Where/how are the Variotrams?

 
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
2102
s3_gunzel
Sometimes it really strikes me that we retire those when they're just ~15 years old when there are nearly 50 year-old S sets going strong... I get that buying a new Urbos would cost about the same as a refurb, but come on!

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  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
They were due a refurbishment.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
They were due a refurbishment.
s3_gunzel
Definitely, but why not prolong rolling stock to have it run in revenue service for as long as reasonably possible? Melbourne's Yarra Trams (obviously) do so, and you can say the same about Sydney Trains, with those old S sets still happily rattling along.

I must say, I got a shock just now when I thought I saw a Variotram on the City West Link. It definitely wasn't one (was just a box) but at first I thought it had one of the old Metro liveries.

Thanks
  SydneyCider Train Controller

VarioTram 2107 has been moved from Penrith to the Sydney Tramway Museum. Numerous updates on the STM facebook page:-

https://www.facebook.com/SydneyTramwayMuseum/?ref=py_c


Post by THNSW on their facebook page, 2107 even briefly moved under it's own power

https://www.facebook.com/TransportHeritageNSW/videos/2185941568288963/?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARAtTRjB3TqWhI46MoTk9fo2lPMoFF25A60Wh77EKmjByxG5WK9vI-jvA6gJY1F9pfE7oK4YxkBabpxnxQAekUBpf8DOjIilGjaKHHfbIySaKjAKalL5Opg2rGi9fb34-DgZHkXqaQOpgY8qcFwQGt1Tx6fpZ4V_0RA8Flfa9mIVK7hOsjTO&__tn__=-R


Sydney Trains Vlogs has also posted a lengthy video on its movement from Penrith to Loftus, so credit to him for this video



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyCjWn8oONs


Below is another video posted by STV back in March 2016 which shows how the trams were stored at Penrith



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNPSeORy0hY
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I wonder why they don't just run them in Newcastle.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I wonder why they don't just run them in Newcastle.
Myrtone
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.
  Matthew Train Controller

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.
nswtrains

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.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

I think Melbourne would be happy to take these trams especially since most trams here don't even meet accessible requirements.
  Matthew Train Controller

I think Melbourne would be happy to take these trams especially since most trams here don't even meet accessible requirements.
True Believers
They had the opportunity. They didn't take it.

With the Es being delivered, why would they want another 6 non-standard trams?
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I heard that the Variotrams couldn't handle some of the grades in Melbourne Melbourne. I would say they are a much better design than the Combino trams.

It's exciting to hear about 2107 running under it's own power at Loftus. What colours will it be in long term?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
With the Es being delivered, why would they want another 6 non-standard trams?
"Matthew"

The same reason Melbourne still has 5 "Bumblebees" - it's better than running an A class on the 96.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I heard that the Variotrams couldn't handle some of the grades in Melbourne Melbourne. I would say they are a much better design than the Combino trams.

It's exciting to hear about 2107 running under it's own power at Loftus. What colours will it be in long term?
GeoffreyHansen
The colour under the advertising film once its peeled off. Are Transport Heritage stumping up to build storage for these new guys?
  Matthew Train Controller

The colour under the advertising film once its peeled off. Are Transport Heritage stumping up to build storage for these new guys?
nswtrains
That the tram is owned by THNSW opens up the possibility of obtaining infrastructure grants in the future. There have been rounds of THNSW grants that we could not access as one condition was it had to be for conservation of a Transport Heritage asset.
  Matthew Train Controller

A cleaned up 2107 was shown off to the NSW 'transport heritage' community on Saturday, driven down to 'Lakewood Park' and opened up for inspection.
It will be a long while before it becomes available for general use, but it is now in somewhat more presentable condition than when it arrived.
https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/tramfans/transport-heritage-sector-christmas-party-at-loftus/

I wonder if we will have to give it a class letter now to be consistent with the rest of the Sydney fleet it now shares a depot with? Smile
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

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.
nswtrains

quality Victorian construction........
  ngarner Junior Train Controller

Location: Seville
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.

The Variotrams were extremely well built. They had been quite reliable. And they in the tram world had very low mileage...

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...

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!)
Matthew
Yes, quality Victorian construction
  matthewg Train Controller

Yes, quality Victorian construction
ngarner

The vehicle fabric (frame, general body) 2107 is in excellent condition. Even the electronics looks near new, due to being built properly in the first place. (In particular, all circuit cards are 'conformal coated' to keep moisture out).


There are dings in the body panels all over, damage to the paint, minor body panel corrosion (mostly caused by the vinyl wrap advertising). The floor needs to be replaced as it's lifting in places, the seats could do with recovering, etc, etc.
The fact that the frame is stainless steel means there is no corrosion of any structural parts. They were built to last.

They certainly needed some attention. But the fundamentals all appear to be excellent.

The Varios certainly were in better condition at withdrawal than say the A and Z3 class in Melbourne which are now finally getting overhauled at 35-40 years of age after many years of hard work.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
A cleaned up 2107 was shown off to the NSW 'transport heritage' community on Saturday, driven down to 'Lakewood Park' and opened up for inspection.
It will be a long while before it becomes available for general use, but it is now in somewhat more presentable condition than when it arrived.
https://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/tramfans/transport-heritage-sector-christmas-party-at-loftus/

I wonder if we will have to give it a class letter now to be consistent with the rest of the Sydney fleet it now shares a depot with? Smile
Matthew
Well, it could be "A" Class, being the first class of the new tramway era in Sydney. Also, it'll need 1-L-2/2-R-1 plates, as well as a depot plate ("DH" for Darling Harbour, perhaps?).

Just a thought.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

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.
nswtrains

yes they were tired and clapped out but they did meet modern standards.
  matthewg Train Controller

I wonder if we will have to give it a class letter now to be consistent with the rest of the Sydney fleet it now shares a depot with? Smile
Well, it could be "A" Class, being the first class of the new tramway era in Sydney. Also, it'll need 1-L-2/2-R-1 plates, as well as a depot plate ("DH" for Darling Harbour, perhaps?).
Fred Scuttle
To match the manuals the plate would need to be 1-L-5 and 5-R-1 as the tram has a No1 end and a No 5 end (module 5)

What was the depot code for the old Ultimo depot that is currently the Power House museum offices and workshops?
2107 was based at Ultimo, just down the tracks a short way from the 'original' Ultimo depot.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Ultimo had the depot code of "U" - I remember seeing such a plate on F393 a couple of tramway festivals ago. It's interesting that 2107 has a No. 5 End - is this normal practice for articulated trams? I've seen that the IWLR's CAF Urbos 3's display No. 1 & No. 2 ends internally (e.g: 2116 - 1; 2116 - 2).

Thanks for the photos of 2107 on display at Loftus - it looks good, although I appreciate that there's a lot more work that needs to be done before the tram can return to public operation. Congratulations to all concerned with 2107's preservation for their efforts so far!!
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

With the Es being delivered, why would they want another 6 non-standard trams?

The same reason Melbourne still has 5 "Bumblebees" - it's better than running an A class on the 96.
Heihachi_73
The Bumblebees were new and bought before the E class build got underway. There is still about 70 more E's on the way. There was zero chance of Melbourne getting these hand me downs.
  matthewg Train Controller

The Bumblebees were new and bought before the E class build got underway. There is still about 70 more E's on the way. There was zero chance of Melbourne getting these hand me downs.
Mr. Lane
Not quite new, they became surplus when one of the Mulhouse routes was converted to 'tram-train' cars and the new city only route hadn't happened yet. And at the time the same company was running both systems so, there were top-level contacts.
Remember they were originally supposed to go back after the capacity crisis was over.

As it happens Melbourne bought them outright and Mulhouse didn't get the route extensions that needed the cars as quickly as they hoped, so they were happy to take the cash instead of taking the cars back.

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