RE: TAN: Tram and light rail gradients in Sydney.
  Geoff Olsen


STM hired 134s to ABB towards the end of construction of the original line. The job initially was to use the scrubber to smooth out the welded joints in Hay St. behind the Capitol theatre but the scope of works increased almost from day one. To start with we would do about six passes between George St. and Pitt St. intersections. To cross over we went around the Colonnade the first attempt at which provided a surprise as I could not go past first notch on the grade without 134s losing its feet. Fortunately it is provided with extra resistors so it can withstand such abuse. This I suspect was a result of mill scale, gum leaves and rain. Once we had scrubbed it a few times full series was the order of the day. The steeper western ramp also gave some trouble but more descending than ascending.

Talking to one of the engineers a day or two later he thanked me for the scrubbing job as it helped the varios no end. They were having trouble configuring the traction controls to deal with the very low adhesion. It did not cure the problems altogether of course as witnessed by the hand sanding of the eastern grade in the early days of operation. The trams were initially fitted for but not with sanders (probably too old fashioned for a “Modern light rail system.”)

That job was 27 years ago this month so writing this is making me feel old!


From:tramsdownunder@... [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Hunslet
Sent: Tuesday, 9 July 2024 1:39 PM
Subject: RE: [TramsDownUnder] TAN: Tram and light rail gradients in Sydney.

Geoff – Are you able to expand on your “experience”, please?