Sydney Variotram retirement

 
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Did you or someone else make contact them and ask for a final farewell trip?
RTT_Rules
I did use Transdev's enquires web page to make such a request. All I got was the auto-response from their computer. No real response was received.
It probably got filed in the 'nutter' folder folder and ignored.

The trouble is Transdev are only in it for the money. They will do what exactly TfNSW asks them (and pays them) to do. No more. No less.

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  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW

It probably got filed in the 'nutter' folder and ignored.
If, on the other hand, you made inquiries about hiring one for a last ride (i.e; money up front), they'd be back to you like a shot. Indeed, "only in it for the money". According to Trams Down Under, the last two cars (2102 & 2107) are still in the depot, awaiting transport to Penrith. They are (according to the source) due to go on Monday, June 15 and Tuesday, June 16 (most likely in the early hours of each morning - only one tram at a time can be moved) - see: http://tdu.to/221240.msg
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
The trouble is Transdev are only in it for the money. They will do what exactly TfNSW asks them (and pays them) to do. No more. No less.
Matthew
So it's the same up there too... you should see the state of their buses down Mexico way (not to mention the timetables; all they've done of any use in my district was split and renumber the 270 (Ringwood to Box Hill via every side street on the map) to the 370 (now Ringwood to Mitcham), with no extra services or anything else added, while improving the old (Mitcham to Box Hill) 270 to better standards, and renumber the 367 to the 380, the latter being about the only decent thing they did, as the 367 timetable was pathetic). Did I mention that the 370 doesn't run on Sundays either?

I'm surprised our trams survived when they were running them back in the 2000s - note that our "iconic" W classes were all sidelined out of nowhere and magically deemed defective/unsafe, despite running around in the same condition since the 1930s, with only a handful put back in revenue service on the 78/79/30 (City Circle doesn't count as revenue service) and the rest left to rot and/or be given away for free; of course, KDR's version of Yarra Trams also managed to all but scrap the last of the Ws this year (relegating all of them to the City Circle AFAIK), taking most of the Z1s (and Z2s) with it too, yet they cite that the Z1 trams are being replaced with E classes; the actual fact being that any route running Z1s will not actually be having any new trams at all since the E classes will all be crammed onto the 96 with just about every other new tram type in the last 15 years while the others miss out for another 10 or so years once the Z3, A and B classes are all scrapped (DDA compliance will play a major part in their demise over the next decade, whilst we also watch the Citadis and Combino trams fall apart from neglect and get stuck with a city with hardly any trams and a few billion dollars in debt purchasing 100-odd new ones over the next decade).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I did use Transdev's enquires web page to make such a request. All I got was the auto-response from their computer. No real response was received.
It probably got filed in the 'nutter' folder folder and ignored.

The trouble is Transdev are only in it for the money. They will do what exactly TfNSW asks them (and pays them) to do. No more. No less.
Matthew
Ok fair enough.

First thing, emails for anything serious like this are 75% useless. As you say too easy to press delete or ignore.

Give you an example, I just blasted Toyota Dubai for ignoring my emails over buying a car and getting by other car serviced. ie you supposed to be able to send an email when you want your cars serviced, they never respond and I sent 3 inquirers by email to buy a Zelas and never got zip. But walk in the door or make a phone call and they are all over you. The only reason I even bothered to let Toyota know what I thought of them was because we got an email stating thanking for our inquiry and and they will get back to us shortly, 10 days after we took possession of the car!

I also work in heavy industry and you'd be surprised how many suppliers do not respond to email inquiries as first point of contact unless you have history with them. Experience from this is why I never expected Toyota to respond in first place, but I did it anyway and kept doing just to see what would happen as I was in no rush to buy the car.

Suggestion for the tram and it may not be too late, phone and ask to speak to the Ops Manager and arrange an appointment. However think about it, whats in it for them? Are you going to make them do all the organising? As you say they are only in it for the money, they get zero publicity benefit out of doing this.

Regards
Shane
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

RE selling to Melbourne (for use, not parts): Again, they would have alter the voltage.

If people think that Transdev, etc won't reply to emails, send it as registered mail.

TfNSW say official letters should be through the feedback of the Transport for NSW website, not the actual transport companies themselves, as they claim they won't get officially "registered." for any action, if needed.

Re sending letter/email to the current transport minister - Good luck getting a prompt reply. I'm still waiting for even an acknowledgement about another transport issue (& no, NOT the one you think) after almost 4 weeks.

S3_gunzel, without saying where, is your local member that you sent your letter to, Liberal, Labor or other?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
750V trams normally have no trouble running on 600V systems, aside from minor issues like poorer acceleration and the possibility of overloading substations (this actually happened back when the Citadis trams arrived and the 109 only went to Mont Albert, causing the trams to either go really slow or even stall because they drew too much power compared to an A/B class). In fact, our Citadis (C1/C2), Combino (D1/D2) and E classes are all designed for 750V.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
S3_gunzel, without saying where, is your local member that you sent your letter to, Liberal, Labor or other?
Newcastle Express
I'm not the one to ask, I have sent no emails except one to the tender people. I'm not going forward.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Sorry about S3_gunzel, but when you pages are continually failing to load . . .

In regards to Variotrams for Loftus, other than the electric supply, what about the wheel profiles? Aren't they slightly different to other trams that Loftus has?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Sorry about S3_gunzel, but when you pages are continually failing to load . . .

In regards to Variotrams for Loftus, other than the electric supply, what about the wheel profiles? Aren't they slightly different to other trams that Loftus has?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Wheel profile shouldn't be an issue, as long as the gauge is the same.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
The last two Variotrams (2102 & 2107) are still at the depot at this point in time (Sunday, 28 June) - a planned transfer of the cars on the night of Monday 15 June was aborted following a mishap while loading one of the cars (a worker was injured). Nobody seems to know when a move shall take place - possibly the cars will be kept at the depot to allow any potential buyers to inspect. The tenders for their disposal close this coming Friday (July 3) - at least then we'll know who's put in a bid.
  Yuun Yii Beginner

Location: Sydney, Australia
Well after about 2 attempts of trying to see 2102 (it doesn't want to go!), we finally saw it leave on Monday morning. I also watched the removal of 2107 last night and early this morning. Only about 4 people showed up to watch/take photos.

Here's some of the photographs I took during 2102's removal.



Also videos on 2102's and 2107's removal.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3jVUHKt5g0



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roK5eClMiao
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
I've just had another look on the NSW Government Tender Website - http://www2.tenderlink.com/tenders/government/new-south-wales/?utm_campaign=NSW&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=bing&utm_content=NSW%20Govt%20Tenders&utm_term=nsw%20government%20tenders, now that the tenders have closed. It says that those who have registered their interest, can arrange a site inspection. It gives a timeframe of up to three months to finalise any purchase/removal of the trams. Still no word as to who has actually registered their interest.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Still no word as to who has actually registered their interest.
Fred Scuttle

The tenderers had to sign an NDA. Unless/until TfNSW decides to release this information, we will never know. I doubt TfNSW will ever say, they will just cite 'commercial in confidence' and say nothing.


Possibly the best we can hope for is TfNSW reject all responses (or they didn't get any) and decide to refurb them for Newcastle. Unlikely though, if Newcastle actually happens, it will have to have 'shiny new' vehicles as a distraction from the handing over of public lands to developers.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
The prospect of any of the Varios being refurbished & returned to service at this stage would be about as likely as the NSW Gov't announcing that they'll be boring out the NW Metro's tunnels to take DD stock.

Seriously though, I agree with you about secrecy - if there are no takers, there's no way they'll admit it. Indeed, if they can't sell them for scrap, they'll just cut them up themselves, and to hell with any heritage considerations.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller


Seriously though, I agree with you about secrecy - if there are no takers, there's no way they'll admit it. Indeed, if they can't sell them for scrap, they'll just cut them up themselves, and to hell with any heritage considerations.
Fred Scuttle

After something like 6 weeks some one from TfNSW called me back about an online submission that I had submitted on the subject.

The guy apologised for taking so long (communication routed to a colleague who was off on extended sick leave), but didn't tell me much more than I already knew about the sale by tender process.

But he did imply that if they did get no buyers, they would then look to give them away complete to 'worthy' causes.  I got the impression they would be reluctant to simply cut em up for scrap. Not that there is much scrap value in them, more plastic and glass than steel.

He did also imply that due to the now 20 year old tech in them and the lack of spare parts, any recipient probably would have difficulty trying to actually operate them.
This more a brake on their sale - as any one buying them faces the same parts problem. And when they hunt around for some one to refit the traction systems, CAF can come along and say 'do we have a deal for you'....

If they do come up for giving away to preservation groups - dust off your piggy-banks and donate to Loftus - they are going to need another shed to put it in.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Thanks for that info, Matthew - it seems there's hope yet (forgive me for being somewhat cynical in my previous post). If Loftus has expressed interest in acquiring a Variotram for preservation, It'll probably be a while before we know, assuming that SPER is subject to the same confidentiality requirements as other tenderers (if any).

As you said, the big challenge for Loftus would be to construct a new shed for a Vario - given that the site is now bulging at the seams.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Thanks for that info, Matthew - it seems there's hope yet
Fred Scuttle


I got a written letter from John Sidoti MP (Secretary for Transport and Roads) in response to a letter I wrote to Andrew Constance MP as Transport Minister. It basically says the same thing. 'LRVs will be offered to interested organisations if the outcome of this tender process is unsuccessful'.

I guess it will come down to how badly the European operators of Variotrams want the spare parts.... I would be really really surprised if some one actually wanted to buy them as complete vehicles - especially with the attractive terms the likes of CAF are offering for new trams.



As you said, the big challenge for Loftus would be to construct a new shed for a Vario - given that the site is now bulging at the seams.
Fred Scuttle


1/3 or more of SPER's collection is already stored offsite. The place is more than bulging at the seams.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

The formal reply from the Minister for Transport via my Local Member can be summarized as the same as Matthew's post above.
3l diesel
It probably WAS the same rely. I'm aware of some one else who wrote in, who got their reply from a different minister from my letter and other than the names on the page, the letter is word for word the same, including stating that the Variotrams had to be removed to make space for Alstom Citadis!

Citadis probably won't start arriving for the CESLR until they have ether Randwick running depot or the Lillyfield heavy maintenance centre ready to receive them. That could be a year or more.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Any word on what may be happening (if anything) with the Variotrams, now stored at Penrith?
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Any word on what may be happening (if anything) with the Variotrams, now stored at Penrith?
Fred Scuttle
None whatsoever.

Word is, no response to tender applications is expected before Christmas.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Premiering at Penrith - the new Beckett play - "Waiting For Vario". Rolling Eyes
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Their is one place (IF BUILT) they "could" end up.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Their is one place (IF BUILT) they "could" end up.
Newcastle Express
Ignoring the fact I think the Newcastle LR is a 'bate and switch' job. (I fully expect the business case will conclude that the existing bus services are more than good enough).

It wouldn't go down well politically to be seen to be sending Sydney's cast offs to Newcastle. Yes there is a long history of doing so (The LP class of tram!), but today's politicians are all about image, not prudence.

Giving the Vario's their 'mid life overhaul' has to be cheaper than new trams, but the polies will want 'shiny and new' to show to the masses, not polished up cast offs.
And the NSW Government has already fallen once for a vendor saying 'we can get you new trams for only a little more than refurbing the old ones'. trick. I bet Alstom is now doing the sums on pushing out the 12 CAFs in favour of their own Citadis. Maybe the CAFs will end up at Newcastle!.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
Their is one place (IF BUILT) they "could" end up.
Ignoring the fact I think the Newcastle LR is a 'bait and switch' job. (I fully expect the business case will conclude that the existing bus services are more than good enough).
Matthew
Indeed. I believe that this will be the case - after the business case for the Newcastle Light Rail is concluded, it will be announced that "...regrettably, it is not feasible to proceed with the light rail project at this time ....." (or words to that effect) and the only tram ever to be seen in Newcastle again shall be the "stuffed & mounted" L/P 284 (ironically, just across the way from the soon-to-be-bulldozed Civic Station). As to the Urbos 3's, I suspect that they'll end up, not at Newcastle, but at a certain holding yard in Penrith in due course.

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