W4 Class 670

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W4 670 departs from the Upper Terminus, descending down the hill towards the Carbarn.

Photo courtesy Mal Rowe

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W4 670 crosses Princes Bridge on its way to South Melbourne Beach in December 1966.

Photo courtesy Glen G Mills

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670 arrives at the Upper Terminus while running in service as part of the COTMA Conference visit on 19 November 2006. 

Photo courtesy Troy Thomas

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Awaiting its next turn of duty, 670 rests in front of 5 Road alongside VR 41. 

Photo courtesy Robert Wilson

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670 seen heading back to the City from South Melbourne Beach along Clarendon Street. 

Photo – Anthony Smith collection

W4 class tram 670 was one of five trams numbered 670 to 674, and entered service in Melbourne on the 13 November 1933. It was withdrawn and stored on 23 April 1976 having run a total of 1,508,696 miles.

The W4 class were the next evolution to the dropcentre design, and were the first of the ‘wide body’ trams to be constructed – the predecessors of the later sliding door variants of W series trams. They, like the W3 class trams, were also fitted with large 33-inch diameter wheels in an attempt to provide a smoother and quieter ride.

The W4 Class were somewhat unpopular with tram crews for a couple of reasons.  The curved sides in the dropcentre, while stylish made it difficult for the running board to be observed clearly using the step mirrors.  The truck-mounted brake cylinders also had a tendency to give slightly inconsistent braking, especially when compared to later W series trams, and so poor braking was often blamed for accidents that occurred with these trams.

The W4 class were stored in 1968 as a result of their unpopularity, not returning to service because of a defect that was found in the structural integrity of the No.9 trucks under the W3 and W4 class trams.

W4 670 was the first tram to be completely restored by the Association, and has been restored back to its 1950's condition.  Many fittings needed to be made throughout the course of the restoration work on this tram, such as the construction and fitting of new side destination boxes which had been removed in the late 1950’s.

The following are W4 670’s current technical details and specifications:

Builder – MMTB
Entered Service – 13 November 1933
Length – 14.02 metres (46ft, 0in)
Height – 3.15 metres (10ft, 4in)
Width – 2.74 metres (9ft, 0in)
Weight – 16.72 tonnes (16.4 tons)
Seated Passengers – 48
Trucks – MMTB No. 9, 33” tyred wheels
Traction Motors – 4 x Metropolitan Vickers MV101 AZ
Line Breaker – General Electric Type D.B. 276
Brake Valves – Westinghouse Type “W” Self Lapping
Air Compressor – Westinghouse D.H. 16
Compressor Governor – General Electric Type ML
Braking System – Compressed air and hand applied
Maximum Acceleration – 2.5 M.P.H. per second
Maximum Design Gradient – 8.5 %
Lighting Circuits – 3 circuits each with 6 x 100 volt series lamps
Trolley Bases – MMTB

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