The folding door and step combination, took the same time as the A1's, the folding step was (as I was informed by the then workshops manager) the most reliable part of the tram!! The reason they were removed (the original intent was to keep the platforms on St.Kilda) was the sudden realization that they would have to put high platforms in the city, so they were quitely modified before any work was done on the STK LRT. I did have the pleasure of driving 2002 at Camberwell while she had the steps. if someone stood on the square (outlined in yellow) that door would not open but the others would, they quickly learned not to stand on them.
--- InTramsDownUnder@..., hecain@... wrote:
> Quoting Dudley Horscroft <transitconsult@...>:
> > MMTB estimated up to 54 trams would be required (after 15 years
> > operation, when demand had grown) so I imagine that the build was
> > increased from 50 to 130 taking into account the possibility of
> > taking over the Port and St Kilda lines, and the necessity of
> > getting rid of the W2s asap - or as many as possible as soon as
> > possible.
> According to an informed source I heard, the variable height entrance
> was found not feasible, partly because the door cycle time was eight
> seconds rather than four for a normal low step height (as in the As);
> further, there were doubts about people clearing the high-level
> interior floor sections which had to fold away to permit the steps to
> be used. Four seconds may not sound much, but on a route with 45
> passenger stops it means an extra 3 minutes' running time and probably
> missing a few traffic lights. There is also, of course, more gear
> (and safety-critical gear -- door failure takes the tram out of
> traffic) to go wrong.
> I don't have the time sequence of the order to build the Bs, but I
> think that by the time they were being released into traffic on the St
> Kilda and Port Melbourne light rail, the Doncaster project was off the
> agenda but the Upfield railway line conversion was being actively
> planned -- ultimately the line was upgraded and trains returned,
> though for a number of years traffic could be carried by 3-car trains
> on a 20-minute headway even in the peaks.
> Hal Cain
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