I wonder why they don't just run them in Newcastle.Can't run them anywhere as they have all been scrapped except the unit that went to the tram museum. Couldn't run in Newcastle because they are not compatible with the wireless system installed there. Just get over it, they were tired and clapped out and not up to modern standards.
They would have been ideal for Newcastle - at least before the government was conned into the 'wire-free' option. But that wouldn't have been a viable political option (Newcastle getting Sydney's cast off unwanted trams)
They ride better than their replacements. They are true 100% low floor, unlike many of the more modern cars that have seats up on plinths but are still called 100% low floor anyway.
The Variotrams were extremely well built. They had been quite reliable. And they in the tram world had very low mileage. The decision to get rid of them as rigged. CAF offered a too-good-to-be-true price on some new trams. The government probably counted on getting resale from the trams to make the transaction look good. In the end, they may not have even got scrap value. It may have cost more to break up and cart them to Sell and Parker than the value of the scrap metal recovered.
I've seen this liked to replacing your 5-year-old Mercedes with a Hyundai. Just because the Merc is 5 years old.
I've worked on conserving 2107. They were VERY well built and built to last. They were definitely intended by their manufacturer to last 30 - 40 years.
And I don't buy into the 'lack of spare parts' argument. There are 40 odd almost identical Variotrams running in Chemnitz. RNV a little further south has over 40 Variotrams that while mechanically quite different run the same traction package. Bombardier is continuing to support those vehicles with spare parts, technical support and even software changes to the 20-year-old computers.
If spare parts were so hard to get, one of these properties would be bought the Sydney cars and stripped the electronics. They were not interested.
And just to illustrate the similarities, I removed the traction computer from one of the spare converters and got it to power up on my test bench. The software version tag was 'CVAG', the tram operator from Chemnitz. The converter module would appear have NEVER been used in Sydney as it wouldn't have worked properly with the CVAG software loaded!. I do wonder CVAG have a spare converter with Sydney software in it, and Adtranz had swapped the consignment labels on two crates way back and no one ever noticed. (As the converters are so reliable the spares were never used!)
All water under the bridge now.
2101-2106 are piles of foil now. The metal has probably already been shipped to China and come back as iPhones and laptops.
2107 is now in the care of a museum.
At least one of Australia's first low floor trams has conserved.
I'm just annoyed at the waste of MY tax money this whole thing has been.