Sydney R No 1845
This tramcar was one of 195 R class tramcars built for use in Sydney and North Sydney in 1933-5. These tramcars were the first closed corridor saloon tramcars built for use in Sydney, being an example of the classic Australian drop centre bogie design.
There was significant influence from the M&MTB in the design of this tramcar, which was contemporaneous with the W3 and W4 class tramcars. This influence is particularly strong with regard to the running gear, such as the general bogie design, brake layout and type of motors used.
It is widely thought amongst tramcar aficionados that the Sydney R class were the most attractive tramcars ever built in Australia. However, they were criticised on entry into service due to the relatively small number of seats in comparison to the crossbench cars used in Sydney up until that time. This lead to a revision of the design into the R1 class, which were the last design built for Sydney use, for a total of 155 tramcars.
1845 spent some time allocated to Waverley Depot in the latter part of its life, running to destinations such as the beachside suburbs of Bondi and Bronte, so it can actually be said to have shot through like a Bondi tram.
All R class tramcars were withdrawn from passenger service in Sydney between 1958 and 1960. The body of 1845 was sold to a resident of Croydon, spending the next few decades in a backyard of that Melbourne suburb. The State Government later acquired the body of 1845 for potential display in a transport museum during the 1990s, but as this has not proceeded has placed it on loan to the TMSV.
The TMSV plans to restore this tramcar to operating condition, using equipment from scrapped Melbourne W5 tramcars.
Content copyright © Russell Jones 2001-3. Reproduced with permission.