Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

 
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Exactly.  It's about the experience.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Fingers crossed.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

By my friend's description, the chopper control on W8 class is very difficult to handle smoothly.  There is a delay of about 1.5 second in response time and if you make power adjustment within that time, the first commands are ignored.  If you gradually increase power as you would on a rheostat W class, on W8 class it would surge to the acceleration of about the third notch from standstill.  If Restaurant cars have to be based on W8 class, that will be a great challenge for the drivers.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Or just rebuild the frames to W8 standards and leave the original W6 drivetrain untouched. Or, convert a few unwanted Z3s as I said, they crawl wonderfully on Malvern routes. Smile
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

By my friend's description, the chopper control on W8 class is very difficult to handle smoothly.  There is a delay of about 1.5 second in response time and if you make power adjustment within that time, the first commands are ignored.  If you gradually increase power as you would on a rheostat W class, on W8 class it would surge to the acceleration of about the third notch from standstill.  If Restaurant cars have to be based on W8 class, that will be a great challenge for the drivers.
uroute14
They just need to get the developer of the chopper controller to do a day or two riding as an observer on a tram to see how it's really operated and then some tuning parameters adjusted.

Sounds similar to an issue with the chopper conversions to the Adelaide H where an interlock between the brakes and the chopper would not engage power till the brake cylinder pressure was zero. This resulted in a very slow take off as power didn't apply till the brake air had fully bled off and then the car lurched when power was finally applied.

It probably doesn't help that human nature appears to be if it doesn't work in 1st notch, just apply more power Smile. By the time the brake interlock releases the controller is 2nd or 3rd notch already, so the system goes straight to that level of power from a standing start.

Some years ago I was in Paris and was wondering by the older TFS trams were shuddering on take off much of the time. So I made my way to the front and watched the drivers. They were driving the DC chopper control TFS trams the same way I've seen them driving Citadis - 'binary'. Off, full power, full brake. On the Citadis the computer moderates the driver inputs and if the driver just pushes the handle full forward, the computer just steps the power as required for a smooth take-off. Do that on the older TFS trams and the tram actually goes straight to full power and wheel spins for a moment till the wheel spin control kicks in, but there was no 'averaging like on the Citadis, so there was shuddering as the wheel spin intervened, stopped the spin, released, wheel started to spin again, so then kicked in again. Standing on the side of the road and watching one, I could actually see this happening (the start, spin, stop, start. spin) till the tram picked up some speed and got some grip.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

The main problem with the CTR is it appears the company was told the fleet would need to be upgraded to 'W8' standards and given 1 or 2 years to do something about it. They didn't, they just kept on as before.

The grandfathering deadline was hit, so the operation shut down.

Did anything come of the offer to divert one of the W8 conversions in progress to the CTR ?. Or have they just walked away from the whole idea?
I know Bendigo had such a backlog of work that 4 W8s tacked onto the end of the current project would result in a couple of years wait.

However if the CTR had ordered a W8 conversion when first told they had to upgrade, the first car would have been in service before the deadline and they probably would have got an extension to continue to operate the older cars while their 'new' conversions were completed and shipped from Bendigo. You know, showing they were serious about complying and the vendor's constrained supply was limiting them. But that would have meant the CTR people committing some serious cash upfront. Maybe the business just wasn't profitable enough to afford the upgrade costs?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Keeping the rheostat would be perfect in my view.  Drivers are experienced with it which is crucial for keeping smooth running.  It doesn't have safety issues unless a certain low notch is engaged for an extended period of time, which you hardly have a chance to do on the Melbourne network.  If not, certainly a better control is desired.  I assume W8 class don't have dynamic brake, so you don't need brake interlock.  In fact, you can't.  The standard hill start procedure is to apply power before releasing the brake.  This is also the procedure for flat start to ensure a smooth start.  They would need IGBT control which responds instantly, which works well on Shanghai trolleybuses.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

………………………………………………………………

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, Oct 2018


Yarra Trams continued to operate its non-W8-class trams up until the same date, then suddenly withdrew them, leaving insufficient trams to run the Route 35 City Circle. Headway was reduced from 12 mins to 30 mins. Only about 6 trams had been converted to W8-class, even though the first was carried out in 2013.

The time of suspension was the start of a busy season, cruise ships, Melbourne Cup, etc. One tram, instead of three, wouldn’t have been enough and been converted too late anyway. It’s been nearly 3 years and it appears the company has ceased trading. Perhaps someone else will take it up, starting off with one tram whilst things are quiet.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I do wonder if the W8 conversion was also hampered by not being able to convert W7s (and possibly SW5s) in the same manner due to having different construction to (S)W6s. IIRC there were a good number of green W7s as well as maroon CC W7s which have sat dormant for years - not Newport/Ready Reserve, but ex Yarra Trams with pantographs, track brakes and Metcard validators (yes, some have been stored that long, others being withdrawn much more recently like 1020). Not that it has anything to do with CTR's trams as they are SW6s, but still a thought.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I do wonder if the W8 conversion was also hampered by not being able to convert W7s (and possibly SW5s) in the same manner due to having different construction to (S)W6s. IIRC there were a good number of green W7s as well as maroon CC W7s which have sat dormant for years - not Newport/Ready Reserve, but ex Yarra Trams with pantographs, track brakes and Metcard validators (yes, some have been stored that long, others being withdrawn much more recently like 1020). Not that it has anything to do with CTR's trams as they are SW6s, but still a thought.
Heihachi_73
W7.1010 was converted.
  tram1041 Station Master

I do wonder if the W8 conversion was also hampered by not being able to convert W7s (and possibly SW5s) in the same manner due to having different construction to (S)W6s. IIRC there were a good number of green W7s as well as maroon CC W7s which have sat dormant for years - not Newport/Ready Reserve, but ex Yarra Trams with pantographs, track brakes and Metcard validators (yes, some have been stored that long, others being withdrawn much more recently like 1020). Not that it has anything to do with CTR's trams as they are SW6s, but still a thought.
Heihachi_73
There are at least 4 W7's that have had upgrades done such as track brakes,panto's etc that would work nicely 1021,1027,1031 & 1039.There is also 4 cars sitting undercover at North Fitzroy that would also be perfect,and then there's W7 1020, recently withdrawn and even almost in the right colour.So many choices on offer.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Is it possible to use one of the portable turnouts to, at least, tow a tram out of North Fitzroy depot?

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