Engineers from Tyne and Wear Metro have helped to restore tram services at Beamish Museum in County Durham after the recent Storm Arwen.
Metro has a policy that allows staff to volunteer in the community for a day.
Metro staff used a special hi-rail vehicle, known as an RRV, so that they could work safely at height to undertake detailed inspection work on the lines.
Engineers normally use the RRV for nightly maintenance tasks on the Metro.
Nexus Senior Engineer Malcolm Irving said: “It has been a fantastic experience for our staff to do such vital work on the Beamish light rail system. We were more than happy to help and really enjoyed the day.
“The work we did was of added importance given the recent devastation of Storm Arwen, and it has certainly been of great help to the Beamish team.
“We carried out a complete safety critical inspection of the tram overhead lines. It is a functional transport system, so the equipment should be checked in accordance with modern safety rules, like any other rail network.
“We have the expertise and the equipment to do this kind of work, which happens every day on the Tyne and Wear Metro system.
“Nexus has a specific policy that allows staff to do a day of volunteer work each year, and everyone wanted us to spend it helping a nonprofit like Beamish, a museum that has helped put our region on the map.”
Matt Ellis, Transportation Warden at the Beamish Museum, was grateful for the help: “We would like to thank Nexus very much for coming to help us with this work, it is much appreciated.
“Nexus supplied its equipment to its staff and the team inspected all of the overhead line equipment and fittings, looking for any degradation due to weather, age, damage from the overhead line. storm and any long-term wear, especially of the contact wire. It’s a routine thing, eventually we’ll have to tackle every step on our own, but the fact that we can do the whole system in one day makes it pretty easy.
“Thanks to Nexus, we are very grateful to you.”
Beamish Tramway opened in 1973 and was originally a single track from the depot at Foulbridge to the boundary of the site. It re-creates the experience and atmosphere of tramway operation of an earlier time, whilst providing an essential means of transport around the site.
In 1988 the line was extended to a new visitor entrance, bringing the route to one mile in length, with passing loops at all three stops.
A major extension in 1993 completed a circle from Town via Pockerley, with a further passing loop, up a steep gradient through Birch Wood, back to the visitor entrance. The route now totals one and a half miles with four passing loops. Find out more at http://www.beamish.org.uk