MMTB L Class Tram No. 103


103 awaits its next run from the Carbarn to the Upper Terminus on 20 September 2008. 

Photo courtesy Robert Wilson


In this quintessential image, 103 is about to pass a horse drawn milk cart as it prepares to turn from Flinders Lane into William Street on 4 December 1967. 

Photo courtesy Glen G Mills


Breakdown wagon R10 rescues 103 after it inadvertently entered a section of William Street in which the overhead had been isolated on 23 March 1975. 

Photo courtesy Graeme Farrar


103 proceeds along Matthews Avenue on its way back to Essendon Depot in 1971. 

Photo courtesy Mal Rowe


L 103 being painted as part of its overhaul. Photo Anthony Smith 

L Class tram 103 was built in 1921 by James Moore & Sons Pty Ltd as one of six trams numbered 101 to 106.  The L Class were ordered by the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust in 1919, but were not delivered until after the formation of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board.

When built, the L Class dropcentre section differed in that it had four doorway openings, similar to the Adelaide F and F1 Type trams.  The dropcentre sections were rebuilt during the early 1930’s to resemble the layout of the W2 Class trams, with the dropcentre floor also being raised slightly during the mid 1940’s to equalise the step heights into the tram.
L 103 was acquired by the Association on the 26 May 1982 after having run a total of 1,793,116 miles in service in Melbourne.

When acquired from Melbourne, the GE247 motors and the DH 16 compressor were retained by the MMTB as spares for the W series trams in its fleet.  The Association set about modifying the Brill 77E trucks to accommodate MV101A/AN motors from W2 class tram 222, and also sourced a DH16 compressor allowing L 103 to become mobile again in December 2002.

Restoration works on L 103 were completed in March 2008, with 103 being returned to its late 1950’s/early 1960's appearance featuring green window pillars, gold pinstriping, numbers to the sides of the headlights, and numbers and logos on the saloon panels.

The restoration work undertaken on 103 was recognised by our peers, with COTMA awarding 103 an Achievement Award at its 2008 Conference in Launceston.

The following are L 103’s current technical details and specifications:

Builder – James Moore & Sons Pty Ltd
Entered Service – 1921
Length – 13.87 metres (45ft, 6in)
Height – 3.21 metres (10ft, 6 ½in)
Width – 2.78 metres (9ft, 1 ½in)
Weight – 17.85 tonnes (17.5 tons)
Seated Passengers – 48
Trucks – Brill pattern 77E, 28” solid disc wheels
Traction Motors – 4 x 30 kW (40HP) Metropolitan Vickers MV101A/AN
Controllers – General Electric K35AA2
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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