M&MTB L No 101
This tramcar is the class leader of the L class. It was ordered by the PMTT from James Moore, but delivered in 1921 to the M&MTB. It was only the second type of four motor drop centre used in Melbourne (the first being the VR drop centre cars, of which No 34 is the TMSVs example). The drop centre was rebuilt from a four-door format into the standard W2 three door form, with seating arrangements also changed. In 1946-7 the drop centre floor was raised by two inches to reduce the step height into the end saloons.
L 101 was allocated to a number of depots during its years of service, including Malvern, Brunswick and Glenhuntly.
All L class trams were withdrawn from regular service in 1969, but they continued to be used on a stand-by basis in peak hours and during industrial action until they were finally stored in 1980. This tramcar was acquired by the TMSV in 1982, along with its sister car No 102, which was subsequently sold to the Canberra Tradesmens Union Club.
This class of tramcars was the widest ever used in Melbourne, and they were used as the basis for the W class design. Four of the other five tramcars still exist, with the Heritage Fleet owning cars 104 and 106.
The intention of the TMSV is to rebuild this tramcar into original form with four doors in the drop centre, in the early M&MTB livery of chocolate and cream with white rocker panels.
Content copyright © Russell Jones 2001-4. Reproduced with permission.