A-class Melbourne tram

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A2273 YarraTrams New Livery.JPG
A2 273 in Yarra Trams livery in
December 2009
Manufacturer Comeng
Assembly Dandenong
Constructed 1983–1987
Number built 70
Number in service 69
Fleet numbers A1 231-A1 258
A2 259-A2 300
Capacity 40 (Seated)
65 (Standing)
Depot(s) Camberwell
East Preston
Train length 15.01 m (49 ft 3 in)
Width 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in)
Height 3.34 m (10 ft 11 in)
Doors 6
Wheelbase 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 22.2 t (21.8 long tons; 24.5 short tons)
Traction motors 2 x AEG ABS 3322
195 kW (261 hp)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC catenary
Current collection method Pantograph
Bogies Duewag
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

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. They are the smallest trams by capacity currently operating on the network.


A2 272 on Flinders Street in May 2007

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.[1] The design, which was shaped by input from passengers and tramway 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.[2][3][4]

This order was extended in 1985 by 42, these were designated A2-class due to a number of design changes.[2] All 70 A-class trams were built by Comeng's Dandenong factory, with 69 remaining in service.[5][6][7] When the Melbourne tram network was privatised in August 1999, all passed to Yarra Trams.[8]

A few had their roller blinds replaced with dot matrix equipment in 2005/06, before all were fitted with LED equipment in 2007.[9] All were fitted with cab air-conditioning in 2007.

As of 2017, an automated onboard passenger information system was being rolled out.[10]



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.[2][5] They were substantially based upon the Z-class design, with improved ventilation, and differing door positions.[7] They had the same equipment as the Z3-class trams, AEG controls and Duewag bogies. However, placing all the Z3-class equipment under the frame posed a problem due to the differing door arrangement, as there were two step-wells where previously there was one, reducing the available space. Due to a desire to be less pointy and possess 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 and entered service on 13 June 1984.[2][11]

All were built with trolley poles, being replaced with pantographs in 1987/88.[2][12]

As of November 2016, 27 remained in service, one (A1 231) having been withdrawn after being damaged by fire in June 2013.[5][13]


Following an extension to the A-class order, 42 A2-class were built between 1985 and 1987.[2][6][12] They were very similar to the A1 class, however they differ in being fitted with superior Hanning & Kahl brakes,[14] a more reliable door mechanism, and were also the first Melbourne trams to utilise the current pantograph.[2][6][7]


A-class trams operate on the following routes:

A-class trams operated on the following routes prior to their abolition:


  1. ^ "Metros" Railway Gazette International March 1983 page 157
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Dunn, John (2013). Comeng : A History of Commonwealth Engineering, Volume 4 : 1977-1985. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 210–215. ISBN 9781922013514. 
  3. ^ "Trams in Melbourne". Yarra Trams. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "New A Class Trams" Trolley Wire issue 210 February 1984 pages 17/18
  5. ^ a b c A1 Class Vicsig
  6. ^ a b c A2 Class Vicsig
  7. ^ a b c Wilson, Randall; Budd, Dale (2005). Melbourne tram book. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. p. 32. ISBN 0 86840 646 5. 
  8. ^ "Melbourne News" Trolley Wire issue 279 November 1999 page 25
  9. ^ "Business as usual at Yarra Trams". Yarra Trams. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2013. 
  10. ^ Real time information on board older trams Yarra Trams 14 December 2016
  11. ^ A-Class Yarra Trams
  12. ^ a b Cross, Norman; Budd, Dale; Wilson, Randall (1993). Destination City Melbourne's Electric Trams (5 ed.). Sydney: Transit Publishing Australia. p. 18. ISBN 0 909459 18 5. 
  13. ^ Fire breaks out in Melbourne tram ABC News 14 June 2013
  14. ^ Hanning & Kahl Azimutbremsen (German)

External links[edit]

Media related to A class trams at Wikimedia Commons