© Geoff’s Rail Diaries 2011
We've been here before - Summerlee Museum of Scottish
Industrial Life is at Coatbridge in Lanarkshire. It's well worth
the short detour from the motorway on a long journey north
(it's free!), and for a light snack, is much better value than
the motorway services. But that's not the reason for going -
there are trams and old friends at Summerlee.
On my first visit, ten years previously, a Brussels tram was
operating (9062, no longer in existence since being vandalised),
and last time, five years ago, former Graz 225 was in action. It
too has gone, to Brighton. Both were relatively modern vehicles.
Today however, a much more appropriate vehicle was in use -
Glasgow 1017, a fine old vehicle dating (in part) from 1904,
originally built for the Paisley tramway. We had to have a ride - a
"day rover" is £1...
The "old friends" referred to earlier are Sentinel "Robin" (9628 of
1957), who used to work at Tennant's Whifflet foundry in
Coatbridge, and No. 9, the hefty Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T from
Bedlay Colliery (HC895 of 1909). They used to be accompanied
by a nice little Gibb and Hogg 0-4-0ST, built locally in Airdrie in
1894 - but he's now beautifully (cosmetically) restored and living
in the main exhibition hall, recently redeveloped with the aid of
Lottery funding. Robin and No. 9 are still out in the open, in the
siding beside the main line, just outside Sunnyside station. No. 9
appears to be undergoing restoration - perhaps he and Robin will
soon be returned to a presentable state. Other outside exhibits
include the truly enormous Garratt no. 4112 "Springbok",
Glasgow-built in 1957, and two chunky little steam cranes. Oh -
and 2/3 of a "Blue Train"...
Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
The Summerlee Transport Group
Robin in action at Tennant's (Rail Diaries)
No. 9 in action at Bedlay (Rail Diaries)