Down Under No More, Second Melbourne Tram Arrives

916_Embarcadero-Brannan_091709.JPGMelbourne tram No. 916 is here. Following its trans-Pacific voyage, the 1946 SW6 class tram, a generous gift to San Francisco from the government of the State of Victoria, Australia (facilitated by Market Street Railway), was unloaded last night at Muni Metro East. This morning, it ran under its own power via the T, F, and J lines to Geneva Division to be prepared for its formal Muni debut.
The tram ran perfectly from the moment the pole was put up. Some of the modifications needed for San Francisco service include changing the motorman’s controls so they open the right-hand passenger doors instead of the left-hand ones, and installation of Muni gear including radio and farebox. A double-end car, it is anticipated No. 916 may switch over to serve the E-Embarcadero line when it opens, since the E-line will at least initially require double-ended equipment.
We will let you know when the car enters service.

Comments: 13

  1. I finally got to see the interior today, and it looks like the 1960’s crawled in and died. What an austere space compared to the older version. But who cares? I love the exterior and I can hardly wait until it gets into service.

  2. Nice Streetcar!…
    How about bringing 1014 back from Australia for one of the baby 10’s…
    and use that torpedo for the E-Line

  3. That’s great!! It’s really a good looking car and to have it run all the way over to the Geneva Yards, on it’s own power, is great news. If you make the right hand doors open, for single-ended service, I assume the left hand doors will still open when it’s switched back, in E line double-ended service. Correct??

  4. The door controls need to be flipped because Australia drives on the opposite side of the road from the US, not because of which end it’s being driven from. Because this streetcar has controls at both ends and can operate in either direction, there’s really no left or right side of the car.
    When a double-ended streetcar reaches the end of a line and there’s no track loop to physically turn the car around, the operator just walks to the other side of the car and it will switch tracks and head back out in the opposite direction. From the perspective of the operator passengers will still be boarding on their right side, even though it’s the opposite side of the car.

  5. Questions: Since this car only has doors in the center, where do you plan to put the fare box? In the center and make it a two man operation? Will this car be able to accept wheelchairs thru the center doors or will modifications have to be made?

  6. I think it is a terific looking car and we are very lucky to have it,,,, I do think that now that we have 2 of these trams maybe now would be a good time to consider putting a serious effort into finishing the third W-2 that we have. Since we are going to need the double enders for E Line service , it seems that rebuilding the 3rd car and having a 3 car fleet from Austrailia makes sense,,,,Muni Maintenance has experience with these and I have a feeling that this would be a good time to concentrate on this car,,,,,,, Cary Brotman

  7. @Dennis Frazier, Muni will decide where to put the farebox — give ’em a break, they just got the car three days ago!
    One MORE reminder — we (Market Street Railway) do NOT make operational, safety, etc. decisions about the equipment. That’s what being the owner-operator means, and that’s Muni.
    From a factual standpoint, the two center doors do meet ADA requirements for width. As with No. 496, those are the only doors intended for passengers. The narrow doors at the ends access the motorman’s cab only.
    @Cary Brotman, thanks for your note. Car No. 586 needs new wheels and a motor or two for starters. That fact kept the car down on Muni’s priority list before; it’s not likely to get any higher now that they have another operational Melbourne tram.

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