The expertise in running rail transport was available from the NSWGR;
the Sydney system was initially intended to just be a feeder from the
the railway station down to an International Exhibition in the Domain.
The split would have evolved from the governmnet's desire to get into
bus operation and remove competition from the trams.
----- Original Message -----
Sent:Tue, 10 Oct 2017 20:41:29 +1100
Subject:Re: [TramsDownUnder] Couplers and Moonee Ponds [Was: Y1
controls ... ]
According to the article posted, a reason why the Cronulla interurban
cars weren't pursued was the breakup of the NSWGR and the Sydney trams
in 1930. Why were the two systems owned by the same organisation to
begin with, and if the arrangement worked, why break them up?
On 10 Oct 2017 19:42, "Tony Gallowayarg@... 
According to an article in TW I can’t find online after a quick
look (2010 and later are not in the online archive yet, might be
there) tenders were issued with both MU and direct control specs for
the Rs, and direct control won because it was cheaper.
It was 1933, it was the Stevens-Bruxner government that didn’t like
trams but had a bunch of obsolete rolling stock to replace, and money
was tight. The Watsons Bay line had the cars that had to go, and
conveniently the area was mostly UAP electorates. The voters
wouldn’t have copped buses, not even trolleybuses, whether they
drove cars or not so trams it was. It was a credit to Maclean that the
design was as good as it was, but it didn’t spring from nowhere. The
basic style had been evolving in the design office since the Brisbane
dropcentres were conceived there.
Here’s a very short but intriguing article from the Feb 2003 TW
(P17) that shows 1926 proposals for “rail coaches” - a 2-motor, 40
seat car intended possibly for the never built Narrabeen and Church
Point extensions, showing the roots of the R and R1 classes, and the
second drawing showing a 1500v centre entrance interurban type car
for an electrified Cronulla line. The second car would also have
suited an electrified Castle Hill tramway, rather than the
“useless” railway conversion, the Camden line and West
Wallsend/Speers Point, with dual voltage 600/1200v equipment maybe :
I’d like to find out a lot more about this stuff but the information
appears to have been lost.
On 10 Oct 2017, at 6:34 pm,prescottt@...  [TramsDownUnder]
That accident happened just a couple of years after Strickland
arrived in Melbourne, no doubt still heady with the success of EMU
operation in Sydney. MU could have been an answer to that risk but the
decision was obviously made for single cars due to less traffic to
I think that's also the prosaic reason that the R/R1s were not
designed for MU. At that stage they were not envisaged as front-line
cars for the busiest services, that role still being the domain of the
crossbenches. Ironically, however, the R/R1s exclusively operated the
busiest tram line in Australia, the Watsons Bay, and accomplished it
by the tried and true (George St) "moving platform" method, the
continuous conga line of trams!
I reckon with that service, the reason for using the comfortable
corridor cars was the more exclusive clientele along the line. Class
distinction or an extra special effort to keep them from driving their
cars, who knows?