exterior view showing completed Depot 2 roof and first section of Depot 3 complete.

Another movement of trams on the 9th December, kept us on track for progressing the work on Depot 4.

Working to free the frozen points on the 9th December 2017.


The traverser also needed clearing of snow and unfreezing.

Trams moving into new positions in order to empty Depot 4.

An empty Depot 4 ready for work to start.

As the 21st December rolled round, the roofing had been finished two days ahead of schedule, which allowed our lighting contractors to really advance the programme as they had some extra time to install more of the light fittings.

So, we’d met our target – all three roofs replaced and the building secure, whilst everyone took a well-deserved break for Christmas.

You might be forgiven for thinking that in the New Year we would ease ourselves gently into the next stages of work with the refurbishment, but no our contractors came back eager to get going on the 2nd January, and progress since then has been remarkable and fast paced.

Insulation being fitted in Depot 4.

Depot 4 looking a lot brighter, as the new light fitting keep getting put in.

Depot 4 now has insulation and cladding on the walls, the lighting is complete in this space and is AMAZING (you might need sunglasses in there now, it’s so bright!), the interior lining has gone in for the concrete valley gutters in the roof, and the biggest change of all has to be the floor-to-ceiling partition wall.

We were all a little nervous about how the partition wall would look, especially once trams were moved back into the space in Depot 4, but whilst it’s very different to the open view we’ve all become used to seeing, we think it will grow on people. The primary reason for the wall is that it acts as a fire break in case of a fire starting in the Depot, and will safeguard other sections of the Depot, tramcars and visitors, rather than allowing the fire to spread.

Partition wall between Depot 3 +4 starting to go in.

Internal insulation and cladding complete in Depot 4.

Our overhead line fittings being reinstalled in Depot 4.

After a quick reorganisation of the tramcars this past weekend, (and yes, we had our Blackpool 166 toastrack out in the snow again), we’re now installing the next partition wall between Depots 2 and 3, finishing the lighting in Depot 3 and fitting the wall insulation and cladding.

Trams starting to move back into refurbished Depot 4.

New lighting really brightens up Depot 4 and the trams.

A view from the window of the electric loco,as Sheffield 330 is shunted through the Depot gates.

Our Blackpool ‘toastrack’ 166, on the move again in the snow!

As if that wasn’t enough, we’re also putting the overhead back up – and all in five days, as we need to move the trams again this coming weekend to keep us on track with the programme. Nothing like a tight deadline to keep people motivated.

As each section comes together, the overall appearance of the Depot changes and evolves. Although it’s different to what we are used to, we really think everyone is going to love the new look, and ultimately conditions will be better for the long-term care of the tramcars.

Keep an eye on the blog and our Facebook page for more updates and photos, as we head through to the next phases of the refurbishment.

Photos courtesy of Mike Crabtree, Dan Heeley and Dean Sharp

Crich Tramway Village is a brand name for the National Tramway Museum (Accredited with Arts Council England), solely owned and operated by The Tramway Museum Society, incorporated in England with liability by guarantee (no. 744229). Registered charity number 313615. Our ICO number is Z6700136.

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