Where/how are the Variotrams?

 
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

W2s haven't been used in service since the 80s or early 90s I believe, long before the City Circle was born. The typical "City Circle" tram is the last shape of W class tram, the W6/SW6 or W7 (formerly SW5, but they have all since been retired). The W8 class is merely a refurbishment rather than a new tram type.
Heihachi_73


Bendigo has posted a timelapse of one of the W8 rebuilds. It's pretty much a new tram in the shape of the old, not much of the original tram gets retained.

With a modern tram (and the W8) what ever the pantograph picks up is feed into a traction converter and an auxiliary converter. As long as that converter is 600/750 compatible (and it should be, designing for both isn't difficult in this day and age), it really doesn't matter what the line voltage is.

Of more interest is what happens when a tram designed for 750v goes into regenerative braking and what effect it's attempt to push the line voltage into the 900v region would have on 600v 'heritage' rolling stock.

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  Matthew Junior Train Controller

I don't know how feasible this is but I would love to see a Variotram do a run on the National Park line.
GeoffreyHansen

One day. There is a long outstanding 'job' to fit 'pull offs' to the National Park line to better centre the trolley wire over the tracks on the curves. Only one curve was ever completed. Once this is done, there is not really any further issues to stop a pantograph equipped tram using the line.

Some sums might need to be done - while the Variotram has a peak power consumption that is lower than the PCC car, unlike the PCC, the Vario traction system will effectively shut down if the line voltage drops below 500v, where as the PCC sort of sluggishly moves off.
The actual traction converters on the Vario were rated by ABB to work as low as 450v.

It is a long wire to send power down on the RNP line and on the PCC the lights noticeably dim and the blower fans noticeably slow down when you depart from the RNP station.
  kitchgp Junior Train Controller

The E-class has been tested all over Melbourne's 600V network. These Vicsig photos of E 6001 show the testing and refer to some of the destinations in the captions:
http://vicsig.net/index.php?page=trams&number=6001&class=E&v=1
One of the photos in the 2nd last row shows in-service E 6001 operating on what is now Route 12 and passing under Route 96, having been diverted from Route 96.

The photo showing E 6001 turning from Dandenong Road into Hawthorn Road (9th row down) is interesting. If E 6001 was following Route 16 it would have used the NW corner of the Balaclava Junction grand union (however it may have been going to Glenhuntly depot).
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Just about every photo of 6001 not on the 96 (or via the 12 when the light rail isn't available) is of a test run. There are also photos of C and D classes at various locations where they never run in service. Sometimes I don't know whether it's for testing purposes or just to troll the public!

Of course, the opposite also happens, I saw a Z3 running out of service near Hawthorn on route 75 a few months ago. B2s visit Kew Depot quite regularly as well, despite routes 48 and 109 never seeing them. But enough with the Melbourne talk, I want to see if the Variotrams are ever going to be used again! On a side note though, as with the Variotrams, I haven't seen B1 2001 or 2002 in ages, that photo of 2002 at Preston covered in graffiti, sitting on yellow test trucks and with a clapped out Z1 in front of it worries me.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

I want to see if the Variotrams are ever going to be used again!
Heihachi_73
I can tell you with some certainty that Varios other than 2107 will never run again. 2107 is 'set aside' for preservation. Details of that preservation are a 'work in progress'.
  TrainLover222 Station Master

I don't know how feasible this is but I would love to see a Variotram do a run on the National Park line.
GeoffreyHansen
Just googled that line. I think it would do nicely there!

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