Sunday, September 12, 2010

T7B5 from Oslo: A unique prototype

On the Japanese Modelling & Japan Rail Enthousiasts Forum I read about Michal from the Czech Republic who has build an impressive collection of mainly Eastern-European and German trams in N scale. I think he has done a great job on his models, like various ČKD Tatra types as the T6A5 the KT4, the Polish Konstal 105N and the German KSW tram (which is also produced by Kato), all etched in 0.3 mm brass. He even sells most of them, both as a kit or build (some even motorized) on his website. Interesting for US modellers: Michal also does a Škoda 10 T, which runs in Portland, Oregon and Tacoma, Washington.
If you click on kolejiště, you see some pictures of Michals very cleverly designed tram layout.

My eyes fell on this little tram. It's a ČKD Tatra type T7B5, a uni-directional tram. The livery is quite unusual because it's that of Oslo Sporveier, the Norwegian capital's public transport authority. Only one was ever purchased for Oslo, which was actually the only Tatra ever to run in Scandinavia, or even the whole of Western Europe!

I like both Eastern-European and Scandinavian prototypes so I just had to place an order for one of these, which will be powered using a Tomix TM 03 chassis. Can't wait for it to arrive! :)

The Tatra T7B5 was never a successfull series. Only a handfull were build at the end of the 80's, mainly for Moscow. Oslo Sporveier, at that time, was looking for a replacement for its old Høka cars. One of the original two prototypes was shipped to Oslo for testing, after it got a new interior and paint job.
The order finally went to Ansaldo/Firema, who build 32 articulated low-floor trams, the SL95 series.

The T7B5 was used for a couple of years, after which it was converted into a party tram. The tram was shipped to the Swedish city of Göteborg in 1998, where it kept being a party tram in its blue Olso livery. It's believed to be still there, although not in service any more.

3 comments:

  1. I corresponded Michal a few years ago. Actually we traded some unassembled kits. Seems like a nice guy.

    Anyway, those kits look very nice--and pretty cheap too. I'll have to order a few, it that's practical to do to the US.

    I wish the images were bigger on the site, though.

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  2. Wow! This is cool! Great post...thanks for sharing this information! Somehow I missed Michal's work for several years, so I'm glad you've brought it to light! Would love to see the Tatra when you get it and how go about getting the right Tomix motor for it! Very cool!

    Like 295Bus, I wish the photos were bigger too!

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  3. I'm sure Michal will be happy to send some bigger pictures if you're interested in a particular model. By the way, there are some slightly bigger pictures under Novinky / Neu on his website.
    Jerry, Thanks! I'll get the model with the chassis already installed, so I guess that'll be quite easy :p

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