And as i said there is supposedly something between 200 and 300 W class trams just sitting in sheds (or worse for some).
Renovating the majority and putting them back into service is cheaper and debatably more aesthetically pleasing than the alternative.
Around 150 W-class trams are in storage, although a number of them have been cannibalised for parts.
I'm as nostalgic anyone about them, having ridden them in all weathers over many years. The National Trust have a scheme, which is well worth looking at, whereby a few more of them could be made compliant with modern standards and run over a couple of new routes.
However returning any large number of them to service is just not feasible. Melbourne's tram network is a public transport system, not a museum.
Returning large numbers to service is definitely feasible. The trams were
well-built, and have minimal electric equipment that can go wrong
(unlike the modern ones that have electronic control equipment).
They ride better than either of the Citadis or Bombardier trams --
there's no "soft" ride as far as the suspension is concerned,
and are unstable going round corners; with speed limits as low as
5 kph. As well as that, there are only two steps into the tram,
compared to three for A, B, and Z-class trams.
I recall that when there was a speed limit in Dandenong Road of 30kph
for Z-class trams owing to the rough condition of the track,
the W-class trams travelled over that track at full speed, giving
a smooth ride.