The restoration of tram 7500

mtub_7500-14On 5 October the STIB workshops (coordinated by Museum volunteers) completed their work on a relatively new part of our collection: PCC tram 7500, also known as “Caroline”.

This tram is unique. Built in 1962, it was the first articulated tram on the Brussels network. It was developed by engineers at STIB, ACEC and tram/train builder La Brugeoise et Nivelles (BN). After its delivery, the tram was tested extensively on (former) line 16. Unfortunately the results were not very positive: as the vehicle only had 2 motorized bogies, it lacked power on the sometimes hilly streets of Brussels. In 1975 the tram was modified: Caroline received a third motorized bogie, which brought it in line with all of its many descendants. In the 1970s and 1980s it was used on all of the Brussels tram network. During its last decades in regular service, it mainly worked lines 39 and 44, from the Woluwe depot. In June of 2010 Caroline was officially retired and added to the Museum’s collection.

The vehicle’s restoration was meant to bring it back to its former early 1980s glory, after the 1975 refit. The front and back of the tram, last modified in 2004, needed extensive remodelling. Inside, the workshop did some minor modifications, like replacing the upholstery by blue artificial leather. A new paint job, both on the inside and the outside, finished the job.

To see a few pictures of the restoration project, please click this link.