E-class Melbourne tram

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Melbourne Tram E-Class 6007.jpg
Number built90 (November 2020)
Fleet numbersE1.6001 - E1.6050, E2.6051 - E2.6100
Capacity64 (Seated)
146 (Standing)
Train length33.45 m (109 ft 9 in)
Width2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)
Height3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
Doors10 (five per side)
Articulated sections2 (three sections)
Maximum speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Weight62 t (61 long tons; 68 short tons)(with passengers)
Acceleration1.3 m/s2 (4 ft/s2) (3 mph per second) (5km/h per second)
Electric system(s)600 V DC Catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
AAR wheel arrangementB'B'2'B
Bogies4 (B'B'2'B)
(3 powered, 1 unpowered)
Track gauge1,435 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'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, September 2018 and May 2019, taking the total to 100.

The first tram was delivered in June 2013 and after testing entered service on route 96 on 4 November 2013. As of November 2020, 90 are in service.[1][2]


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.[3]

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.[4]

Bombardier were awarded a 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.[5] They are being built at Bombardier's Dandenong factory with local design input, including aesthetic design by Bombardier's Brisbane based Industrial Design team[6][7] with propulsion systems and bogies coming from Bombardier’s German factories in Mannheim and Siegen respectively.[8][9][10][11] They are the first trams built in Australia in 12 years,[10] and the first locally built Melbourne trams since the last B-class was delivered in 1994.[12][13]

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.[12][14][15][16] 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.[17]

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.[18][19] Testing started in mid-July 2013,[20] 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.[21][22] Two E-class trams entered service on route 96 on 4 November 2013 after an unveiling at Southbank Depot,[23][24][25] with a further three in service by January 2014.[26]

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.[27]

In May 2015, the State Government announced it had ordered a further 20.[28][29] In November 2016, E-class trams were introduced on route 86.[30][31][32] In May 2017 a further 10 were ordered.[33]

These were built to an updated design with a focus on improved safety.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36]

In May 2019, a further 10 were ordered.[37] In October 2019, E-class trams were tested on Route 58.[38][39]


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 the Bombardier 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.[40] 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.[1][2]

In service[edit]

E-class trams now operate on routes 11, 86 and 96, but are also used for special events at Melbourne Park, AAMI Park and the Melbourne Cricket Ground on route 70a during and since the 2015 Asian Cup. They are also used to transport spectators to and from Albert Park for the Australian F1 Grand Prix. They run express from Southern Cross Station to the Gates.

Associated works[edit]

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.[41]

In anticipation of the E-class trams, a $24 million upgrade at Southbank depot was completed and included upgraded the maintenance and office facilities.[41][42] Route 96 was upgraded for the E-class trams, accessible stops will be constructed, along with further segregation of trams from cars, and increased priority at intersections.[41][43]


  1. ^ a b E1 Class Vicsig
  2. ^ a b E2 Class Vicsig
  3. ^ "EOI for manufacture and supply of 50 new trams" (Press release). Premier of Victoria. 6 July 2009. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  4. ^ "150 jobs created as shortlist to build trams announced" (Press release). Minister for Industry & Trade. 16 October 2009. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Victoria picks Bombardier" Railway Gazette International November 2010 page 16
  6. ^ Melbourne E-Class Tram Good Design Australia 2014
  7. ^ Bombardier wins Australian Good Design Awards for Melbourne and the Gold Coast's Flexity trams Bombardier 7 August 2014
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ "50 trams order for Melbourne creates local jobs" (Press release). From the Minister for Public Transport. 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Ding ding". Design Institute of Australia (Press release). 20 November 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Melbourne's newest tram – the story so far". Yarra Trams. 2 May 2012. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  13. ^ E-Class Yarra Trams
  14. ^ "Flexity Swift - Melbourne, Australia". Bombardier Transportation. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  15. ^ "First looks at Melbourne's new trams" (Press release). Terry Mulder, Minister for Public Transport. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  16. ^ Lucas, Clay (24 August 2011). "Melbourne's new trams revealed". The Age. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  17. ^ Carey, Adam (18 August 2012). "New low-floor trams miss first stop by seven months". The Age. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  18. ^ "First of 50 new generation trams arrives for testing" (Press release). Premier of Victoria. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  19. ^ Carey, Adam (1 July 2013). "New trams arrive, but not on schedule". The Age. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  20. ^ Harris, Amelia (18 July 2013). "Melbourne's first super-sized tram hits the tracks for testing". Herald Sun. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Passengers asked for patience". Yarra Trams. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  22. ^ "New E-Class trams". Public Transport Victoria. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  23. ^ Gough, Deborah (4 November 2013). "Longer and louder: New E-Class tram makes itself heard". The Age. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  24. ^ "Stand by your tram - Melbourne welcomes the E-Class". Yarra Trams. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  25. ^ Harris, Amelia (4 November 2013). "Melbourne's new trams finally on track". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  26. ^ "Route 75 is on the move". Yarra Trams. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  27. ^ "E-class trams too power hungry for network". The Age. Fairfax Media. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  28. ^ New E-class trams Archived 2013-09-23 at the Wayback Machine Public Transport Victoria
  29. ^ Victoria budget to include $2 billion for new trams & trains for Melbourne ABC News 4 May 2015
  30. ^ Past meets future at new home of E-class trams Yarra Trams 17 April 2016
  31. ^ E-Class trams boosting capacity on Route 86 Yarra Trams 28 November 2016
  32. ^ E Class on Route 86 Newsrail February 2017 page 56
  33. ^ New E-Class trams rollout in Melbourne Rail Express 16 June 2017
  34. ^ Carey, Adam (20 March 2017). "Safer, sleeker trams ready to roll in wake of sharp rise in injuries". The Age. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  35. ^ Carey, Adam (13 March 2017). "Serious injuries on trams hits eight-year high". The Age. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  36. ^ "New trams to hit Melbourne CBD". Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  37. ^ Delivering More Trains, Trams And Buses Premier of Victoria 27 May 2019
  38. ^ "Testing Our Largest Trams On Route 58". Premier of Victoria. 27 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  39. ^ E-Class trams tested on Route 58 Railway Digest December 2019 page 26
  40. ^ Dunn, John (2013). Comeng: A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 5, 1985-2012. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 281–282. ISBN 9781925078046. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  41. ^ a b c "Tram Procurement Program". Public Transport Victoria. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  42. ^ "Another 50 jobs as Southbank Depot prepares for 50 new trams" (Press release). From the Premier. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
  43. ^ "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