M&MTB W1 No 427
This tramcar was constructed in 1927 by the M&MTB, being one of the thirty strong W1 class. The major difference between the W1 and W class was the drop centre arrangement. The W1 was open in the drop centre with two longitudinal flip-over wooden seats. The objective of this was to provide comparable loading times to the cable trams then being phased out of service, as well as provide a tramcar which would be more popular during the warmer summer months.
However, the design was not successful, compromising safety in regular traffic, and was unpopular during winter due to limited protection from the weather. Subsequently all W1 class tramcars were converted to either W2 class form or to SW2 class trams. No 427 underwent this treatment in 1937, emerging as a W2 class tramcar.
The flip over seats from some of the former W1 class tramcars found their way to the lunch room at South Melbourne Depot, where they were used for many years until they were acquired by the TMSV.
No 427 provided service from Coburg and Essendon Depots during its life.
This tramcar was acquired by the TMSV in 1985, and was reconverted to W1 form at Preston Workshops in 1986 by courtesy of a Victorian State Government grant  to commemorate 100 years of trams in Melbourne. The Government was so pleased with the result that it decided to reconvert for its own use another former W1 class tramcar, No 431, back to the same condition using flip over seats from the TMSV, and that car now forms part of the Heritage Fleet.
It is intended to keep No 427 in the original M&MTB chocolate and cream livery.
Content copyright © Russell Jones 2001-5. Reproduced with permission.