Tram [No.257 ('Fiducia' type)]
Wellington City Corporation Tramways Department, Manufacturer; The British Thomson-Houston Company Limited, Manufacturer;
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The British Thomson-Houston Company Limited, Manufacturer
Seating capacity 39 seats. (Upholstered).
Height: 10' 5½", Length: 39' 5¾", width: 7' 0"
Trucks: NZ made Brill 69EW copies. 1219 mm (4 ft.) gauge
Motors: 2 x British Thompson Houston BTH510 @ 52 HP
Controllers: BTH510 with rheostatic electric/magnetic track braking
Tram No.257 is a member of the “Fiducia” class of Wellington tram – these were the most modern trams to operate in New Zealand. The first of the “Fiducia” class No.232 was built during the 1930s economic depression with the name Fiducia emblazoned in gold leaf on the end saloon windows. 'Fiducia' is the Latin for trust, confidence, reliance, assurance – qualities being searched for after the Depression. With upholstered seats, bus-type windows and air operated doors, the Fiducia class were a striking contrast to the older open centre trams. Fitted with a “dead-man’s control” system, the Fiducia’s would have been perfect as one-man trams, but the tramways union were not to allow them to be thus operated, so these trams like all the others, always ran with both a Motorman and Conductor. The Wellington Fiducia class fleet numbers were 232 to 260 (29 trams).
Tram No.257 entered service on the Wellington Tramway system in 1950, its completion having been delayed due to parts shortages caused by World War Two (1939-1945) and was one of the last four “Fiducia” style trams to be built. No.257 was in service for 14 years until the closure of the tramway system in May 1964, where it regularly ran on the Newtown to Thorndon route, which was also the last tramline to operate in New Zealand. Upon entering MOTAT’s collection, No.257 has been restored and operates on a regular basis.
AIRFIELD / 9
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