E-class Melbourne tram
|Number built||79 (June 2019)|
|Number in service||77 (June 2019)|
|Fleet numbers||E1.6001 - E1.6050, E2.6051 - E2.6090|
|Train length||33.45 m (109 ft 9 in)|
|Width||2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|Height||3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)|
|Doors||10 (five per side)|
|Articulated sections||2 (three sections)|
|Maximum speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
|Weight||62 t (61 long tons; 68 short tons)(with passengers)|
|Acceleration||1.3 m/s2 (4 ft/s2) (3 mph per second) (5km/h per second)|
|Electric system(s)||600 V DC Catenary|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|AAR wheel arrangement||B'B'2'B|
(3 powered, 1 unpowered)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 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'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. In May 2015, a further 20 were ordered, followed by additional orders for 10 in May 2017 and again in September 2018, taking the total to 90.
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.
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.
Bombardier were awarded a $303 million contract for 50 Flexity Swift low-floor trams, with maintenance to 2017 in 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 with propulsion systems and bogies coming from Bombardier’s German factories in Mannheim and Siegen respectively. They are the first trams built in Australia in 12 years, and the first locally built Melbourne trams since the last B-class was delivered in 1994.
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. 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.
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. Testing started in mid-July 2013, 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. Two E-class trams entered service on route 96 on 4 November 2013 after an unveiling at Southbank Depot, with a further three in service by January 2014.
In July 2014, it was revealed that Yarra Trams would have to build more substations to cope with the large amount of power that the trams require.
These were built to an updated design with a focus on improved safety. The E2-class Tram was designed in response to a fivefold increase in injuries relating to passengers mounting and alighting trams, a 50 per cent rise in falls onboard and an eight-year-high for serious injuries.
The redesign implemented measures such as glare reduction to allow improved road visibility for drivers and extra handholds and grab rails for passengers. A total of 30 E2 class trams were ordered at a cost of $274 million, with late model E-class trams also being retrofitted with the new safety features.
The E1 and E2 class trams are 33.45 m (109.7 ft) long, 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in) wide with three articulated units and four bogies, and based on Bombardier's Flexity Swift design. One bogie is located under each end unit, and two are located under the centre unit. The swivelling bogies are enclosed by a "wheelbox" under seats in the passenger area, allowing the tram aisle to remain low-floor throughout. They have anti-slip flooring, air-conditioning, automatic audio-visual announcements, and a passenger capacity of 210.
Other models of Bombardier's Flexity Swift tram of comparable length have four motors with each providing between 120 and 150 kW, however the E class has 6 x 85 kW motors powering three bogies with one bogie unpowered.
A package of works, the Tram Procurement Program was 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.
In anticipation of the E-class trams, a $24 million upgrade at Southbank depot was completed and included upgraded the maintenance and office facilities. 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.
- E1 Class Vicsig
- E2 Class Vicsig
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- E-Class Yarra Trams
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Media related to E-class Melbourne tram at Wikimedia Commons