Re: MMTB role in design of Sydney R class

That's an interesting article about the lead-up to the second order of R1s Tony. It needs to be seen in the context that their chief designer (who had already looked at the PCC and most of those other options discussed) had died two years earlier with the result that their design department was without its former dynamic leadership and not being replaced - if it still existed by then.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was in the early stages of being subsumed And combined with the bus design staff. Such advice as there was would be from Maclean's remaining staff plus the numerous reports and papers he left, some of which I can see were clearly drawn upon in the various responses during this post-war activity.

The key phrase in that article was the response that the Melbourne cars had been investigated (by Maclean) and the Sydney design was considered superior for Sydney's circumstances. This was nothing to do with kinematic envelopes but rather due mainly to the end doors and the maximising of seating.

There were still huge numbers of people using Sydney's trams in the immediate post-war period and the vehicles needed to be able to cope with that and still be comfortable. According to the Hawthorn histories (i need to say that because, like previously, it's not according to me!) the Ws initially at least suffered a bit of "population pressure" on use of the outer doors on the drop centre and the usual problem of encouraging people into the dead-end saloons and dispersing people away from vestibule congestion. These issues were fundamental for Maclean.

It's a nice thought but I think fanciful that the Ws could have been considered suitable for Sydney. On the other hand, its a darn shame that at the R1s weren't available for further service in Melbourne, but I guess they had their limitations for Melbourne just as the Ws would for Sydney. I think the R1 would have been more acceptable in Melbourne, but getting physically too old by 1961.

Tony P