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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 15:09 
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heritagepoliceman wrote:
"modern tram system not a museum" line makes me annoyed - if we keep old trams running, that doesnt make the system a museum, after all, you cant call Melbourne a museum just because we have loads of 19th century houses, public buildings etc. still in use.

That's not analogous at all. It's wonderful that a few old square riggers have been preserved, but should we still rely on clipper ships to carry our trade to and from the world? There are many steam locos surviving, but should we use them to haul our suburban trains on a day to day basis?

San Francisco's cable trams are a great tourist attraction and a priceless example of our industrial and transport heritage. However they aren't part of that city's public transport network in any real sense, and nor is there any idea that they should be.

Get behind the realistic proposals of the National Trust and forget about returning any great number the W-class trams to regular passenger service.


Last edited by Corio on 08 Feb 2011, 11:40, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 15:46 
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Absolutely ! Yes, trust's proposals are the most practical way forward.

Having said that, services using old trams can be commuter only, tourists only, but more often a bit of each -
Lisbon - trams as old as 1908, but only one special tram on Sundays for tourists only
Milan - 100 trams from the 1920s, no tourist service
Boston's Mattapan line - 1950s vehicles, no tourists
Philadelphia - Girand St line uses recycled 1950s streamlined bodies on new bases, not for toursts
New Orleans St Charles line - cars from 1928, mainly tourists but also commuters.
SF cable trams - 3 lines, the 2 that go from downtown to fisherman's pier are over-run by tourists, but the third cross-town line has significant use by commuters actually getting to work. They also have a long mainly tourist electric car service from downtown to Fishy pier around the edge of the bay, proving very popular.

So some kind of service for a few more W's from the city to St Kilda beach would make sense, serving tourists and commuters (who have three lines to choose from).


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 19:57 
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But goign back to my original statement - i do not mean lets restore them to what they were as if they were fresh off the 1930's production line - I said that say 20 should be done like that for prosperity - while the 150 other W class trams should have the interiors restored, but be mechanically changed. Several cities around the world have restored them, but put in modern mechanics, and in a wheel chair lift(which is quick to work) at one entrance for disabled people. This kind of renovation bringing them to modern standards is CHEAPER than the 5million a pop french bombadier break down in weather over 30 trams. Melbourne's network should have 2 to 3 times as many trams running on it than it does.
For a network with 250kms of track to have only 500 trams on it is pathetic. It should have a number between 1000 and 1500 on it.
By all means buy over priced crap european imports, but also we should rebuild the W class for a lower price and a better product. It is not an "either/or" situation, or one of a whim. It is a move of neccesity that is long over due.
This would be a cheap cost effective scheme that would go towards improving a failing network, as opposed to the "thats a stupid idea" argument which results in the network only getting worse.

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 23:28 
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drbuc wrote:
But goign back to my original statement - i do not mean lets restore them to what they were as if they were fresh off the 1930's production line - I said that say 20 should be done like that for prosperity - while the 150 other W class trams should have the interiors restored, but be mechanically changed. Several cities around the world have restored them, but put in modern mechanics, and in a wheel chair lift (which is quick to work) at one entrance for disabled people.

Yes, but that has only been done with a very few trams in a handful of cities, and all those trams are used purely for tourist purposes.

There are nine W-class trams operating on a "heritage" line in Memphis, and one W-class tram on similar line in Dallas. Seattle had a tourist route using five W-class trams, but that ceased operations five years ago. One other tram was restored and given as a wedding present from the Victorian Government to Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. It occasionally runs at the Danish Tramway Historical Society's museum in Jystrup. That's the sum total.

Needless to say, no other tram system has ever considered shipping in dozens of our unused W-class trams to run routine passenger services. The notion of having a large fleet of them operating normal routes in Melbourne is quite unrealistic. The National Trust's proposal is at least feasible.


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 23:35 
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But eally since this is about adding more to the network as opposed to replacing there isn't any gross or net losses involved. Some people (with their heads up their arses) would complain because they feel that it isnt super modern looking that it is inadequate, but to any level headed logical thinking person, extra services on W class trams is better than no extra services at all.

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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2011, 23:47 
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Corio wrote:
heritagepoliceman wrote:
"modern tram system not a museum" line makes me annoyed - if we keep old trams running, that doesnt make the system a museum, after all, you cant call Melbourne a museum just because we have loads of 19th century houses, public buildings etc. still in use.

That's not analogous at all. It's wonderful that a few old square riggers have been preserved, but should we still rely on clipper ships to carry our trade to and from the world? There are many stream locos surviving, but should we use them to haul our suburban trains on a day to day basis?


But then they would get the job done.
Its just like the American Admiral/General who was taken aboard the Royal Yacht Brittania and given a tour. When they came upon the Engine room he scoffed at the original engine still being in use where he said " Well we have now seen the museum piece, where is the actual engine?". The point was that the original motor still did the job efficiently and reliably so there was no need to put in a modern motor. Now again I am not using this entirely as my point because I am and have been saying that they should be upgraded with modern equipment while still reataining their charms, but that they would be integrated along with modern trams (I do not suggest then building replicas to match them). This would add at least 100 cheaper and reliable trams to the network offering new services to the under run network. I do not suggest they just scrap all standing contracts for new trams. But with the economy the way it is, and the fact that Victoria does not have a huge mine industry to back it up like some other states, we need to look at the more cost effective options.
I agree the National Trusts idea is a good one, but that doesn't cover even half the trams that are just sitting idly. Again i will point out it is not about "either/or" in regards to their use.

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