E-class Melbourne tram

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E-class (Flexity Swift)
E 6001 and E 6002 (Melbourne trams) in Bourke St on route 96, 2013.JPG
E 6001 and 6002 on Bourke Street in December 2013
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Assembly Dandenong
Constructed 2013–present
Number built 22 (March 2015)
Number in service 17 (March 2015)
Fleet numbers 6001–6050
Depots Southbank
Articulations 2 (three sections)
Length 33.45 m (109 ft 9 in)
Width 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)
Height 3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
Passenger capacity seats 64
Passenger capacity standing 150
Maximum speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Acceleration 1.3 m/s2 (4 ft/s2)
Doors 10 (five per side)
Low-floor Yes
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Catenary
Current collection method Pantograph
Wheel arrangement B'B'2'B
Bogies 4 (B'B'2'B)
(3 powered, 1 unpowered)
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The E-class trams are three-section, four-bogie articulated trams that were first introduced to the Melbourne tram network in 2013. They are being built by Bombardier Transportation's Dandenong factory, with the propulsion systems and bogies coming from Bombardier factories in Germany.

The E-class is part of the Tram Procurement Program, a Public Transport Victoria project aimed at increasing capacity and reliability of the tram network through the introduction of new trams, creation of new depot space, and upgrades to existing infrastructure. In September 2010, 50 were ordered with an option to purchase a further 100.

The first tram was delivered in June 2013 and after testing entered service on route 96 on 4 November 2013. Seventeen were in service by March 2015.[1] All 50 trams are scheduled to be in service by 2018.


Interior of an E-class, 2013

In July 2009 the Victorian Government called for expressions of interest for the construction of 50 new trams. The expression of interest stipulated that the trams be low floor to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, that 40% of the total contract was to be local content and that the first were to enter service in 2012.[2]

In October 2009 Alstom and Bombardier were shortlisted to bid for the contract. The invitation to tender stated the contract had been declared a strategic project, requiring a minimum 25% local manufacturing content, and 50% local content over the life of the contract, with 150 jobs expected to be created.[3]

Bombardier were awarded a $303 million contract for 50 Flexity Swift low-floor trams, with maintenance to 2017 on 29 September 2010; the contract includes an option for a further 100 vehicles. They are being built at Bombardier's Dandenong factory with local design input, including aesthetic design by Bombardiers Brisbane based Industrial Design team,[4][5] with propulsion systems and bogies coming from Bombardier’s German factories in Mannheim and Siegen respectively.[6][7][8][9] They are the first trams built in Australia in 12 years,[8] and the first locally built Melbourne trams since the last B-class was delivered in 1994.[10]

The trams are 33 metres (108 ft) long, 2.65 metres (8 ft 8 in) wide with three articulated units and four bogies, they are low-floor with anti-slip flooring, air-conditioned, have automatic audio-visual announcements, and a passenger capacity of 210. A two-thirds mock up was produced for design input and unveiled on 24 August 2011; it was displayed at the 2011 Royal Melbourne Show.[10][11][12][13] A seven-month delay in delivery was announced in August 2012, with Bombardier stating that design complexity had slowed down construction, and the E-class would be operating from July 2013, and the last delivered in 2018.[14]

The first E-class tram arrived at Yarra Trams' Preston Workshops on 28 June 2013 to begin final testing, and was publicly unveiled on 1 July 2013.[15][16] Testing started in mid-July 2013,[17] and by September 2013 there were two E-class trams at Preston Workshops undergoing non-passenger testing in preparation for introduction to service in late 2013.[18][19] Two E-class trams entered service on route 96 on 4 November 2013 after an unveiling at Southbank Depot,[20][21][22] with a further three in service by January 2014.[23]

In July 2014, it was revealed that Yarra Trams will have to build more substations to cope with the large amount of power that the trams will require on the route 96 along with other routes including route 86 to have more than two E-class trams running on a certain section of track at the same time.[24]

In service[edit]

E-class trams normally operate only on route 96,[24] but have been used for special events such as the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the 2015 Australian Open and White Night.[25]

Associated works[edit]

A package of works – the Tram Procurement Program – is being delivered by Public Transport Victoria to increase the capacity and reliability of Melbourne's tram network. This includes: the order of 50 trams; upgrades to route 96; upgrading the power system; improving accessibility on other low-floor routes; and the redevelopment of Preston Workshops and upgrades to Southbank depot to store and maintain E-class trams. Over $807.6 million has been allocated to this project by the Victorian Government.[26]

In anticipation of the E-class trams, a $24 million project to upgrade Southbank Depot was announced on 25 January 2012. It was delivered by Leighton Contractors and upgraded the maintenance and office facilities.[26][27] Route 96 is being upgraded for the E-class trams, accessible stops will be constructed, along with further segregation of trams from cars, and increased priority at intersections.[26][28]


  1. ^ E Class Vicsig
  2. ^ "EOI for manufacture and supply of 50 new trams" (Press release). Premier of Victoria. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "150 jobs created as shortlist to build trams announced" (Press release). Minister for Industry & Trade. 16 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.gooddesignaustralia.com/awards/past/entry/melbourne-e-class-tram/?year=2014
  5. ^ http://www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre/newsList/details.bombardier-transportation20140807bombardierwinsaustraliangooddes.bombardiercom.html
  6. ^ "Premier announces the arrival of Melbourne's first new generation low floor tram" (Press release). Premier of Victoria. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "50 trams order for Melbourne creates local jobs" (Press release). From the Minister for Public Transport. 27 September 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Bombardier wins contract for 50 trams for one of the world's largest tram operations in Melbourne, Australia". Bombardier Transportation (Press release). 29 September 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ding ding". Design Institute of Australia (Press release). 20 November 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Melbourne’s newest tram – the story so far". Yarra Trams. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Flexity Swift - Melbourne, Australia". Bombardier Transportation. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "First looks at Melbourne's new trams" (Press release). The Hon Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Lucas, Clay (24 August 2011). "Melbourne's new trams revealed". The Age. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  14. ^ Carey, Adam (18 August 2012). "New low-floor trams miss first stop by seven months". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2013. 
  15. ^ "First of 50 new generation trams arrives for testing" (Press release). Premier of Victoria. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  16. ^ Carey, Adam (1 July 2013). "New trams arrive, but not on schedule". The Age. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Harris, Amelia (18 July 2013). "Melbourne's first super-sized tram hits the tracks for testing". Herald Sun. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Passengers asked for patience". Yarra Trams. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "New E-Class trams". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  20. ^ Gough, Deborah (4 November 2013). "Longer and louder: New E-Class tram makes itself heard". The Age. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Stand by your tram - Melbourne welcomes the E-Class". Yarra Trams. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Harris, Amelia (4 November 2013). "Melbourne's new trams finally on track". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "Route 75 is on the move". Yarra Trams. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "E-class trams too power hungry for network". The age. Fairfax Media. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Australian Open - Monday 19 January to Sunday 1 February". Yarra Trams. Retrieved 30 January 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c "Tram Procurement Program". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  27. ^ "Another 50 jobs as Southbank Depot prepares for 50 new trams" (Press release). From the Premier. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "Tram route 96 to be upgraded ahead of new trams" (Press release). From the Minister for Public Transport. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media related to E-class Melbourne tram at Wikimedia Commons