Trammy the Trolley Car  
    


This is the story of Trammy the Trolley Car

Episode 1

“Old Number 1”

One fine day Trammy the Trolley Car was happily resting in the tram barn, about to start work with all the other trams, when Ian the Inspector came up to him with a sad look on his face.

"Trammy" he said, "I’ve got some very bad news for you and your family. "

"Oh dear!" said Trammy, " Whatever could it be to make you look so sad? "

" Well" said Ian the Inspector "The City Councillors have decided that it’s too expensive to maintain your track system, and they don’t want to spend any more money on your overhead wire system either. They say that you and your family are out of date. They think that they can run your routes much cheaper and easier with diesel-engine buses that don’t need tracks and overhead wires.
Some are saying the city will look much tidier without all those lines going everywhere. It's the way of the future, they say. All the power lines are going to be buried under the ground!"

"But how will I reach the wires if they are going to be buried under the ground?" asked Trammy.
"And how will I be able to steer myself round the city without the tracks to guide me? Diesel buses will need to be filled up with fuel all the time, and they can be such smelly things, diesel engines."

"I know, Trammy, I know" said Ian the Inspector.  "But it seems they’ve made up their minds.
They’re going to tear up all your tracks to make the roads smoother for the buses, and you know what that will mean for you and your family, don’t you Trammy? "

Trammy sighed and looked down at the tracks, and slowly he began to realise what the Inspector meant. He started to cry, water dribbling from his windscreen washers and streaking down his front panel.

"Oh no !" he sobbed, "we’ll be confined to the tram barn! We won't be able to go anywhere!"

Trammy looked around at all the other trams in the tram barn. They were all speechless at the thought of being crowded up together all day and not going anywhere.

It had never before been so quiet in the tram barn that Trammy could remember. Then came the next big shock!


 

"It’s worse than that, I’m afraid" said Ian the Inspector. "Because you’re going to take up so much room sitting around and not able to go anywhere, you’re to be broken up for scrap metal. They’ll need the room at the tram barn for all the new diesel buses. It will be called the garage after you’ve been moved out".

"Broken up!" wailed Trammy. "Scrap metal! That’s not very nice, after we’ve worked faithfully for all these years!"

"I’m sorry, Trammy", said Ian the Inspector, "There’s nothing I can do for you. I’m to be made redundant, too. They say I’m too old to learn about how to run buses. Looks like I’m to be on the scrap heap with you" Ian the Inspector replied, wiping a tear from his eye.

"Well, I just don’t believe it" said Trammy. "How can they do this to us?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trammy & Timmy in Shed

But believe it he had to.

Eventually the day came when Trammy was to do his last run. The City Councillors all turned out in their best formal clothes, a band played merry tunes, and it was like a big street party, but Trammy just felt really, really sad.

The people of the city turned out in their hundreds to have one last ride, laughing and smiling and taking photographs and waving to all the people lining the roads as they made their way back to the tram barn for the last time. Everyone seemed so happy, but Trammy couldn’t help feeling like he was letting them all down.

After everyone had gone home, Trammy sat in the darkness of the tram barn and cried and cried and cried.

"Whatever is to become of us?" he sobbed, and all the other trams just sat quietly and said nothing, and one by one, they cried themselves to sleep.

And so the workmen came the next day and began to dismantle the trams.

They pulled down all the overhead lines, and they tore up the tracks, and they carted all the metal parts off to the scrap yard to be melted down.

They unbolted Trammy’s railings and stripped all the electric wires running through his frames and hacked and sawed through all the steel bolts holding him together.

Trammy saw all his pieces on the ground and just couldn’t bring himself to talk to anybody. His strong electric motor was loaded on to a big truck, followed by his steel chassis, and all his fine brassware, and he was left with just his wooden cabin sitting forlornly in the yard on some old drums.

"I guess that they’ll just set a match to me and burn me up to ashes" he thought grimly, shivering at the prospect.

He looked around at all his family, perched up on drums, and sagging towards the ground, unable to keep straight without the steel backbones that had been so cruelly removed, and wondered what would happen next. He just felt so empty and cold.

Days passed, and all the trams just had to sit and watch as the new diesel buses arrived and moved into their old home. They just sat there quietly, not even talking to each other and anxiously wondering what was going to happen next, until one morning, away in the distance, Trammy saw a man in a sharply pressed suit slowly walking towards him from the Operator’s office. As the man got closer, he realised it was Ian the Inspector.

" Hello Trammy " said Ian the Inspector. "I just came to say ‘Goodbye’, old friend".

" Why Inspector" replied Trammy "I didn’t recognise you. Where is your uniform?"

"I’ve had to hand it in" said Ian the Inspector "I’m not needed anymore, and today is my last day at the tram barn. From now on I’m just plain Ian. I’m not an Inspector anymore".

 
 

"Do you know what is to become of what’s left of us, Inspector," said Trammy, nervously forgetting what he had just been told. He was so used to calling Ian the Inspector ‘Inspector’ that he just couldn’t stop himself.

"You can just call me Ian now, Trammy, but thank you for being so respectful even though I’m not in uniform anymore. I heard the Chief Inspector talking to the man from the City Council, and it seems you’re all to be sold off to the highest bidders at a big auction, day after tomorrow".

"Phew, that’s a bit of a relief" said Trammy, "I thought we might end up as a huge bonfire".

"Well, don’t get your hopes up too high, Trammy" said Ian, who wasn’t Ian the Inspector anymore." Someone might still fancy you as firewood you know, and that would be very sad".

 

Trammy In Yard

This gave Trammy a big fright.

"Oh my" moaned Trammy, " that’s not a very cheery thought!"

"I’m just saying, Trammy, don’t get your hopes up too high" said Ian, who wasn’t Ian the Inspector anymore. "Anyway, I’m going to go off for a long holiday now, but I will miss working with you all. I hope you all find nice new owners that will take care of you, but frankly, I don’t think people will want you for much now that all your good pieces have been taken out. It's very sad, very sad indeed" he muttered as he walked away, shaking his head and kicking at the rubble where the tracks to the city had been torn up.

 

Trammy was glum. Firewood ! Is that all he was to become. What a horrible end to such a useful life.

Trammy and his family anxiously awaited the day of the auction, and to their surprise the yard filled with people looking over what was left of the trams all lined up on their drums. They were measuring up the sizes with measuring tapes, and drawing plans on pieces of paper and pointing to Trammy and his family as they talked amongst themselves. There was so much activity, the trams all felt a little better, but they still did not know where they would end up.

They waited hopefully for someone nice to stop in front of them and look interested, smiling politely and trying to look their best, which was very difficult in the state they were in. Trammy was so embarrassed to be seen by all these people without his shiny brass railings and with his polished woodwork all dull and grimy from the dust and dirt that had been stirred up when he and his family were being dismantled. He longed for the days when Malcolm the Motorman and Colin the Conductor had kept him looking so smart and shiny.
“Oh what an old wreck I must look like“ he said to himself quietly with a big sigh.

 

Finally the auction started, and one by one, Trammy’s family were all sold to the highest bidders. People had come from all over and Trammy and his family began to realise that they might never see each other again after this day. That night in the yard the mood was very gloomy indeed.

“You won’t forget me, will you Trammy? “ said Trammy’s brother Timmy, as they drifted off to sleep in the moonlight.

“Of course not” replied Trammy. “One day we will all be together again, you’ll see” he said, but deep down he really wasn’t sure about that at all.

The day after the auction there was much coming and going with trucks and trailers and cranes and forklift trucks. One by one, the tramcars were carted off by their new owners. Tearfully, they said their last ‘Goodbyes’ to each other as they went off out the gate and down the road in all different directions.
 

Trammy saw a funny old truck pull up in front of him, and a large round man with a grubby checked shirt and very muddy boots climbed out, his trousers tied up with a piece of rope round his middle, his big tummy swinging from side to side as he puffed and wheezed his way over the broken up yard and stood in front of Trammy‘s front panel.

In his hand, he had a piece of paper, and Trammy could see that it had written on it : 'Bill of Sale'. Trammy strained to see the number on the top, and sure enough, it was....1.

"Old Number One, eh" said the large round man. "Looks like you’ve seen better days, old fellow".

Trammy was quite offended. He was looking a little scruffy, he had to admit, but not as scruffy as the large round man. And what was that strange smell ?

"Are.. are.. are you my new owner?" he stammered, almost choking on the words.

"Why yes, I am, old fellow" replied the large round man. "You were a bargain!"

Trammy was starting to get a bad feeling in his timbers.

"And what are your plans for me sir, may I ask?" he ventured cautiously.

"You’re to be a new house for my chickens" said the large round man gleefully, and the pigs can sleep in you at nights as well if it’s cold out. Now enough of this chat, we’ve got a long way to go back home to the farm today, so let’s get you up on the truck and be off ".

Pigs! Chickens! Trammy’s poor heart sank. How depressing!

Still, he thought hopefully to himself, at least he didn’t say firewood!

 

Trammy On The Back Of The Funny Old Truck.

Eventually, after much grunting and shoving, Trammy was on the back of the funny old truck, and off they went, bumping out the gate and lurching and rolling down the road.

"Ooooh" moaned Trammy. "He’s put me on to the truck backwards. I hate going backwards, especially so fast down the highway."

And he squeezed his eyes tightly shut and only peeked when the truck stopped occasionally, or when he heard the familiar sounds of the city around him.

 

When he did open his eyes he could see people along the way pointing and laughing at him hanging precariously on to the back of the truck, but as the journey went on, his windscreen glass was becoming darker and darker as the smokey fumes from the funny old truck’s exhaust coated his whole fine panel work in a thick greasy slime with horrible lumpy bits all over it. Soon he didn’t want to open his eyes at all.“It so disgusting being so dirty“ mutteredTrammy to himself, as he began to wonder if he would ever be clean again. Even heavy rain won’t wash this muck off “.

He was trying to sleep but it was so uncomfortable bumping up and down on the broken old wooden deck underneath him. He longed for the solid feel of the smooth steel rails he was so familiar with.

After a while, the road got so bumpy it was all he could do to stop falling off. But he still didn’t want to open his eyes. He just clung on to the old truck as tight he could and hoped that it would all be over soon.

When they finally stopped it was so dark he couldn’t see a thing and poor, tired Trammy drifted off into a deep sleep. It had been a very long day.

 
To be continued………………..   View
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