Latest News - Restoration of SW5 849

849 restoration image 9

Daniel Edwards removing the paint from the saloon panels of SW5 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith

849 restoration image 10

Kym Smith removing the last of the paint from around the rivets on the saloon panels of SW5 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith

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The newly installed offside bell blocks and the freshly painted ceiling in SW5 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith

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Anthony Smith installing the marker light housings on the apron of SW5 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


The newly installed apron at the #2 end of SW5 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith



Frank Schroeders and Anthony Smith steam clean the underside of 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


Anthony Smith overhauls the door pistons for 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


Anthony Smith and Arthur Ireland test fit a resized sliding door into 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


John Withers refits a handrail to the dropcentre gangway of 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


Anthony Smith installs the overhauled pneumatic equipment for the sliding doors on 849.

Photo – Jacqui Smith


26 November 2011 –

The refurbishment of SW5 849 is progressing steadily as time allows, though it still remains a secondary project to the two main projects – W3 663 and the track reconstruction.

Needless to say though, the recent winter months have limited the amount of outdoor work that could been done, resulting in a number of days of work being done on 849, the most visible being the removal of the paint from all four saloon panels and the sanding back of the dropcentre panels and aprons.

It was found necessary to remove the paint from the saloon panels rather than sanding it back, as the galvanised panels installed on the tram in its later years in service had not been adequately primed, resulting in the paint flaking from the panel.  Some test patches were rubbed back, but it soon became evident that the best course of action was to completely strip the panels and to start again with a completely new primer coat.

Inside the tram, a number of the timber beadings have been removed and revarnished in preparation for refitting, and the ceilings and upper bulkheads have been repainted.

Externally in addition to the work on the panels, timber mouldings on one window sill and one cab doorway have been removed for replacement, and a badly scratched cab window has also been removed for replacement.

Additional pictures of the work being undertaken on 849 can be seen by clicking here.

23 April 2011 –

Work has resumed on SW5 849 with the offside bell blocks being fitted to the driver’s cabins, and the painting of the cabin interiors being completed.

Additional pictures of the work being undertaken on 849 can be seen by clicking here.

1 January 2011 –

With most efforts being concentrated on W3 663, the track reconstruction, the Carbarn extension and other site works, SW5 849 has taken a bit of a back seat during 2010.

Some minor work was still carried out though, including removing the painted glasses from the drivers bulkheads, and refitting the marker light housings onto the aprons.

25 February 2010 –

A replacement #2 end apron was recently fitted to SW5 849, with work now progressing on fitting the multiple head and tail light assemblies.

The apron fitted is one from SW5 809 that was re-rolled to the correct curvature, and sandblasted and primed before installation.  Anthony Smith, Frank Schroeders and Daniel Edwards tackled the installation of the apron panel.

Meanwhile, Jacqui Smith and John Withers have been preparing the multiple head and tail light assemblies for installation.

Additional pictures of the work being undertaken on 849 can be seen by clicking here.

20 December 2009 –

The current on-site restoration project at Haddon involves completing a minor overhaul of SW5 849 to enable it to enter passenger-carrying service.

When 849 arrived at Haddon, it was missing a number of doors and windows that had been removed for use on other SW5 Class trams remaining in service in Melbourne. 

Replacement doors and windows were selected from those removed from the body of sister tram 843, and these have been sized to fit.

After ten years of sitting idle at Preston Workshops, most of the seals in the door pistons had failed, and these pistons have now been fully overhauled and are being replaced back into 849.

Work still to be completed on 849 includes:

  • fitting a replacement apron to the #2 end of 849, to replace the existing one which had some panel damage;
  • carrying out some minor body filling repairs to the exterior of the tram;
  • repainting as necessary;
  • re varnishing the interior timber components;
  • repainting the floor;
  • completing calibration checks of electrical and pneumatic components as part of 849’s Lifting and Commissioning Service;
  • fitting offside external mirrors;
  • fitting offside conductors bells;
  • refurbishment of a set of timber dropcentre seats;
  • selecting and fitting suitable seat squabs for the each saloon; and
  • test running for acceptance tests and for driver training purposes.


With 663 being undertaken as a parallel project, it is expected that work on 849 will continue for a number of months, possibly until the end of 2010.

As work progresses on 849, further updates will be provided.  Technical details for 849 can be found on its page in the Our Tramcars section of the website, or by clicking here to link directly to the page.

Donations towards the overhaul of 849 will be gratefully received, with donations of $2.00 or more being tax deductible.  Contact details for sending donations can be found on our Contact Us page.

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