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Repainting W2 249

After 18 years of wearing a makeshift “what if” colour scheme for a proposed tourist tramway in Canberra that never eventuated, the museum’s Melbourne W2 class tram No. 249 will be receiving a well deserved repaint back into the traditional MMTB Green and Cream colour scheme it wore for much of its service life. The tram will represent the early version of this colour scheme, known for having features such as green windows, gold lining, deep brunswick green bumpers and the placement of the car number and MMTB logo on the end saloon panels. The marker lights, which were a later 1970’s addition, will be removed. Work is expected to continue over the next few months heading into the new year.

2019

13th November

16th November

20th November

Work continues on removing the decals, whilst the task of sanding back the paint begins on at least one end saloon panel.

30th November

Photo by Michael Hatton

Surface preparation continues on 249’s exterior, whilst it is in the workshop for light re-wiring and marker light removal.

4th December

Whilst work starts on end apron refurbishment and repairs, Ian Hanson and Chris Jacobs have simultaneously begun applying undercoat to the windows and tram body, using a special mixture that Ian has made up himself. It is said to be comprised of 50% primer, 50% paint and 20% Turpentine.

18th December

Progress has continued on the undercoating, with Richard Jones, Ian Hanson and Vic Solomons undertaking much of this task. End apron repairs have also continued with many holes now filled in, and corroded edges treated with rust killer.

21st December

Further undercoating has been completed by Vic Solomons. Both sides of the tram are now complete, with progress on the roof fascia and end aprons continuing.

2020

11th January

A new year has begun and much progress has been achieved in the past few weeks. Further coats of primer have been applied, holes have been filled in on both end aprons, and sanding back of the upper-half of the tram around the window frames has begun.

15th January

The first coat of MMTB green has been applied to one side of the roof fascia by Ian Hanson (this also includes one of the route number boxes above the driver’s cab). All holes in the end aprons have now been filled in and undercoating continues.

18th January

22nd January

25th January

1st February

Ian Hanson continues the task of applying the first coat of MMTB Green to the tram, with one end apron, the exteriors of two cab doors, and one half of the end saloon panels being attended to so far.

5th February

The second route number box and the other half of the roof fascia, have both received their first top coat of MMTB Green; completing what was started on the other half of the roof three weeks ago. Ian Hanson and Chris Jacobs continue to make good progress on painting the lower half of the tram, with one of the end saloon panels, drop-centre doorways, and one side of the under-frame, all receiving their first coast of green.

15th February

19th February

The first top coat of MMTB Green has now been applied to the majority of 249; only a few panels are still to receive their first coat. In addition, Richard Jones, Vic Solomons and Chris Jacobs, have also been painting the first top coats of MMTB Cream and Deep Brunswick Green, to the drop-centre compartments, the window frames on one end saloon, and the end bumper bars respectively.

22nd February

26th February

Vic Solomons continues to apply the first coat of MMTB Cream to the tram.

2020

7th March

249 is now sitting at the back of Road 1 in the running shed again, after being moved out of the workshop to make way for PCC 1014. The change in the car’s appearance is especially apparent when compared to what it looked like only 4 months ago.

18th March

The second coat of MMTB Green has now been applied to one side of the tram. Work continues on re-painting the interior of both driver’s cabs, including driver’s doors and windows.

9th May

13th May

The second coat of MMTB Green is now finished, with only minor finishes and touch ups left to complete. In the meantime, Ian Hanson has begun work on applying the second coat of MMTB Cream.

20th May

27th May

Ian has completed the second coat of MMTB Cream. Additionally, museum member Joesph Spinella has made a return to Loftus for volunteering purposes, in order to apply the gold lining on the exterior panels. This was completed by the end of the day, with Joe planning to return later in order to apply the tram number and MMTB crest decals*. Work also continues on reinstalling the windows in the end saloons.

As the repaint comes closer to completion, only a handful of jobs still need to be attended to, including touch ups of the green and cream; particularly around the edges, the installation of saloon seat bolsters, a re-varnish of interior window corners, the re-painting of exterior handrails, drivers cab interiors and steps, footboards, lifeguards, interior floors, trolley poles and bogies in their respective colours, and the installation of W2 drop centre step treads.

*Interestingly, these decals, along with the gold lining, came from our friends at the Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Society in Haddon, Victoria, and were brought up to Loftus by Scott Curnow last March. We thank the society for their contribution.

2020

3rd June

Ian Hanson continues to do touch ups around the car whilst Vic Solomons repaints the handrails silver. All saloon windows have now been reinstalled.

11th June

Joe Spinella has applied the tram number and MMTB emblem decals onto the car saloon panels and driver’s aprons respectively.

17th June

A protective coat of gloss varnish has been applied to the handrails of the car, with work on repainting the drop centre footboards and drivers cab floors in grey, also now underway.

24th June

Repainting is now in the final stages of completion, with current works mainly concentrating on minor paint touch ups to the exterior. Saloon seat bolsters are also being prepared for eventual installation, and work is underway on preparing the interior floors for a repaint into the correct MMTB colours of the era.

27th June

Work continues on touch ups to the car, as repainting of the interior floors begin.

1st July

4th July

Exterior touch ups continue, as the saloon floors are painted back into their original scheme of “Forest Green”. The trolley poles have also been repainted.

8th July

Seat bolsters are being stained in the workshop, before they are eventually coated with a protective gloss varnish. Repainting of the drop-centre floor has also been carried out, with a return to the original colour scheme of “aircraft grey” (with “forest green” under the seats).

11th July

18th July

Bill Parkinson has spray painted the bogies and lifeguards black, as minor touch ups around the car progress. Work concerning the drop centre floor also continues, as Melbourne W2 step treads are painted and installed, and finishing touches are applied around the “Forest Green” squares under the seats.

Photo by Michael Hatton

Saloon seat bolsters are also placed in their final positions before installation.

249 sits on the depot fan, as it nears the end of its repaint.

25th July

2020

18th September

The repaint of 249 has been complete for the past two months, however this is the first time the car has had the opportunity to be out in the open for a while, which allows for the opportunity to get a good overall view of the finished result. Needless to say, the tram is looking remarkable.

17th October

22nd November – Postscript

W2 249 is now back in normal museum service and has continued to be proven popular with the general public. Video below shows the car doing a run towards Loftus Junction after returning from Sutherland.

Video by Michael Hatton
Photo by Michael Hatton