20. June 2008

Status report on KS 815

Good progress is being made in the project "restore KS 815".

Internally, the A-section (the front half of the vehicle) has been stabilised in all directions with iron struts, as the vehicle bottom and the entire body have had to be straightened out. The body is self-supporting (i.e. it does not have actual lateral stringers), which is why its external side panels also play an important role in stabilising the whole vehicle body.


The smooth side panels from the lower edge of the windows and down to the panels where the skirt is to be attached are now largely fully welded and contributing to securing the vehicle body. A fine piece of work, carried out by the museum's welders. The door posts for door number two (i.e. the rear door section in the front half of the vehicle) have been fitted, as has one of the door posts for the front door. Work is currently being done on the step box in door number two.

The front end of the A-section has suffered quite a lot of wear, and was also dented during its stay in Alexandria, probably on several occasions. It was subsequently repaired to the "known and normal" standard!

Back in August 2002, the Tramway Museum acquired the Düwag articulated tram no. MVG 255, so that this could be a donor of original spare parts for 815, etc. (The vehicle type from Mülheim has the same vehicle width as KS, namely 2.20 metres, whereas the vehicles from Dusseldorf are 15 cm broader.) 


In order to utilise as many original parts as possible, the front end of 255 has been cut away just behind the driver's position and sent for sandblasting at JP Sandblæsning, Svinninge. It will then be transported to the chassis factory Asnæs Karosserifabrik, where the most severely damaged parts of the front end of KS 815 will be replaced with parts from the front end of MVG 255. Initially, this will involve the whole window frame with its internal ventilation ducts, route display box, etc., and all of the driving gear beneath the driver's position. The lamp mounts, which are a particular Copenhagen phenomenon and in rather bad condition, will probably be remanufactured as new, using the old ones as models. But more damaged parts may appear at the front end when other parts are removed. A lot can happen in this giant restoration project.

The lowest side panels, the skirts, will be supplied with rolled edges by an external metalworking company, so they will be ready for installation when the time comes. But there is still a lot of work ahead before the metal workers are finished with the A-section of the vehicle! And afterwards, the B-section will have to undergo the same restoration process.

Students in the furniture department of Copenhagen Technical School have taken on the project of manufacturing two copies of an original conductor plinth which the museum acquired at the beginning of the 1970s from the Copenhagen Tramway Company. The other plinth will be used in KS 890.

All in all, things are going very well. It is a large and expensive project, but the vehicle will eventually be restored to the condition it had on 7 December 1960, when, as the first articulated tram, it entered operations on Route 6, with its characteristic two blue lanterns. Prior to that, other delivered vehicles had been placed in operation on Route 5, which had a total of 12 vehicles, and on Route 2, which had just two of these vehicles.