RE: Re: When is a tram 'born' ?
  Greg King


Thanks for the comments and I just found another shot of 122 when new, they certainly looked a lot nicer then than today!

And while I am also a fan of modern cars, I cannot agree with you about the old cars and I don’t think the good people of Milan would either. Okay, the W2’s went on to long, in a perfect world, they would have run their last mile in the 60’s at the latest being replaced by modern cars. But, having driven so many of them, I was quite fond of them, they were not my favourites to drive (that was the province of the Clydes) and some were certainly better than others and all the trams had their own distinctive characteristics.

As for Milan, one of the reasons so many Ventotto cars are still in service is because of popular demand (and their reliability), the people of Milan love them. I believe there is a place for older trams in our systems, those systems who don’t have a respect for their history are pretty boring places. Most European systems have a healthy arrangement with the local museum groups and historic cars get run regularly (and in many cases such as Brussels, operate a service on part of a regular route) some systems even thrive on their old cars (Lisbon). So there needs to be a balance. Melbourne probably has found that on the CC but, to my mind, I would have preferred to see a mixed service on the 12 route with additional historic cars running into the city along La Trobe st (which we did initially when the W’s returned in the early 2000’s) to St. Vincent’s plaza while the regular 12 would be modern cars. It would be nice to be able to do that with historic cars but polical correctness has killed any chance of that and, even if the W8’s were used, with the nobbled speed, it would be totally impractical.

But yes, we run a transport system, not a museum but a tilt to the history is always a good thing!


From:tramsdownunder@... [] On Behalf Of David McLoughlin
Sent: Monday, May 13, 2019 10:26 AM
To: TramsDownUnder tramsdownunder@...>
Subject: [TramsDownUnder] Re: When is a tram 'born' ?

Matthew Geier wrote:

> I know a lot of people don't like 'modern plastic caterpillars', but 2107 is a solidly built stainless steel monster. It's a tribute to the design and construction teams who worked on her.

I think I am one of those gunzel rarities -- I much prefer modern trams. I grew up with W2s and cheered to see the end of them. I am pleased to see Milano finally ordering enough new trams to replace (hopefully all) its hideous Peter Witts.

I liked the Variotrams and remain surprised such new trams were replaced when so young (but at least with more new trams rather than the alternative). I also remain surprised that one was never demonstrated in Melbourne, given they were built there. Did some kind of politics prevent that happening? I can't remember now; I can only remember making the same suggestion in one of the Usenet transport newsgroups at the time.

david mcloughlin, New Zealand
"Holy writ requires unholy scrutiny."

On Monday, 13 May 2019 12:11:36 UTC+12, Matthew Geier wrote:

People only interested in reminiscing about Melbourne trams please skip :-)

I recently were given a box of folders containing the commissioning
records for the Sydney Variotrams.

It looks like the final assembly of 2107 at Dandenlong started on or
near the 7/8/97 - when the 'bogies to body' procedure was signed off.
The modules were connected on the same day. From the 7th it would have
been able to rolled around the workshop on it's own wheels.

It was weighed on the 14/8/97 and 'prep for shipping' was signed off on
the 14th.

On the 15th an 'outstanding items' document was prepared and apparently
sent to Sydney.

10 days later (25/08) a handover inspection was organized at Pyrmont.

So what date should be considered the tram's 'birthday' :-)

25/08 is a Sunday this year. I might ask can I get 2107 out of the shed
for it's 22nd birthday :-)

At this point we think 2107 can be considered a fully operational tram.
It can't run due to the overhead not yet being overhauled and the wheel
profile is not 'ideal'. Doesn't like 'traditional' Sydney tramway
points. It seems OK through the Melbourne equipment we have used about
the place. We have 8 operating traction motors, the cooling loops seem
to be working (but do need bleeding, there is some sloshing to be
heard), the hydraulics work so we have functioning brakes. The interior
is dusty again (we stable it with the doors open), but only a quick dust
and wipe down would be needed.

I know a lot of people don't like 'modern plastic caterpillars', but
2107 is a solidly built stainless steel monster. It's a tribute to the
design and construction teams who worked on her.

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