Re: Trackless trams for Melbourne
  Greg Sutherland

Regarding the debate on future tram types for Melbourne are we putting
the cart before the horse?

Whatever is going to be required for the system in the future is
dependent on patronage growth/decline .and system extensions over time.

These figures/plans will determine the required fleet capacity, depot
capacity and location over time, power demand and substation
capacity/location over time and other infrastructure, workshop and
operational needs .

Then you need to consider economic factors

 For example operating two small trams rather than one larger tram is
an additional operational expense and also involves more capital.

Having trams that can be lengthened by addition of modules can be a
saving by enabling the capital cost of rolling stock to be incurred over
time rather than a one off and higher stock cost due to the peak up
front expenditure.

Has the Victorian government produced any future estimates for demands
on the tramways capability over (say) the next 20 years? New or extended
lines, cutting back in some areas etc

Historically (1900 - 1910) the NSW Tramways learnt an early lesson when
the C and D class 4 wheel cars were overtaken by growing capacity
demands and were withdrawn from passenger service after a short 20 years
in passenger traffic, being after 1908 by the 80 seatO class which could
also be coupled providing a 160 seat capacity set.