Sydney Variotram retirement

 
  DanDon Beginner

I know it's not authentic but could a trolley pole be fitted to allow them to run on the tramway museum lines.

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  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I know it's not authentic but could a trolley pole be fitted to allow them to run on the tramway museum lines.
DanDon
The best plan for the museum would be to acquire a Variotram and then store it somewhere for 20 years. At present this type of tram does not fit in with the rest of the exhibits. It would be a bit like the San Francisco F line running modern trams.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

The best plan for the museum would be to acquire a Variotram and then store it somewhere for 20 years. At present this type of tram does not fit in with the rest of the exhibits. It would be a bit like the San Francisco F line running modern trams.
nswtrains
That would be as good as scrapping it.

After that amount of time the electronics will be hopelessly broken and no one will know or understand how it works. All the mechanical components would be rusted up. Many of the plastic parts would have degraded.
And who's going to restore it ?. There are very few 'young' members now, in 20 years without some new thing to attract younger members the place will have the cobwebs and dust blowing through it.

The UK is in danger of 'losing' it's 1st generation modern trams to this attitude too. The private operators are not going to keep em and the 'museums' consider them too new.

Museum lines in the US are already starting to acquire 'modern' articulated cars with the first generation Siemens U2s now being retired. At least one U2 is now running semi-regularly at a museum.

It hasn't become such an issue in Europe as most of the older lines are still owned by their respective cities and they keep examples of their various types of rolling stock on the system as part of their heritage or 'touristic' fleet. (Also none are well financed enough to have the luxury of retiring an 18-year-old tram).
We don't have the luxury of an operator with a sense of history unfortunately.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Any updates on the acquisition of 2107? I realise that it'll be some time before a Variotram runs again, but I was wondering if any progress had been made.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Any updates on the acquisition of 2107? I realise that it'll be some time before a Variotram runs again, but I was wondering if any progress had been made.
Fred Scuttle
The wheels of bureaucracy are turning, abet slowly.

I believe the main issue is the extremely high cost of moving it. There is a whole other host of issues that need to be worked through too, but the cost of transport is a major issue.

The quote for moving the tram is between 40 and 60 times what TfNSW accepted as the purchase price of the vehicle. Moving 30m long articulated vehicles by road is not cheap or easy.

I heard a story too, that at least two other organisations expressed interest after the tender closed - presumably hoping to pick up one or two cheaply. (Tourist rail type organisations, not city tram operators). I assume their interest waned when they found out the transportation costs.

My usual comment to people who ask is to write to both the tram museum board AND Transport Heritage NSW and express support for preservation.
The tram museum letter needs to be backed up by promises of money to help.
A letter to your MP might not go astray either if you can get an MP on side to promise a bit of funding to assist the matter....

That's really what the issue is now - money.

As for running one, if the electronics haven't suffered any major faults due to extended storage, or other mechanical damage, or the
'attentions of collectors', it should be possible with only minor adjustments to the overhead to get it to run on the Sutherland line relatively quickly, except the tram will be longer than the new platform built at Waratah Loop.

The National Park line needs major work to make it pantograph compatible. Not difficult work, just Hard Yacca installing bridle wires and extra pull offs to keep the overhead centred on the curves. The National Park line is all curves.

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