Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

 
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

They have been grounded over "safety" issues, no details so far.

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  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I used to be obsessed with it as a child but I now wonder if a good restaurant could really fit on a tram. I doubt it is really a proper restaurant. A party tram may well be a better idea. Proper restaurants are bigger, and with bigger kitchens.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I used to be obsessed with it as a child but I now wonder if a good restaurant could really fit on a tram. I doubt it is really a proper restaurant. A party tram may well be a better idea. Proper restaurants are bigger, and with bigger kitchens.
Myrtone
They don't cook the food on board, they get it delivered from local restaurants along the route and keep it warm until serving.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Some detailed engineering facts would be helpful.
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Having eaten on both a W2 and one of the later versions they are/were a great way to have a quite decent meal and see a decent amount of Melbourne. Certainly not a 5 star restaurant but nothing to be sneezed at and to not consider them a restaurant is wrong.
I've worked in many restaurants as a chef and also eaten in many more and these trams are comparable to more than a few of those venues.

Neil
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I must admit I was absolutely staggered at the quality of the meal on my one and only experience on the restaurant tram. A very long time ago, but the excellent food has remained in my memory.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Perhaps it has something to do with the withdrawal of the Route 35 City Circle W-Class trams for upgrading to W8, which seemed rather sudden. The City Circle service is being run by the 6 W8 trams (normally 12 trams) and has been reduced from a 12-min headway to a 30-min headway until the upgrades are completed. The article that the following RP thread is based on states:
‘ The safety upgrade program will include the trams operated by the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.’

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11398582.htm
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

I used to be obsessed with it as a child but I now wonder if a good restaurant could really fit on a tram. I doubt it is really a proper restaurant. A party tram may well be a better idea. Proper restaurants are bigger, and with bigger kitchens.
Myrtone

Myrtone, so you feel qualified to post a negative comment about something you know very little about. That is in keeping with your usual asinine comments that you fling around.




For your edification it is 5 star and I would go on it again any time.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

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The head of the company, Paul O'Brien, said after 35 years and more than 3 million customers, the tram restaurants had not had any events that resulted in a serious injury to an employee or customer.
Mr O'Brien said Yarra Trams had given his company an impossible two-week deadline to fix the problem. The state's Bendigo-based tram maintenance workshops were unable to fit the restaurant trams into their schedule until 2020, Mr O'Brien said in a statement.
“We are urgently seeking a solution that doesn’t see 60 employees immediately forced out of work and the livelihoods of dozens of local Victorian suppliers put at risk, along with the special occasion plans of tens of thousands of tourists and Victorian families.”
Nicolas Gindt, CEO of Yarra Trams, said the operator would continue to support the restaurants, but concerns for the safety of patrons and employees was its primary concern.
“While we appreciate that this decision is difficult for the restaurant tram patrons and employees, we cannot allow trams to run on the network that do not meet safety standards,” he said.
Mr O'Brien rejected suggestions from Yarra Trams that their rolling restaurants were not safe.
"Yarra Trams has inspected our trams weekly since 2010 and up until two weeks ago had given us the all clear to run. How we can go from safe one week to unsafe the next? It is perplexing, to say the least."
The Age

A cynic would suggest that Yarra Trams booked their trams into Bendigo before notifying the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. One would hope that CTR could be given priority for at least one, if not all three trams.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This issue highlights just how low our manufacturing and maintenance capacity has sunk.

If there was any will on the part of the government/Yarra Trams (whoever) something better than the time quoted must be possible.

Is this yet another Vlocity wheels situation - OK today,yesterday and the day before - condemned, drop dead today. Neither of these situations occurred overnight.
  MEASWELL Locomotive Driver

Location: werribee/tullamarine
my wife & i have a voucher for the tramcar and hearing that they were going to be off the rails indefinitely i rang them yesterday and was told that they were in consultation with Yarra trams and hope to have an announcement shortly about recommencement
hopefully we don't have to get the BS inspectors in from the races as we know you have to BS responsibly
  M636C Minister for Railways

Perhaps it has something to do with the withdrawal of the Route 35 City Circle W-Class trams for upgrading to W8, which seemed rather sudden. The City Circle service is being run by the 6 W8 trams (normally 12 trams) and has been reduced from a 12-min headway to a 30-min headway until the upgrades are completed. The article that the following RP thread is based on states:
‘ The safety upgrade program will include the trams operated by the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.’

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11398582.htm
kitchgp
I'm absolutely certain that this is the same decision.

The later W class cars are steel framed but the cabs have wooden framing.
This was replaced by steel framing in the W8 cars.

Clearly someone in authority has decided that the wooden cabs put the driver at risk, hence the withdrawal of the dark red City Circle trams and the dark red restaurant trams.

Note that all the passengers sit in the quite strong steel body that is retained on the W8 and must threrefore be safe by definition.

I would be interested in the relative collision strengths of the wood framed W class cab against the largely glass and fibreglass cab of say a C1. In the short term it might be possible to move the driver back into the steel structure, say by one side window space leaving the wood framed, steel skinned cab as a crumple zone.

But is the Bendigo Tramway Museum really the only place that could do this work.
Is there no capability for fairly straight forward modifications at Preston Workshops?
Could Bombardier in Dandenong not weld up a light steel structure like that on a W8 (always remembering that the cab floor has to be raised to that of the saloon for added strength in a collision)

Given a set of drawings, I'm sure Puffing Billy at Belgrave could do this, or EDI at Cardiff NSW (not that much harder to get to than Bendigo).

So in truth it is not "the condition of the wooden structure" but the fact that it is a wooden structure, now that all the other cars with wood cab framing have been taken out of service.

What was said is correct. It was safe one day and dangerous the next, with no actual change in the structure.

SW5 and SW6 trams with this cab structure have been running for eighty years.
How many drivers have been injured in collisions in those 80 years due to failure of the cab structure?

Japanese built vans like the Toyota Hi Ace are dangerous in collisions compared to vehicles with forward engines but they haven't been banned from Victorian roads and I'd bet the casualty count from collisions of such vans is far greater than that for the wide W class tramcars.

This was not a slowly developing problem, it was a problem caused by a bureaucratic decision.
Now that all trams carry passengers for free within the city, the loss of half the City Circle trams isn't great as long as tourists get the message....

I am appalled (and I mean it, not like say Bingley Hall's comments on many Victorian matters).

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Well said Peter.
There are a million steel fabricators who could build these cabs to whatever design obviously already exists. We don't even need the Chinese to build them.
It's activity as a substitute for achievement. Why do something positive when a negative will do.
This is just Victoria at its worst.
  georges Train Controller
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Not a lot, since they're using an ex Melbourne W2, rebuilt for this purpose by STM, IIRC. What Christchurch doesn't have a body like Yarra Trams to throw their weight around and tell an operator what to do or what to run; probably just as well since their trams are historic ones.
Meals are comparable to the Colonial Tramcar Restaurants, as is the atmosphere, probably since they based theirs on Restaurant 01 in Melbourne.

Neil
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Ws are apparently fine to run on the road in traffic in Bendigo - without track brakes even!

Why can't Melbourne restaurant trams be run under a similar heritage operating permit as Bendigo?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ws are apparently fine to run on the road in traffic in Bendigo - without track brakes even!

Why can't Melbourne restaurant trams be run under a similar heritage operating permit as Bendigo?
bramt
Careful or they will close them down too ............
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The main question is why was it considered so urgent, and with so little notice to The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant and about Route 35 City Circle, to suspend non-W8 tram operations. It appears totally unplanned as there still hasn’t been any timetabling of weekend Route 30 St Vincents Plaza – Docklands services or changes to the Route 35 timetable; only a Route 35 temporary service alteration notice.

Although its always busy, this probably comes at the worst time for The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, with breakfast services for the Spring Racing Carnival and the cruise ship season starting. Even if it gets bumped up in the queue, it will take some time to modify one tram, let alone three.

For those into conspiracies it appears that there is more to it than meets the eye. The public deserves a better explanation, as the current one implies that The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant ignored safety, rather than Yarra Trams unleveling the playing field. If the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant was operating unsafely so was Yarra Trams until it suspended its own non-W8 operations at the same time.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
You only need to look at what happens to a W in a car ahead collision, IIRC when an A class ran into the back of a W on Victoria Pde several years ago, the A barely had any damage while the W's cab was pushed half way in (even the bumper had the inverse shape of an A class bumper). If the roles were reversed and the W had been the aggressor instead, the driver of the W probably would have been trapped under the controls when the cab got squished. Also note that most car ahead collisions happen at only 5-20 km/h after the driver has dropped the anchors yet the poor old W still folds up in a heap upon impact.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Nobody disagrees with the safety aspect. It’s the arbitrary nature of the decision that’s being questioned. The first Yarra Trams’s W8 was converted 5 years ago and another five converted since, the last of which was introduced in October 2017. At least another six have to be converted. It hardly seems to have been a high priority at Yarra Trams.

W classes are limited to 40 kph.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
The problem seems to start with $ as usual. Rebuilding a W6/SW6 into a W8 probably costs as much as buying an E class. Yarra Trams is also right in the middle of the B2 rebuild program.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I used to be obsessed with it as a child but I now wonder if a good restaurant could really fit on a tram. I doubt it is really a proper restaurant. A party tram may well be a better idea. Proper restaurants are bigger, and with bigger kitchens.
They don't cook the food on board, they get it delivered from local restaurants along the route and keep it warm until serving.
LancedDendrite
In Paris, not uncommon in the smaller restaurants to see part of your meal coming out of another location, especially deserts.

A few years back boys and I were waiting for a crepe at 10pm at night. Waitress from a nearby restaurant comes up with a couple of plates. The guy makes the exact same crepes for the waitress as we just ordered. Puts neatly on the plate and the waitress dresses up the plate with the usual flour, squirt of chocolate sauce and a few berries then heads back. We had 4Euro, I'm sure the restaurant charged closer to 20 Euro.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

Since when did the meals come from local restaurants?
The Tramcar Restaurant used to be supplied by Qantas Catering and reheated on the tram.
It showed that Qantas Catering was capable of supplying brilliant meals if the client was prepared to pay.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

In Paris, not uncommon in the smaller restaurants to see part of your meal coming out of another location, especially deserts.
RTT_Rules

Happens here too, in places like Lygon St with heaps of restaurants in close proximity.

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