A-class Melbourne tram
A2 273 in Yarra Trams livery in
|Number in service||69|
|Fleet numbers||A1 231-A1 258
A2 259-A2 300
|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)|
|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|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 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.
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 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.
This order was extended in 1985 by 42, these were designated A2-class due to a number of design changes. All 70 A-class trams were built by Comeng's Dandenong factory, with 69 remaining in service. When the Melbourne tram network was privatised in August 1999, all passed to Yarra Trams.
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. 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. 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.
Following an extension to the A-class order, 42 A2-class were built between 1985 and 1987. 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 utilise the current pantograph.
A-class trams operate on the following routes:
- 3/3a: East Malvern to Melbourne University
- 12: Fitzroy Street, St Kilda to Victoria Gardens
- 30: St Vincent's Plaza to Docklands Stadium
- 48: Balwyn North to Victoria Harbour Docklands
- 64: Brighton East to Melbourne University
- 67: Carnegie to Melbourne University
- 70: Wattle Park to Waterfront City Docklands
- 75: Vermont South to Docklands Stadium
- 78: North Richmond to Prahran
- 109: Box Hill to Port Melbourne
A-class trams operated on the following routes prior to their abolition:
- 24: City to Balwyn North
- 31: Hoddle Street to Victoria Harbour Docklands
- 79: North Richmond to St Kilda
- 95: Melbourne Museum to City
- 112: West Preston to St Kilda - Park & Fitzroy Streets
- "Metros" Railway Gazette International March 1983 page 157
- Dunn, John (2013). Comeng : A History of Commonwealth Engineering, Volume 4 : 1977-1985. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 210–215. ISBN 9781922013514.
- "Trams in Melbourne". Yarra Trams. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
- "New A Class Trams" Trolley Wire issue 210 February 1984 pages 17/18
- A1 Class Vicsig
- A2 Class Vicsig
- Wilson, Randall; Budd, Dale (2005). Melbourne tram book. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press. p. 32. ISBN 0 86840 646 5.
- "Melbourne News" Trolley Wire issue 279 November 1999 page 25
- "Business as usual at Yarra Trams". Yarra Trams. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2013.
- Real time information on board older trams Yarra Trams 14 December 2016
- A-Class Yarra Trams
- 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.
- Fire breaks out in Melbourne tram ABC News 14 June 2013
- Hanning & Kahl Azimutbremsen (German)
Media related to A class trams at Wikimedia Commons