Sunday, October 6, 2013

Christchurch Trams Ready To Roll Again

One of Christchurch top tourist attractions, the Trams, is nearly ready to roll again after being shut down following the disastrous 2011 earthquakes.

The team at the Ferrymead Heritage Park has been busy during the downtime completely restoring some of the old tramcars.  They look stunning in their new livery.

They won't running on the full route of old . . . that will come next year as the city continues to claw its way out of the abyss, but in the meantime you can catch a trip back into another time.

Jeff Harvey of Ashburton’s Harvey Signs and Graphics  is a traditional sign-writer in a real sense, preferring to work with old-time methods utilising gold leaf or non-tarnishing aluminium rather than modern computer-generated graphics. Working on Tram No.11 which arrived from J.G. Brill of Philadelphia in 1903 to inaugurate the Dunedin Corporation electric tramway, Jeff is reproducing the sign-writing close to as it would have been that year.  

He is utilising early twentieth century sign-writing methods using gold leaf. He cannot touch the tram body.  If he does, finger grease will attract the fine specks of airborne gold.  It will not look good when the bodywork is sealed with a clear lacquer.  The completed work looks superb.

So when you hit Christchurch make sure to make time to take a trip back into the public transport of yesteryear and marvel at the craftsmanship of the volunteers that keep these wonderful old machines in perfect working order.

 The find out more about Christchurch's attractions go to

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