Tuesday, April 13, 2021

No wheels, lol

How extraordinary. Yarra Trams has run out of new wheels for the ageing Z and B model trams and so has reduced peak services as there are insufficient trams with sound wheels to operate the full service. Radio 3AW explains it here.

Apparently it is beyond Australia's, a huge iron ore exporter, capability to make a steel wheel and we import tram wheels. From where you may wonder? One of the great tram cities of the world such as Budapest, Amsterdam, Prague, Moscow? Even maybe cities with more modern trams/light rails like the US, UK and France? The Middle East even.

No, from the great tram country known as South Africa, which as far as I know doesn't have trams. 

We have the trams, we have the tracks, we have the wires, we have the staff, but our trams don't have wheels. You really wouldn't read about such incompetence. 

28 comments:

  1. It is an embarrassment isn't it?

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    1. EC, I think very embarrassing to Yarra Trams.

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  2. The wheels were probably a dollar cheaper that way. When the DC subway system was built in the 1970's they ordered a complete set of spare parts. About a decade ago a new "manager" ordered them to scrap anything that hadn't been needed in 30 years. Included in that was the one and only in the world, replacement electrical transformer for the aging system. A year later one of the transformers caught fire, the reason you keep a replacement in stock.

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    1. Travel, yes cheaper to buy from overseas to order, but not enough were ordered. There has been a loss of skills in my country and yours, adding to what you say about the DC system. HUP! Hold up on Parts.

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  3. Unbelievable! Almost 😉

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    1. Grace, I hope your bus tyres are being well look after.

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  4. My husband works for a company which makes compressors for pipelines. They make some components of the compressors, but then they ship the things to India or some such place, to have them do some assembly and then they ship them back to the company to be finished, and then once again they are shipped out all over the world: Australia, UAE, Germany... When you figure that these things are HUGE, and that each time they are shipped, huge boxes are built around them that could house a family in a 3rd world country, the waste is staggering. It really is no wonder that the plant is in financial trouble.

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    1. Debby, Global Village I suppose but it is hard see the economics in it all. Btw, somewhat less the 1/4 of our tram fleet are Siemens and about 1/4 of our trains are Siemens. Siemens have quite a large presence here.

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  5. Always about immediate price. Cheaper to have them made elsewhere. No-one costs delays apparently

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    1. Bob, no doubt but what happened to spare part stock control? YT will probably save money by not running a few trams.

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  6. How bizarre. Must be cheaper to make them in South Africa, for whatever reason.

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    1. I Agree And For Whatever Reason - If This Would Have Been The Answer On Jeopardy, South Africa Would Have Never Landed On My Radar - Be Well Brother Drew

      Cheers

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    2. For sure Steve, but South Africa is odd. Why would it have the expertise? And where does its raw iron come from?

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    3. Padre, nor would I have ever guessed.

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  7. Knock knock.
    Who's there?
    Wheel.
    Wheel who?
    Wheel get back to you with an answer to your question.

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    1. You are so helpful Cynthia and I am amused.

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  8. The crazy economics and trade deals. We ship our local fish catches to China for processing. It drives me mad.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, we do the same to China and Vietnam and they send it back.

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  9. Replies
    1. Sandra, stronger words came from me when I stopped laughing.

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  10. It seems to be the same story everywhere!

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    1. Pat, the global village is all very well isn't it, until the supply chain goes wrong, as we have discovered during COVID.

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  11. We have our own steel works right here in South Australia, at Whyalla, yet that company is in financial strife, for some reason I don't remember. Perhaps they need a contract for tram wheels?

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    1. River, it would be quite highly mechanised now, so you would think it would need a lot of staff and there be a really high wage component. I didn't realise that company was still in trouble. It's been going on for years, it seems.

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  12. Sadly Australia doesn't have much manufacturing which they should have not only to create employment but also to be more self-sufficient.

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    1. Sami, so true, and we as a country have been so de-skilled.

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  13. Dudley Horscroft3:55 pm

    But surely the wheels on our Z nd B class trams are the same as those on the A class? Solid hub on the axle, the rubber inserts and the push on tyres. It is the tyres that wear, not the hubs.

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    1. I would have thought so Dudley. I know of one tram where the tyre came off while it was carrying passengers.

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Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.