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M&MTB T No 180


MBCTT No 16 in original condition (1916). Photograph PTC collection

MBCTT No 16 (later M&MTB No 180) in original condition, 1916. Photograph: PTC collection.

Duncan & Fraser built this tramcar for the MBCTT as No 16 in 1917 as part of an order of six cars. It was renumbered to M&MTB No 180 on takeover of the MBCTT, and it was withdrawn from service in 1959 and stored. It was exchanged in 1969 to the TMSV for T class No 182, which was subsequently scrapped, and the truck reclaimed by the TMSV for use under Geelong No 22.

It received no major modifications during its life, except for the fitting of a standard destination box. It is of unusual design, being a single truck drop end combination car with arch roof, but its main interest is in the design of truck, which is a Brill Radiax. The objective of this design was to remove one of the major disadvantages of single truck cars over double bogie cars, in that single truck cars do not travel smoothly around sharp curves. The Brill Radiax truck has pivoting axles within the truck, which results in a quality of ride of comparable quality to double bogie cars. However, the extra complication required in the truck to achieve this outcome, together with the ease of maintenance of bogies, meant that this radical design was ultimately unsuccessful in the market place. The only other use of this truck design in Victoria was with the Geelong Pengelley tramcars.

No 180 was allocated to a number of depots during its life, including Coburg, Glenhuntly, Brunswick and Footscray.

This tramcar is currently on loan to the Victorian Government as part of the Heritage Tramcar Fleet, and is fully operational.

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Last updated 22 September 2004.
Content copyright © Russell Jones 2001-4. Reproduced with permission.