Content copyright © Tramway Museum Society of Victoria Inc.  Reproduced with permission.


Home













































The Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board was a statutory authority that was responsible for the tram network in Melbourne, between 1919 and 1983. It was formed by the merger of the Melbourne Tramways Board along with a number of smaller tramway trusts and companies from throughout the city.


The M&MTB's main maintenance facility was Preston Workshops, with depots at Brunswick, Camberwell, Coburg, East Preston, Essendon, Footscray, Glenhuntly, Hawthorn, Kew, Malvern, North Fitzroy, South Melbourne (Hanna Street), and Thornbury.


L Class 101

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1921 (PMTT)

Withdrawn: 1980 (1969 from regular service)

Preserved: 1982 THC Bylands


This tramcar 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, No. 34 is the TMSV's example). The drop centre was rebuilt from a four door format into the standard W2 three door form. This class of tramcars was the widest ever used in Melbourne, and were used as the basis for the W class design.


Photo: David Featherstone




S Class 164

Single truck combination car

In Service: 1916 (MBCTT)

Withdrawn: 1962

Preserved: 1963 TMSV (On loan to the Hawthorn Tram Museum)


Originally built for the MBCTT, it was taken over by the M&MTB and renumber to 164. It is a single truck drop end open California combination car, but is significantly different in appearance to most other of its era, as it was constructed with an arch roof. It received no major modifications during its life with the exception of fitting of a standard destination box. Along with T No 180, it is the only surviving ex-MBCTT tramcar.


Photo: Ron Scholten Collection




T Class 180

Single truck combination car

In Service: 1917 (MBCTT)

Withdrawn: 1959

Preserved: 1969 TMSV (On loan to the Hawthorn Tram Museum


This tramcar was built for the MBCTT. It was renumber to M&MTB No 180 on takeover of the MBCTT, and it was withdrawn from service in 1959 and stored. Its only major modifications was the fitting of a standard destination box. It is an unusual design, being a single truck drop end combination car with arch roof, with a Brill Radiax truck. The Brill Radiax truck has pivoting axles within the truck, which results in a quality of ride comparable to double bogie cars.


Photo: Mal Rowe




X Class 217

Single truck Birney car

In Service: 1924

Withdrawn: 1957

Preserved: 1963 TMSV (On loan to the Hawthorn Tram Museum)


This tramcar is one of two imported from the United States in 1923. Several thousand were constructed in the USA between 1915 and 1926, only a few survive today. Birneys were designed to provide a tram which was cheap to construct and could be operated economically on low density routes by one man. Birneys were the first Melbourne trams with air operated doors. It was mainly used on the Hawthorn and Point Ormond routes, and all over Melbourne as an all-night car. It was withdrawn in February 1957, when all-night tram services were discontinued.


Photo: Mal Rowe




X1 Class 467

Single truck saloon car

In Service: 1928

Withdrawn: 1962

Preserved: 1963; at THC Bylands since 1971


This tramcar is one of ten trams build by the M&MTB for use on the isolated Footscray tramway system. They were basically a copy of the Birney tramcars imported in 1923, the major difference being the rear door on each side of the tramcar, along with upholstered seats. It spent some time on the main system between 1954 -7 as an all-night car. It was withdrawn on closure of the Footscray system on 10 March 1962. It has been at Bylands since 1971, with the occasional trip back to Melbourne for tours.


Photo: Noel Reed




X2 Class 680

Single truck saloon car

In Service: 1930

Withdrawn: 1963 (Originally to Mr Waverley then sold to the TMSV)

Preserved: THC Bylands


This car and the other five members of it's "X2" class were, like the "X1" cars were also built as Safety Cars for one-man operation. No. 680 begun its public service on the Footscray lines during 1930, but originally carried the number 674 for its first four years. It was the only member of its class to carry the chocolate and cream livery.





Y1 Class 612

Bogie Peter Witt saloon car

In Service: 1930

Withdrawn: 1990 (1965 from regular service)

Preserved: 2005 THC Bylands (On loan from the State Government)


This tramcar is one of four of its class built by the M&MTB at Preston Workshops. It is a double-ended version of the Peter Witt design from Cleveland in 1915. It was designed primarily to reducing fare evasion, with passengers boarding via the front door and exiting via the central door. Meaning every passenger had to pass a conductor behind the driver. The union object to its potential for one man operation. After withdrawal in 1965, it was used when there was a car shortage and for driver training during 1982-90.


Photo: David Featherstone



PCC Class 980

2 door, bogie saloon car

In Service: 1950

Withdrawn: 1971

Preserved: 1982 THC Bylands


In 1938 the M&MTB obtained the Australian licence to import PCC patented technology and proposed to import a PCC tramcar for evaluation in Melbourne. In 1949 PCC trucks and control equipment was imported, instead of a complete PCC. A modified SW6 body was built for this equipment in 1950. It was to be the prototype for tramcars built for the conversion of Bourke Street bus routes to electric tram routes, but this did not eventuate due to financial constraints. It was withdrawn from service in May 1971, later having equipment removed for the Z class prototype.


Photo: David Featherstone




W Class 220

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1923

Converted to W2 Class: 1928

Preserved: 1982 THC Bylands


This tram was one of two prototype W class trams, built at the M&MTB Holden Street Workshops in North Fitzroy. These cars formed the basis of the internationally recognised symbol of Melbourne, the W class tramcar, over 750 W's were built. They were designed to be easily mass produced, due to the conversion of cable tram lines to electric and a planned massive expansion of the Melbourne system which unfortunately did not eventuate. All 200 W class tramcars were converted to the W2 style drop centre between 1928 and 1933.


Photo: David Featherstone





W1 Class 427

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1927

Converted to W2 Class: 1937

Preserved: 1985 THC Bylands


This tramcar was constructed by the M&MTB. The W1 was open in the drop centre with two longitudinal flip over seats. This was to provide comparable loading times to the cable trams, and provide a tramcar which would be more popular during summer months. The design was unsuccessful, compromising safety in traffic, and was unpopular during winter due to its open sides. Subsequently all W1 class tramcars were converted to W2 class or SW2 class trams. It was reconverted to a W1 at Preston Workshops in 1986, courtesy of a Victorian State Government grant to commemorate 100 years of trams in Melbourne.


Photo: Greg Dixon




W2 Class's; 323, 509, 643, 646

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1925 as a W Class(323), 1928(509), 1930(643,646)

Withdrawn: 1986(323), 1984(509), 1986(643), (646)

Preserved: THC Bylands (323 & 646 on loan from the State Government), (509; on loan from John Spiegelman), (643; THC )


We have four W2 class trams, three being built as W2's and one converted from a W. For fifty years the W2 class was the dominant type in use on the Melbourne system, with a total number of 406 tramcars, both as built and conversions from other types. They were intrduced in the mid to late 20's with most being phased out of service in the 80's, 646 was the last W2 in service being retired in 1988 after 60 years of service.


Photo: Mal Rowe




SW2 Class 644

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1953 (converted from W2 Class)

Withdrawn: 1987

Preserved: 1987 THC Bylands (On loan from the State Government)


This tramcar was built in 1930 as a late series W2 type tramcar. However, in the early 1950’s it was seriously damaged in an accident and placed out of service. In 1953 it was radically rebuilt to as a sliding door saloon car, basically modelled on the W7 class then being designed, and classified as an SW2 class. It was intended to be the prototype for the mass conversion of all W2 type tramcars to this format, this did not proceed due to high cost of conversion and lack of finance.


Photo: David Featherstone




W3 Class 667

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1934

Withdrawn: 1976

Preserved: 1976 THC Bylands


This tramcar was built by the M&MTB at Preston Workshops, one of 16 cars built over five years. Building time was extended by the depression. To reduce building costs, wheel and axle sets from scrapped single truck tramcars were used and plywood used for the roof. These were the first tramcars built by the M&MTB to have a completely steel frame. The W3 design was unpopular with both passengers and drivers. All remaining W3 tramcars were withdrawn in 1969 due to union opposition. This tramcar was the first to operate under power at Bylands.


Photo: David Featherstone




W4 Class 673

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1934

Withdrawn: 1968

Preserved: 1976 THC Bylands

Special: Decorated & illuminated for the Centenary of Victoria in 1934, for the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935, & for the Jubilee of the City of Preston in 1935.


The unpopularity of the W3 lead to the reduction in the order of 20 W3 tramcars to 16. This tramcar was one of the last four, built to a modified design; W4, the order was extended five. They were a wider tramcar, set lower, leading to a reduction in step height. The seating departed from longitudinal saloon seats. They proved unpopular to drivers, as they had the poor braking of the W3's, which led the union to press for their withdrawal, which was done in 1968.


Photo: Richard Jones




SW5 Class 739

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1935 as a W5 Class

Modification to SW5: 1976 & 1986

Preserved: 1993 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar was one of 120 W5's built by the M&MTB Preston Workshops, with an additional 5 tramcars being converted from CW5's. The W5 was the final of the three door, canvas blind W's. All subsequent W's were sliding door trams. In 1976 this tramcar was involved in a W5 upgrade plan, closing the narrow centre doorways and installing upholstered seats in the drop centre. It was upgraded in 1986 as part of a program to convert W5 tramcars to SW5 class, involving a rebuild, including sliding doors.


Photo: Bob Merchant




W5 Class 782

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1936

Withdrawn: Unknown

Preserved: 1991 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar was built as a W5 class tramcar. As such, it was similar to its sister tramcars in the Society's museum, Nos 739 and 795, but received no major modifications during its lifetime, remaining as a three door W5 canvas blind tramcar until its withdrawal. The only modifications it received were replacement during the 1960's of the original square cornered drivers windshields with round cornered windshields with half drop windows, as fitted to SW5 class and later tramcars, together with application of marker lights in the 1970's.


Photo: Richard Jones




W5 Class 795

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1937

Withdrawn: Unknown

Preserved: 1991 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar's history is much like that of 782 until 1975, when it received the modification to two door status, as also occurred to No 739. In 1986, it was to become the 84th mid 1980's conversion to a SW5, but the program was halted after some minor work was carried out. It then reverted back to its status as a two door W5.


Photo: Mal Rowe




SW6 Class 887

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1943

Withdrawn: Unknown

Preserved: 1994 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar is one of 120 SW6's built by the M&MTB Preston Workshops. These tramcars were a notable advance over previous W type tramcars, fitted with sliding doors and making greater use of steel in their construction. These tramcars were built with dash canopy lighting, instead of the standard central headlight, this design was unsuccessful, and all SW6's were later modified to the standard headlight. The first 40 SW6's had flip over seats in the end saloons. Most other SW6 type tramcars, including this one, were modified in the mid 1970's, to the the same seating layout as initial SW5's, but with brown upholstery and extensive use of laminex in the interior.


Photo: Mal Rowe




SW6 Class 902

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1945

Withdrawn: Unknown

Preserved: 1991 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


No 902 was built in 1945 by the M&MTB Preston Workshops. It's history is similar to that of No 887, but it was fitted with bus type seats in the saloons rather than flip over seats. This tramcar is the only sliding door tramcar to retain its interior unmodified in as built condition, retaining saloon bus type seats with green upholstery and wooden drop centre seats. All other sliding door tramcars built by the M&MTB were modified to some extent.


Photo: David Featherstone




W6 Class 996

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1955

Withdrawn: 1991

Preserved: 1991 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar was built in 1955 by the M&MTB Preston Workshops. Originally classified as an SW6 type tramcar, it was reclassified as a W6 following its reequipment along with 29 other SW6's with resilient wheels, double helical gears and sound proofing as in the W7 class, for service on Bourke Street routes. Until the introduction of Z class tramcars in 1975, W6's were restricted to the Bourke Street routes, which were regarded as the premier routes in Melbourne and were served exclusively by the newest tramcars until the introduction of A class tramcars in 1984.


Photo: David Featherstone




W7 Class 1001

Bogie drop-centre saloon car

In Service: 1955

Withdrawn: 1991

Preserved: 1991 THC Bylands (on loan from the State Government)


This tramcar was the class leader of the W7's, the culmination of thirty three years of W design. W7's were built for the conversion of the Bourke Street routes from bus to tram. The original order was for 70 W7's, but was reduced to 40 due to a change of state government, and resulting change in policy. These tramcars were made as quiet as possible, due to objections that trams were noisy. They were fitted with resilient wheels, double helical gears and soundproofing. They had fully upholstered seats. W7 trams served almost exclusively on the Bourke Street routes until 1975.


Photo: Greg Dixon




Z1 Class 5

All-electric bogie car

In Service: 1975

Withdrawn: 2003

Preserved: 2003 THC Bylands


The Z class trams were introduced in 1975, the first series of new trams since 1955. They are based on the Peter Witt style Gothenberg M28 tram, being very similar to PCC 1041, and were built by Comeng. They were fitted with conductor’s consoles, to allay union fears of one man operation. The introduction of heating was popular. This tram was used to test modifications to improve ride quality. The modifications were successful, with all Z's modified and reclassified Z1. Z's 1-5 entered service on 30 April 1975, on the Bourke St routes, the first to be converted to Z class operation.


Photo: David Langley