The last posting dealt with a lot of transport related observations, but you might have noticed that it lacked photos of trams. The reason is that I’ve saved them for this posting – a post almost exclusively intended to catalogue trams spotted during my time in Melbourne. But first, a few observations that didn’t make the last post.
… and I forgot to mention …
In the last post, in regards to trains, I entirely forgot to mention the seating layout in the trains. It’s very much like light rail – all the seats are fixed, which is not like in Sydney where you can “flip the seats over”. Instead, they seem to be fixed but not in all the same direction, leading to a lot of “four people” units – two seats facing two other seats which makes it a little awkward when it gets packed.
The trams have much the same issues – but because of overcrowding, it seems they’re going with less seats and more standing room with “bum racks” – padded bars where you can lean your butt against.
Rather unusually, and annoyingly, people in Melbourne seem to have no sense of courtesy when it comes to seats. They will happily consume three or four seats, by placing bags on each of the seats, or by sitting themselves between two positions. Other times, people may be sitting in a decent position, but other people are too timid to sit next to them and would rather stay standing. This creates a situation where it becomes very over-crammed in terms of standing space, while free seats still exist. It really doesn’t make great sense to me.
That being said, everywhere you go, you always have the overly friendly guy with the nasty B.O. that loves to sit right next to you even though there are heaps of empty seats. It becomes very socially awkward when you decide to get up and move … but I’ve had that happen before.
It’s also evident that the trams themselves used to run on a trolley pole collector system, only later changed over to pantographs. Some of their older trams still have the trolley pole base, but the pole itself has been removed.
The Tram Catalogue
The tram network operated by Yarra Trams in Melbourne is quite extensive, and there really was no way for me to collect photos of every single tram. Not that I really needed to anyway. Instead, this project was mainly a byproduct of an excess of time on my last day in Melbourne. With nowhere that would hold my baggage, and an evening flight with a fixed 10am check-out, I didn’t have anything else to do. So I decided to go to Docklands Park and sit myself right at the top of the hill, to watch the trams go by. Two tram lines cross each other at right angles at this intersection, which included routes 35 (City Circle), 70 (Wattle Park), 75 (Vermont South), 11 (West Preston) and 48 (North Balwyn).
Unfortunately, it was not possible to spot every single type of rolling stock from this position, as most types of stock are confined to single line operations because of operational and depot requirements, not to mention the interior maps and signage. That being said, it was a good location, because there was no severe fence barriers to shoot through, and the pedestrian traffic was low, so chances of me being hassled were relatively low compared to trying to do the same thing along the “main” trunk from Melbourne University through to Flinders Street Station.
All identified trams were sorted based on rolling stock type and carriage number. Not all photos are good shots because of the constraints of shooting with the one lens at a distance, but at least we have a record of the various shapes, liveries and advertisements at a given point in time.
The W-class trams are an iconic tram of Melbourne, currently only serving on Route 35 (City Circle). Apparently 38 trams remain in service state, with 12 on Route 35 and the rest are on spare. These were originally constructed from 1923 to 1956.
Number 866, in City Circle Tram livery with Melbourne Good Beer Week advertisement.
Number 888, also in City Circle Tram livery with Marilyn Monroe Exhibit at Bendigo Gallery advertisement.
Number 925, with blank advertisement board.
Number 928, with no advertisement board it seems.
Number 946, with green and yellow livery and no advertisement board. Apparently, this one belongs to the W8 class, with upgrades that improve traction motors, suspension and braking, crashworthiness and LED lighting.
Number 946 again, with Number 284 (A-class) sitting behind.
Number 959 in the same green and yellow livery. I very much prefer this as I find it more “authentic looking”. Likewise, this one is noted to be belonging to the W8 class.
Number 959 again, from the side. No advertising board it seems.
Number 961, back in City Circle Tram livery, with an advertisement for Matilda.
Number 1000, with Singin’ in the Rain.
Number 1010, back in green and yellow. This one looks a bit fresher with less carbon deposits on the top of the tram.
These are slightly more modern single-unit trams, originally constructed between 1975-1983. I didn’t get many examples of these since they don’t operate on the routes where I was stationed.
This one was taken right next to the state library – in this photo a 135 (in front, Z-class) and a 2040 (B-class) can be seen. The Z-class is carrying small advertisement boards in the rear.
This photo in front of RMIT shows 192 and 216, both Z-class trams. These have a different Yarra Trams livery, with advertising boards in the rear/front and side.
Another example of a Z-class, Number 218 – this one with a white body Yarra Trams livery, as opposed to a more grey coloured body in the above photo.
These are also single-unit trams built between 1984 and 1987. Of the 70 that were built, and 69 that remain in service, I saw 18 of them.
Number 260 with Munich advertisement.
Number 261 with Swan Lake advertisement.
Number 264 with Munich advertisement.
Number 267 with Dodo advertisement.
Number 270 without visible advertisements from this side.
Number 271 with Singin’ in the Rain advertisement.
Number 272 with JMC Academy advertisement.
Number 273 with a lighter coloured Yarra Trams livery and ACU advertisement.
Number 275 with Sage One advertisement.
Number 276 with ACU advertisement.
Number 277 with no advertisements, but a dirty patch where the advertising board would have been.
Number 288 with full-Munich livery.
Number 289 with JMC Academy advertisement.
Number 290 with Bertocchi Brothers full-body livery.
Number 292 with JMC Academy advertisement.
Number 293 with iPrimus advertisement.
Number 295 with JMC Academy advertisement.
Number 296 with iPrimus advertisement.
The first multiple unit trams on their network, these were produced through 1984-1994 with 132 in total. A total of 16 of these were photographed.
Unit 2005 with The Age advertising.
Unit 2024 with Coach full-livery.
Unit 2027 with The Good Food and Wine Show advertisement.
Unit 2035 with Singin’ in the Rain advertisement.
Unit 2036 with MLC advertisement.
Unit 2047 with Jeanswest advertisement.
Unit 2059 with ACU advertisement. This tram was on test at the time.
Unit 2067 with MLC advertisement.
Unit 2085 with Network Ten advertisements.
Unit 2087 with Singin’ in the Rain advertisements.
Unit 2094, with full La Trobe University livery.
Unit 2100 with full Pepsi livery.
Unit 2101 with The Book of Mormon advertisement.
Unit 2112 with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners full livery.
Unit 2124 with The Good Food and Wine Show advertisement.
Unit 2126, with MLC advertisement.
The C-class is broken up into two sub-divisions, the original C which are Alstom Citadis 202 three-section trams manufactured 2001-2002, and the C2-class Alstom Citadis 302 five-section trams. I don’t have any examples of the C2-class as they are confined to Route 96, although I have a couple of examples of the C.
Unit 3015 with First State Super advertisements.
Unit 3019 with TPG advertisements.
These are Seimens Combino trams, with D1 class being three-unit trams introduced between 2002-2004, and D2 class being five-section trams introduced in 2004. I only saw a few D1 class trams, and didn’t photograph any D2 class trams.
Unit 3508 with full Wonderful Indonesia livery.
Unit 3519 with La Boheme at Arts Centre advertisement.
Unit 3536 with full Domain livery.
These are the latest trams, Bombardier Transportation Flexity Swifts, built locally by Bombardier in Dandenong starting from 2013. Despite the three-section nature of the tram, it is much longer than the other three-section trams. They also have more doors for better accessibility. None seem to carry exterior advertising at this stage.
Unit 6008, with Your Next Generation Tram written on it.
A lot of photos later, this completes the posting which shows all of the trams I have spotted and photographed whilst in Melbourne. Unfortunately, as some types of trams are route-exclusive, I wasn’t able to get at least one example of every sort of tram, but I did collect quite a few photos and observations nonetheless.
Join us in the following parts for Melbourne in radio waves. Yes – I bought my RTL-SDR dongle and my Icom IC-R20 along with me for some radio action. Stay tuned.