The Seaton Tramway - July 2003 - Part 2

To expand the fleet once the ex-Eastbourne cars had all been regauged and put into service, the company embarked on a programme of taking real tramcar bodies from several sources and modifying them for use on the narrow gauge line. Three saloon cars were thus converted and placed on new bogie chassis.

Car 14 was originally a standard gauge car built in 1904 for the Metropolitan Tramways in London - it was car No. 94. It was cut along its length and two feet removed from the width - the resulting join can be seen in the saloon but only just!

No.14 is seen here loading passengers at the Colyton terminus.

Car 16 was converted from Bournemouth Tramways car 106 which survived as it was purchased and used by the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay system in North Wales up to the time that closed in 1956. Gauge was 3'6".

Another shot at Colyton, the tram is using the trolley reversing wire as it approaches the tram stop in readiness for the trip back to Seaton. Livery used is that of the Bournemouth system.

The third restored car came from Exeter Corporation which was another 3'6" gauge system. It was built in 1906 as an open-top double deck car. The work at Seaton took place between 1994 and 1998 and it is the only Exeter car in preservation.

The photo shows No.19 entering the loop at Colyford - note the trolleybus style double overhead-wire hanger in use here.

To facilitate the enjoyment of the tramway by wheelchair users, Car 17 was built in 1988. It is based on the toastrack design used on the Manx Electric Railway and has removable seats. A special loading platform has been built at Seaton which is where 17 is seen here.

Currently the company is engaged in the construction of three new bogie double deck cars, 9, 10 and 11. They are of a hybrid design based on elements of Plymouth and Blackburn cars. Car 9, seen here, is in a blue livery, 10 has been finished in Glasgow livery (orange and green) and 11 is cream with red trim. They all have low-floor centre sections for wheelchair access.

Sorry for the poor quality of this shot - it was taken hurriedly from a passing tram.

A picture of similar car 10 is available here

Riverside depot as seen from a passing tram. Car 6 can be seen in the entrance.

General view of the Colyton terminus with the original LSWR statio building serving as a gift shop and cafe.
Car 8 - the first to operate on the line - leaves for Seaton.

The Edwardian style terminus building at Seaton with car 16 on the reversing stub.

The queuing barriers are most useful to control long queues during busy periods.
I'm not sure about the Edwardian plastic chairs though!

The GEC controller on tramcar 14.

Interior of the Metropolitan Tramways saloon car (14).

Car 12 at the Colyton terminus - the point in the foregrouond is a genuine tramway artifact,
having been obtained from the old tramway depot in Torquay.

The information these pages has been taken from the Seaton Tramway's current leaflet and also from their website which can be found here. It has timetables, fleet information, details of various special events - they even run tram driving courses.

Opinions, if any, expressed on these pages are my own!

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Gerry Cork July 2003