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Glasgow Corporation Transport Car No 1005

(The Modern Tramway October 1947)

This Page is dedicated to John Neilson

Tramcar 1005

The latest addition to Glasgow's fleet of 1,200 tramcars has just emerged  from the Corporation's Coplawhill Car Works, where it was built.

Of composite steel and timber construction, the body design is an entirely new departure from standard Corporation practice. Bearing some resemblance to its predecessor, the "Coronation" car, it is "single-ended" and incorporates a front entrance and rear exit; the former is closed by a four-leaf folding door, air operated from the drivers compartment. A master switch is incorporated in the mechanism to prevent starting until the door is properly closed. In emergency it is possible to open this door by hand. Its edges are protected by a  thick soft rubber cushion  to prevent jamming of fingers.

The seats, by G. D. Peters of Slough, are fixed, most facing forward. There are seats, trimmed in blue leather, for 36 passengers in the upper saloon, and seats, trimmed with a warm-patterned moquette, for 36 passengers in the lower saloon. The interior panelling and lower-deck ceiling are of "Alhambrinal," while the ceiling of the upper-deck is of white   plastic. Exterior  panelling  is  in   armoured  plywood.

Fluorescent lighting with 10 3ft. 6in. tubes in the upper-saloon and 10 4ft. 0in. tubes in the lower-saloon, is provided. It is arranged with 2 tubes and 3 200-volt series tungsten filament traction lamps as ballast in each circuit. Circuits for destination indicators, platform, head, tail, stop, and trafficator lights are provided with ordinary bulbs.

The floors are overlaid with cork. Inspection hatches are edged with metal wearing strip and fitted with the necessary handles for lifting. Platforms are surfaced with ribbed wood wearing boards. Steps and  stairs are suitably reinforced with embossed steel strip.

The two bogies of this new car, on the pattern of those of the P.C.C. car, but lacking resilient wheels, are by Maley and Taunton of Wednesbury. They are known as the H.S.44 type, and have a wheelbase of 6ft. Four 45 h.p. motors by Crompton Parkinson of Chelmsford are mounted fore-and-aft in the trucks and drive through enclosed worm gears with worms of brass. The motor and gearbox are connected by a universally jointed shaft. The gearbox is packed with grease; a dustproof vent is placed on the inspection cover on the top.

As the axles cannot easily be removed on account of the inside wheel bearings and the gearbox, provision has been made for the removal of the wheels individually without dismantling or removing the truck. The wheels are secured, not merely by shrinking in position as is usually the case, but keyed on the end of a slightly tapered axle, and secured by a locknut. To remove a wheel, the car need only be jacked up, the locknut removed, and the wheel withdrawn by means of a drawer. The wheels, which are 27in. diameter, have six spokes, this greatly facilitating their removal, which would have presented difficulties had disc wheels been used; they may thus also be gripped internally in the wheel lathe.

The frames of the truck are of the bar type, having two cast steel cross-bearers from which the motors are suspended. The king-pin and rubbing plates are attached  to a third, fabricated, central cross-bearer. A large leaf spring outside the frames on each side provides the main suspension, vibration being damped by a secondary system of rubber blocks in compression.

All necessary gear and rigging for air and hand brakes and magnetic and air track brakes is incorporated, and, because the truck has inside frames, is readily accessible for adjustment.

The control equipment is of the Crompton Parkinson "Vambac type, and comprises 6 major components: —

  1. Main controller—below driver's seat.
  2. "Back-up" controller—at rear of car.
  3. Contactor panel—below rear stairs.
  4. Accelerator unit—below rear platform.
  5. Rheostat—below rear platform.
  6. Motor cut-out switch—below front stairs.

The main controller, handling only the 36 volt control current serves to vary the acceleration of the car by means of a series of potentiometer resistances. Two levers are provided for its operation, which, in the off or neutral position rise vertically one on either side of the driver's seat.

That on the left controls the acceleration and emergency magnetic brake. On moving it forward, the car accelerates to its maximum speed at a rate governed by the speed of the accelerator motor. The speed of the accelerator motor is in turn decided by the position of the lever which controls the aforementioned potentiometer resistances. On moving it back from the vertical position, the air track brake first comes into action, then the magnetic track brake. At the extremity of its travel, the sanding gear comes automatically into operation by inserting a solenoid, connected to the sand valves, in series with the track coils.

1005 Interior

The right-hand lever corresponds to the reverse handle on a normal controller and in the vertical or central position it can be withdrawn. On moving it forward, the power lever has full travel in both directions and the car will proceed in a forward direction. On moving it back­wards to its reverse position, the power lever although allowing a full magnetic track brake application has only limited forward travel, so that the accelerator does not come into operation. The car will then move backwards with all resistances in circuit, at about 2 m.p.h. Moved to its extreme back position through a "gate" similar to that of motor car gear box, a small handle may be removed from the side of the controller, and the large lever is locked in this "back-up" position until the small handle is  replaced  and  moved upwards  slightly.

This small handle is used to operate the "back-up" controller at the rear, which has three positions—off, crawl, and run. The handle may be inserted and removed onlv in the off position. The crawl position allows the car to proceed backwards under full resistance, while at the run it will accelerate to full speed at its lowest rate of acceleration.

The contactor panel, connecting the motors, has circuits for forward and reverse running and for magnetic track brake operation. The switch units are electromagnetically energised from the main| controller by 30 alkaline cells giving 36 volts; the accelerator unit is also supplied from these.

The rheostat requires no description except that the resistances are all in one "bank" instead of the usual three. The motor cut-out is a simple rotary switch and is operated by the same handle as is the "back-up" controller. For service braking, Maley & Taunton automatic air brakes are employed. The use of an automatic air brake I in place of the usual "straight" air brake is extremely unusual for a British tramcar, and it is just possible that an experiment in multiple unit operation may be contemplated.
Air and magnetic track brakes are fitted as previously mentioned, but are used only in emergency, as is the custom in Glasgow.
The   compressor for   these   brakes   is   of  the   3-cylinder type, mounted on a drip-plate under the front stairs. The main reservoir, and auxiliary reservoir (for emergency use, and always charged up to full pressure of 90 lb./sq. in.) are concealed   under the two pairs of longitudinal seats at the front of the car. A driver's valve is fitted front and rear, that at the front giving air-ejected sand on the operation of a trigger fitted to the removable handle. A conductor's emergency valve is mounted at the rear of the car.


To comply with regulations, a handbrake standard with a short radius handle is fitted in the front cabin. Owing to the fact that this car, unlike the "Coronations," has right-hand drive, this standard is on the left of the driver. However, as it is extremely unlikely that this brake will be used for any purpose other than parking, its position is of little consequence.
Door operation is accomplished by a cylinder mounted in a box above the door and connected by levers to each of the four leaves of the door. The valve controlling its operation is at the driver's left-hand. During the closing of the door, there is a definite pause so that it is practically impossible   for the  tardy boarder to have his  finger  or his Sand and gong pedals are placed at the driver's feet as is the life-guard resetting pedal. A three-position switch controls front and rear trafficators. Head, tail, and stop lights are fitted, the latter-mentioned being operated by a governor in the air-braking system. A standard "Fischer" bow collector completes the auxiliary equipment. An illumin­ated panel bearing the legend Front Entrance Tram, is displayed on the back of the car in compliance with statutory regulations, and smaller panels over the doors indicate Entrance and Exit. Front Entrance also appears in gold leaf beside the door.

The car is finished in three shades of blue, royal-blue for the lower-deck side panels, mid-blue for the upper-deck side panels, the window-trim and roof being azure. A single gold line round the waist rail completes the effect. It will be remembered that the second "Coronation," No. 1142, orig­inally appeared in non-standardlivery (Red, White and Blue) and it is only fitting that Glasgow's first post-war tramcar should also be so distinguished. Much public interest has been aroused by its occasional trips round the town and many favourable comments have been heard. It is not in service at the time of writing (mid-September), but; will be used on one of the circular routes, most probably No. 33, (Springburn—Charing Cross). Arrangements have been made for it to have two conductors, in the light of experience with 1141, whose conductor had to call for assistance to handle the crowds which awaited it at every stop.

Email's from John Neilson

17th December 2007

I hope you don't mind me asking, but as a person in my 60's I was besotted with tramcars in my younger days and spent every penny of my pocket money travelling on them purely for the ride, as I stayed on the tram when it reached its terminus in various places only to return back to my starting point, this either at Gairbraid Avenue (my home) or the Maryhill tram depot.

I found your site fascinating as it brought back many happy memories of spending hours on tramcars, however I couldn't find one that I had a particular interest in and being proud to be one of the first people on it, sitting at one side of the front in my usual position, the tram in question being what I "think" I remember to be No1005 the one direction tram painted in the special two tone blue livery.

I believe the bogie's are the only thing left of it and are on display in the Glasgow transport museum at the Kelvin Hall, but I would love to see a picture of it, should that exist! and also to read anything else there is about it that may have been published somewhere as I couldn't find anything in your site, that is unless I have missed it amongst the wealth of information provided.

The route I travelled on it was from the Maryhill depot to Dumbreck, then it circled back to the Southside of the town again, its that part I cant remember the route of.

I would be most obliged if you could point me in the right direction as to where to find this info.

Thanks in advance
Regards - John Neilson.

19th December 2007

Dear John
The link above will take you to the info that I have just put on the website with reference to Car 1005.

Best wishes & Merry Christmas.
Ian Semple

20th December 2007


Brilliant!!! and a great addition to your already very informative website, can't thank you enough Ian for the trouble you went to in looking up all the info, needless to say the link you sent will be safely stored away for future reference.

Very shortly after this sophisticated tram was launched, I raced up to the Maryhill depot to catch it the day after it was featured in the Glasgow evening paper, it was initially running on a circular route from Maryhill depot to Dumbreck and back, this via Maryhill Road, though the town to Eglinton street then across to Dumbreck Road. (terminus). It then it loop returned to the town via Paisley Road West, Oswald Street, Hope Street, Cowcaddens and back up Maryhill Road to the depot again where it was able to carry out a three point turnaround.

Anyway many thanks again Ian, as you have really made my day!!

Best regards for the festive season!

Cheers - John.