A-class Melbourne tram
A2 273 in Yarra Trams livery in December 2009
|Number in service||70|
|Passenger capacity seats||42|
|Traction motors||2 x AEG ABS 3322 195 kW|
|Power supply||600 V DC|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
The A-class are single-unit bogie trams that operate on the Melbourne tram network. Seventy were built by Comeng, Dandenong between 1984 and 1987 in two batches, 28 A1s and 42 A2s, with only minor differences.
Comeng had expected an extension to the Z-class order, and in the early 1980s drew up plans for a Z4-class, due to a change in state government in 1982 these plans were put on hold. The order eventuated however in late 1982, as an order for 28 A-class trams. The design, which was shaped by input from passengers and tramways employees, had a series of alterations from the Z-class design. They did not include the conductors console seen in the Z-class, and had a differing door arrangement that posed a design challenge, as there was less space to house equipment.:210–215
This order was extended in 1985 with an extra 42 ordered, they were designated A2-class due to a number of design changes.:210–215 All 70 A-class trams were built in Comeng's Dandenong factory, with all remaining in service today. By September 2007 all had been fitted with LED digital signage, replacing traditional roller blinds.
In late 1982 the state government approved an extension to the Z class order, the result being 28 A1-class which were built in 1983 and 1985.:210–215 They were substantially based upon the Z-class design, with improved ventilation, and differing door positions. They had the same equipment as the Z3-class trams, AEG controls and Duewag bogies, and placing all the Z3-class equipment under the frame posed a problem due to the differing door arrangement, there were two step-wells where previously there was one, this reduced the available space. Due to a desire to be less pointy having a flatter front, they were made shorter with less overhang, giving them a different appearance to the Z-class trams. The first A-class was delivered on 12 December 1983 entering service on 13 June 1984.:210–215
Following an extension to the A-class order, 42 A2-class were built between 1985 and 1987.:215 They were very similar to the A1 class, however they differ in being fitted with superior Hanning & Kahl brakes, a more reliable door mechanism, and were also the first Melbourne trams to be utilise pantograph current collection.:215
A-class trams operate on the following 16 routes:
- 3/3a: East Malvern to Melbourne University
- 11: West Preston to Victoria Harbour Docklands
- 24: City to North Balwyn
- 30: St Vincent's Plaza to Docklands Stadium
- 31: Hoddle Street to Victoria Harbour Docklands
- 48: North Balwyn to Victoria Harbour Docklands
- 64: East Brighton to Melbourne University
- 67: Carnegie to Melbourne University
- 70: Wattle Park to Waterfront City Docklands
- 75: Vermont South to City - La Trobe Street
- 78: North Richmond to Prahran
- 79: North Richmond to St Kilda
- 86: Bundoora RMIT to Waterfront City Docklands
- 95: Melbourne Museum to City
- 109: Box Hill to Port Melbourne
- 112: West Preston to St Kilda - Park & Fitzroy Streets
- Dunn, John (2013). Comeng : A History of Commonwealth Engineering, Volume 4 : 1977-1985. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. ISBN 9781922013514.
- "Trams in Melbourne". Yarra Trams. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- A1 Class Vicsig
- A2 Class Vicsig
- Wilson, Randall; Budd, Dale (2005). Melbourne tram book. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press Ltd. p. 32. ISBN 0 86840 646 5.
- "Business as usual at Yarra Trams". Yarra Trams. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Hoadley, David (1996). "A class". Trams of Australia. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
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