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marknewton

Variotram preservation.

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marknewton

Early on Wednesday morning the Sydney Tramway Museum took delivery of our newest exhibit, a former Sydney Light Rail Variotram, No.2107. Built by Adtranz at Dandenong in Victoria it entered service in 1997, and was withdrawn in 2015. After 3 years of storage in a western Sydney suburb, and lengthy negotiations between Transport Heritage NSW and the STM, 2107 arrived at Loftus on the back of a massive transporter at about 0200. The delivery and unloading was without incident, and after some preparation work and the removal of the unloading ramp the car was driven into the depot under its own power. 

 

2107 is the first production low-floor tram to be preserved anywhere in the world. After three years of outdoor storage it needs some cosmetic work to make it presentable. The car carries vinyl overall advertising, but we removed a section and discovered the original livery is still in good condition underneath. All in all the car is in good condition, and should be back in service fairly quickly. The other six cars in the fleet have all been scrapped, but we were able to collect a large quantity of spare parts to keep 2107 going in the future.

 

I finished work at 0100, so I raced home, woke my son up and then we made our way down to Loftus to help with the unloading. It was a long night, but it was worth it to be part of our tramway history. I managed to get a few photos, but they're only low-res taken with an iPad, so I apologise for their quality.

 

I'll post some other photos in the Indoctrinating Children thread.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark.

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Edited by marknewton
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Socimi

Excellent, the Sydney AdTranz Variotram is actually one of my favourite tram/LRVs.

 

Will it be preserved in the original SLR liviery or in one of the countless Ad-wrappings?

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Khaul

Interesting. We use the light rail once or twice a week, normally on weekends. We did not do so at the time when there were only Variotrams as the price was outrageous. For a while there were Variotrams and two different types of CAF trams. By that time the NSW government took over the line and prices became the same as buses. Now it's all CAF Urbos 3, quite boring. Sooner or later the Eastern Suburbs light rail will open with Alsthom trams. Those will need to use the Dulwich Hill line to access a new maintenance facility in Lilyfield. So things will become more interesting.

 

The new light rail goes all the way down George St, which will be cut to traffic in the city centre. That is going to change the feeling of City quite a lot. The new line will run huge trams fit for 450 people every 4 min, but it looks like there is demand for more and they will be packed in the rush hour from day one. There is a huge media-NIMBY-sillybilly fuss about the new light rail, and it is true there are a few stuff-ups but all in all it will transform the city for the better.

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marknewton
On 10/14/2018 at 3:40 AM, Socimi said:

Excellent, the Sydney AdTranz Variotram is actually one of my favourite tram/LRVs.

Will it be preserved in the original SLR liviery or in one of the countless Ad-wrappings?

 

As far as I know we'll be returning 2107 to its original SLR livery. Underneath the vinyl the original paint is in quite good condition, so it shouldn't need a full repaint. And as you can see from my photos, the vinyls on one side of the car are completely covered in graffiti. So they have to be removed in any case.

 

Good to know you're a fan of these cars. I never paid them much attention when they were in service, but now we have one at the museum I'm becoming quite interested in them. It's going to be a steep learning curve for both the maintenance and traffic staff, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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marknewton

My view is that the CSELR is the wrong mode, and so is the Northwest Metro. The eastern suburbs light rail  should have been a metro, and the NW metro an integrated extension of the Sydney Trains network. Already we're noticing problems with the lack of flexibility now that Chatswood-Epping is closed for conversion. When the Banko closes for conversion is when the fun will really start.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

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kvp
1 hour ago, marknewton said:

As far as I know we'll be returning 2107 to its original SLR livery. Underneath the vinyl the original paint is in quite good condition, so it shouldn't need a full repaint. And as you can see from my photos, the vinyls on one side of the car are completely covered in graffiti. So they have to be removed in any case.

Good to know you're a fan of these cars. I never paid them much attention when they were in service, but now we have one at the museum I'm becoming quite interested in them. It's going to be a steep learning curve for both the maintenance and traffic staff, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

I think it's great that the tram is preserved. Also it's a relatively new tram, considering many european and japanese tram networks have 60 years old cars still running. I think with the parts stock, this tram could actually run for a very long time in preservation, but i think you'll need an electronics specialist for it though as it's a pretty high tech tram, especially the traction and mu control system.

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Khaul
7 hours ago, marknewton said:

My view is that the CSELR is the wrong mode, and so is the Northwest Metro. The eastern suburbs light rail  should have been a metro, and the NW metro an integrated extension of the Sydney Trains network. Already we're noticing problems with the lack of flexibility now that Chatswood-Epping is closed for conversion. When the Banko closes for conversion is when the fun will really start.

 

All the best,

 

Mark.

 

The justification for the Northwest being a metro has more to do with the the extension across the city and integrating it with the line to Bankstown so it frees capacity in the city circle which can then be converted to metro. The problem with our double deck rolling stock is dwell time, specifically at Town Hall. In Japan, where the difference between metro and suburban railways is very fuzzy, they use only double deckers as Green Cars. 

 

Now, when one sees the Keikyu moves more people than the whole Sydney Trains... one cannot other than think there is room for improvement in Sydney. On the other hand, and to put things in perspective, Sydney moves by public transport about twice as many people per day than LA County with half of the population. Sydney trains moves more people than the Chicago subway and all the commuter railways put together in Chicagoland. So we ain't that bad. Certainly the best in Australia by quite a long way.

 

Regarding the light rail, well, yes, a metro in this corridor would be nice and it is possible it will be built as an extension of Metro West. On the other hand having light rail down George Street is a boon for the city. It could just go to Sydney Uni and maybe down King St or Parramatta Road.

 

Cheers,

 

Pablo

Edited by Khaul

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