The colours of Sydney Trams

Concept drawing of railcar

 Originally the 7 Sydney Variotrams were in a standard two tone blue with a red reflectorized stripe separating the two blues. However over time, the trams have been covered in all over advertising, I believe as a result of a contract with the company Buspac who specialise in turning buses into mobile billboards. As the trams got this advertising, the SLR lettering was replaced (covered) by a Metro Light Rail logo. 2101, outfitted in Holden advertising, was done before GGEA took over thus was the last to wear SLR lettering. It eventually got 'touched up' in 2000, the SLR logo's replaced with Metro Light Rail versions. By the begining of 2000 (or late 1999) all 7 trams had this treatment. No orginal liveried units were left.

The advertising is generally applied as coloured plastic films stuck to the original paintwork, to enable easy removal. While the first few advertising makeovers left the front and the road numbers visible, later versions cover the entire vehicle, including the road numbers and the ends. The trams so treated are only identified by a single digit displayed in the lower left corner of the windscreen. If you are standing next to a tram, the orginal road numbers are often visible as raised bumps in the coloured plastic film that make up the advertising display as can be seen in this close shot of the front of 2104 where not only is the orginal road number showing, but also the Adtranz name and badge next to the marker light.

  During late August 2001, 2105 was seen in traffic in it's orginal colours, Thomas the Tank Engine being removed but Johny Walker not yet applied. This is probably due to the Thomas livery being school holiday children's attraction, not an advertising livery as such. I assume Connex was paying Brit Alcroft to use the Thomas name, where as normally advertisers pay Connex :-) The Thomas theme was repeated for June 2002, with the Thomas tram running special pre-booked trips. They apparently will run Thomas again next year.
  September 2002 saw a new phase in the style of the advertising, with 2101 going back to its orginal two blues but with 3 advertising panels down each side instead of a total conversion. The HSBC advertising first applied was replaced by Gillette by the end of November 2002. These smaller panels will probably allow rapid change of advertiser.

Road NumberOriginalAdvertising
Holden (GM) Olympic Team

Applied 9/1998

Renault Cars
Applied 03/2001

HBSC home loans
Early 09/2002

Crystal Venus
Cadbury Chocolate
Cadbury MKII
Cadbury Chocolate MkII
Choose Happyness Choose Cadbury
Early August 2001
Footloose Musical
Late 08/2002

Western Union
Money Transfer
Yellow Pages
Applied late 1999

Mobil Synergy
Early April 2001

Festival of Sydney
Early 1998

Happy 10th Darling Harbour
Mid 1998

Radio 2UE
Mid 1999

Apple Computer Imac
Feb/Mar 2000
The Apple Cart

Apple Computer
Imac MkII
July(?) 2000
The Apple Cart
2104 as Connex Networks
World Leaders in passenger Transport
July 2001
2104 as 'Sussan'
Hienz Ketchup
Late 1999

Thomas the Tank Engine
Early June to late August 2001

Johny Walker
Keep Walking
Early September 2001
2105 as Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine
2105 as Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia!
2105 as Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation
Quiet Safe Clean Quick
Intel Pentium III
Middle 1999

Late 1999
2106 MasterCard MkII
MasterCard MkII
Everyday rewards for everybody
July 2001
2106 Paddy's Markets
Sydney's Paddy's Markets
You haven't been the Markets
'till you've been to Paddy's
Orange Communications
Late 1999

Russell Athletic
February 2000
2107 as Whirlpool
Ovens with perfect control
July 2001
2107 as New Imac
The New Imac
Early 2002
Sydney Kings
Sydney Kings
Go off with the Sydney Kings

Service and maintence
Rail Scubber

Owned by the Sydney Tram Museum
This 100 year old service tram was hired by the construction contractors
to grind the rails smooth. It was fitted with an East German
bow pantograph and additional starting resistors. (It is a 600v tram).
Unimog road/rail
recovery unit
This shows the unimog towing brand new 2103 towards the depot
shortly after it was unloaded in Hay St. At this stage neither
the overhead power system or the tram had been commissioned.

© Matthew Geier, 2002,2003. Any comments or corrections welcome.