12. February 2006

Press release

The royal tram is nearly here

By courier post, Skjoldenæsholm Tram Museum has just received the reversing key, sand handle and brake handle for Melbourne tram no. 965.

Those in the know will realise that these are the tools you need to operate the Australian tram that the state of Victoria and the tramway city of Melbourne have presented to the Danish Crown Prince and Princess and their new baby son Prince Christian.

The tram is approaching Danish soil on board on one of the world's largest container ships, the "Gudrun Maersk", which Crown Princess Mary also launched.

When the ship docks in the Danish city of Aarhus next Saturday, the tram will have covered a distance of 32,000 km by sea. The trip has taken 44 days.

"Gudrun Maersk" is expected to dock in the new container harbour at around 6.00 - 7.00 am on Saturday 18 February, and it has been agreed with the APM terminal that the container load with the tram will be hoisted ashore at around 9.00 am. After that, the tram will be taken to a quiet corner of the terminal, where the vehicle will be transferred from the container onto the special Swedish flat-bed truck which will transport the royal gift to Skjoldenæsholm Tram Museum in Mid-Sealand.

Along the way, the truck will make a stop in Aarhus (on the corner of Ryesgade and Banegårdspladsen) from approximately 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm to allow the inhabitants of the city a chance to see the royal tram - and indeed, to see a tram again. Trams have otherwise been absent from the streets of Aarhus since 7 November 1971.

The tram will then be brought directly to Skjoldenæsholm Tram Museum near Jystrup, between Ringsted and Roskilde, where it is expected to arrive at around 6.00 pm.

The royal tram from Melbourne will be given an active retirement at the Tram Museum, and the museum hopes that Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik will visit the museum at the start of the 2006 season to take a trip on their generous Australian gift.