Friday, July 10, 2015

Sunny the Tram Car debuts; final design not official

The Boardwalk Sightseers, aka The Tram Cars, are arguably the Wildwoods' most identifiable, historic icons.

Since the service began back in 1949, the colors and designs of the trams have been modified, but no major changes have been made.

No wonder, then, that some heads were turned when something much different was seen carrying passengers up and down the Boardwalk this week.

Judging by the response of our readers, many are curious about the newly-dubbed "Sunny the Tram Car," which is a painted, dressed-up version of the "stock vehicle" that was being tested this Spring.

Once again, we reached out to North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, who is also the Managing Director of the Wildwoods Special Improvement District, which oversees operation of the trams.

"We are still putting this prototype through its paces," Rosenello said. "Right now we are primarily focused on the electrical and mechanical systems of the unit. 

"While we did paint it and logo it to be appropriate for the Boardwalk, we have not made any final design decisions."

So, we're still looking at a prototype that is in a testing phase.

There are currently eight tram engines (not including Sunny) and eight trains in the Sightseer fleet. Two of the trains are new, in their second year of operation after being replicated.

Several of the engines are aging and, as Rosenello told us earlier, replacement parts are becoming more and more scarce. This presents a variety of obvious challenges to keep the trams running as they are.

"At this point, we're looking at a scenario where we may have to start looking at reducing the fleet and cannibalizing some of the existing engines to keep the remaining ones going," he told Wildwood 365 back in March.

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