New technical evaluation & report


In 2006, John Smatlak, principal of Railway Preservation Resources, Los Angeles CA was retained by Newstead Tramcars Pty.Ltd. to evaluate its first rebuilt X-1 car, and to prepare a report detailing the car and its suitability for U.S. operation.

“We were duly impressed with the professional rebuilding performed by Bendigo Tramways, and had the opportunity to operate the car on the heritage system at Ballarat. Having previously gone through the rigorous Victorian Government certification process, the car already meets the majority of the recently established APTA Vintage Trolley Equipment Criteria. With a total of three cars of the same type available, it could provide an excellent start-up fleet for a new operator”.

The full X-1 report can be downloaded via the link above. Excerpts below are from the RPR Executive Summary:-

“The car is essentially an Australian version of the standard US single truck “Birney” type car, the primary difference being a somewhat more robust steel frame, and doorways at each corner. The majority of the car’s mechanical components are refurbished vintage equipment, and all major systems use service-proven apparatus sourced primarily from Melbourne W-class trolleys.”

“The car has been professionally restored throughout, and presents an excellent appearance. The restoration work was performed under contract by Bendigo Tramways. Bendigo Tramways is a well-established operation and offers appropriately skilled staff and facilities for both restoration and operational testing. This close association with Bendigo Tramways also facilitates Newstead Tramcars’ ability to supply any needed spare parts. The car’s restoration also took advantage of several modern products to provide flexible door controls and interlocks, as well as LED flashers, turn signals and stop lights appropriate for in-street operation.”

“Being a single truck high-floor car, ADA access is probably best provided using platform-based lifts. The car’s front doorways open up to just over 33 inches, meeting the minimum requirements for wheelchair access. Access to the car’s platforms can thus be achieved with some minor modifications (primarily the provision of a smooth floor surface). Access could be further enhanced by modifying the car’s platforms to eliminate the 4 inch interior step up into the passenger compartment. This would provide a level floor throughout the vehicle. Newstead Tramcars advise that they are willing to quote this work as an option.”

“The report also provides a detailed evaluation of the car against the recently released APTA “Heritage Trolley Vehicle Equipment Standard”. Although local conditions must always be evaluated to determine the suitability of any piece of rolling stock to a particular operation, we can note that Car 466 has already been fitted with the majority of the necessary equipment required by the new Standard, and in our opinion can easily be retrofitted to achieve full compliance. The car had previously been certified by the Victorian Government Department of Infrastructure standards for operation in city streets in Australia. Newstead Tramcars advises that they are “keen to assist purchasers with any and all equipment needed to make the cars APTA compliant”, and are able to provide quotes for any equipment needed to adapt the cars to a particular US operation.”



“In summary, Car 466 is a professionally restored trolley that can quickly be ready for operation on a US Heritage Trolley system. With a total of three cars of the same type available, it could provide an excellent start-up fleet for a new operator, or enhance an existing fleet.”

Newstead Tramcars Pty. Ltd. are happy to offer these value-adding OPTIONS for the X-1 streetcars:-
US $55,000.
Ducted, reverse-cycle air-conditioning powered from the line voltage – (600 volts DC).
US $53,000.
Hydraulic-operated, folding disabled access platforms, powered from the 12 volt auxiliary power system. Please note – there is a physical limit of two lifts per car.
US $22,500.
12 volt DC SONY system (MP3 compatible). Your type and specification, if required.
US $22,500.
(Roof-mounted) single arm AUSTBRECK pantograph in lieu of fitted single trolley pole/sprung swiveling base.
US $22,500.
Operator-applied (button) ASEA electromagnetic track brakes.
PLEASE NOTE: Conditions apply to the “change-over traction motor” and the “purchaser’s inspection travel cost” offers.

US/Australian Free Trade Agreement:
Under the US/Australian Free Trade Agreement (that came in to effect on 1 January 2005), tariff barriers have been dismantled! Australian companies now have unlimited access to US Government procurement tenders, and tariffs on Australian-manufactured rail equipment products have been eliminated! This is great news for US Heritage Trolley system operators. No longer is there a bar against US Government funding of the purchase of these Australian products. The new Free Trade Agreement provides a waiver under the Buy American Act.

Now you can access these ready-to-run, high quality rebuilt X-1 cars, which are to international standards and which have no protracted lead times.
Please go to for more information.

New SAFETY features:

Four new safety features have recently been fitted to Car 466:-
• Driver vigilance (deadman) equipment;
• Low air pressure warning;
• Emergency exit valve linked to air-operated doors; and
• Low voltage emergency ceiling lighting.

These great add-ons satisfy several key criteria of the APTA Vintage Trolley Equipment Criteria, and provide you with an even better trolley buy!