5. June 2007

Nostalgia at a high level

On Saturday 9 June, the Danish Tramway Museum at Skjoldenæsholm marks the completion of one of the museum's major restoration projects when double-decker Copenhagen tram no. 22 is placed in operation at the Mid-Sealand museum.

The official inauguration will be undertaken by
the deputy mayor of Ringsted,
Tulle Olsen
at 2.30 pm.

No. 22 was original purchased in 1900 by the private tramway company DKS for the Nørrebro line, which later became tram route 7. Originally, the tram was powered by accumulators. Just two years later the tram was converted to overhead cable operation, and soon became a familiar sight on route 3 between Østerbro and Vesterbro, via Frederiksberg. No. 22 was converted to a single-decker in 1924, together with the other double-decker trams on route 3. The line had been extended to Frederiksholm in 1915, but the double-decker vehicles could not pass beneath the low railway bridge at Enghavevej.

This meant that passengers had to change to single-decker trams at Enghave Plads. Eventually this inconvenience was removed by converting all the double-decker trams to single-deckers.

Now the tram has been restored to its original appearance, and for all healthy girls and boys of 83 or thereabouts (born in 1924 or before) the joy of renewing their acquaintance with the double-decker will be free of charge for the whole 2007 season!

Those of us who are younger will have to pay the usual price, but the Tramway Museum can promise you that the nostalgic elevated ride will be well worth the money. The reconstruction of the tram's upper deck has been a highly demanding project which has involved many professional craftsmen and skilled amateurs.

In 1951, no. 22 and the other former double-decker trams ceased to run in ordinary traffic. However, no. 22 and its sister vehicle no. 23 avoided the scrapyard because they were converted into self-propelled track maintenance vehicles, now under the "names" S1 and S2. The two maintenance trams survived right up to the ending of tramway operations in Copenhagen in 1972, and were then presented free of charge to the Danish Tramway Historical Society. This private association is now responsible for running the Danish Tramway Museum at Skjoldenæsholm.

The Tramway Museum already has a different double-decker tram, Frederiksberg tram no. 50, which was turned into a museum tram when the capital said goodbye to its last double-decker trams in 1933. However, several other trams have also been preserved which were originally double-deckers, so it is quite likely that, over time, more double-decker trams will be added to the Tramway Museum's collection.