10th next generation E-Class tram hits the tracks

 
  wxtre Chief Train Controller

10th next generation E-Class tram hits the tracks


The 10th next generation E-Class tram has hit the tracks today, providing capacity for 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96.
The heritage-listed theatre building at Preston Workshops will be transformed into modern driver facilities as part of the $190 million New Preston Depot Project, part of the overall investment of more than $800 million in tram procurement and associated infrastructure upgrades.
Public Transport Victoria Chief Executive Officer Mark Wild said that our newest tram has proved a great hit with passengers and is providing much needed capacity on Route 96.
"The 10th E-Class tram is hitting the tracks today and these trams are providing capacity for up to 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96.
"These next generation trams are improving capacity, safety and accessibility, providing a more comfortable journey for thousands of passengers every day.
"Bombardier has been working extremely hard to build Melbourne's state-of-the-art next generation trams as quickly as possible.
"It's fantastic news for Melburnians that we'll been able to introduce 10 E-Class trams onto the network this year, providing much needed capacity on Route 96.
Coleman Rail will redevelop the existing Preston Workshops heritage buildings, providing upgraded facilities for staff, including tram drivers and rolling stock maintenance teams.
The workshops in Preston have been responsible for building and maintaining the city's tram fleet since the 1920s, and have been heritage listed.
Mr Wild said that the New Preston Depot Project is now well underway, and it's great to have awarded the final contract to transform the administration and heritage buildings.
"It is expected that the facilities will be ready for use in early 2016, as soon as the rest of the work at the depot is complete," Mr Wild said.
Yarra Trams Chief Executive Office Clément Michel said that today is another significant milestone in the delivery of 50 new trams for Melbourne, with the 10th next generation tram entering passenger service.
"With more E-Class trams on the network, this allows other high-capacity trams to cascade to other routes where demand is greatest, providing benefits across the network.
Passengers on Route 19 are already travelling on low-floor D-Class trams that previously operated on Route 96, maximising the benefits of the accessible platforms stops installed in Elizabeth Street 12 months ago.
"The revitalisation of the heritage buildings at Preston Workshops will provide our employees with the best facilities available, including the state-of-the-art simulator that is revolutionising the way we are training our drivers.
"Once complete, the new depot will become home to the employeescurrently based at the East Preston Depot on Plenty Road.
"Melbourne boasts the world's largest operating tram network with around 600,000 passenger trips each weekday.
"With daily tram patronage forecast to increase to over one million in 2031, this investment in 50 next generation trams and modern infrastructure ensures that the tram network will continue to meet the needs of our customers and make Melbourne an even more liveable city," Mr Michel said.

http://www.yarratrams.com.au/media-centre/news/articles/2014/10th-next-generation-e-class-tram-hits-the-tracks/

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  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
I saw 6010 earning it's keep heading north on the Number 96 at Pigdon St at 6.20 pm. I caught 6009 heading south at 6.25.
  r_rogel Junior Train Controller

I believe the E Class trams will allow the transfer of A class trams to Malvern and Glenhuntly to replace the remaining Z1/Z2 trams.
  Chrono Detector Assistant Commissioner

Location: Tram 57/59
So far Brunswick has only sent their B2 trams to East Preston and Essendon depots, when a B2 either arrives at East Preston or Essendon, they will displace their smaller trams to other depots, so far East Preston displaced their A trams to Southbank which should have went to Glenhuntly and Essendon's Z3's to Glenhuntly.

Originally the plan was to send B2's to Glenhuntly but that has changed because East Preston and Essendon routes require the demand for more larger capacity trams.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
Some B2's should go to Malvern to replace the Z1's already there, but instead they are getting some Z3's which all year round are either extremely cold or unbearably hot on board (except if you're the driver).
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

I saw 6011 on test on the tracks in Victoria Parade, turned into Nicholson Street towards the city.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Some B2's should go to Malvern to replace the Z1's already there, but instead they are getting some Z3's which all year round are either extremely cold or unbearably hot on board (except if you're the driver).
Some rail man

Malvern will not be getting B2s in a hurry. Any B2s displaced from Brunswick will go to either Essendon (for the 55) or East Preston (for the 11), when East Preston has gotten rid of the majority of their As, the last couple of surplus B2s will go to Glenhuntly. From what I gather though, Brunswick will not necesserily loose all of it's B2s, some will be retained for the 1 and 8, in some cases they are more likely to loose Z3 class trams to Glenhuntly first.

Malvern already has the D1s, just like with Kew having the Cs the powers that be deem that they do not need more medium capacity trams (compared to other depots), hence why they will be spread around between Essendon, East Preston and Glenhuntly.

At the end of the first part of this order, Southbank, Brunswick, Kew and Malvern will all have low floor modern trams, by the end of the full order of 50 trams East Preston will also have low floor E class trams meaning 5 depots will have modern low floor trams. Essendon, Camberwell and Glenhuntly are the depots that look most likely to not see modern trams in the foreseeable future meaning Malvern is still doing ok.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

"Once complete, the new depot will become home to the employees currently based at the East Preston Depot on Plenty Road."
Is East Preston depot going anywhere?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
"Once complete, the new depot will become home to the employees currently based at the East Preston Depot on Plenty Road."
Is East Preston depot going anywhere?
bramt

I thought that East Preston was getting upgraded?
  msilsby Deputy Commissioner

Location: Canberra
The plan was that East Preston would be closed and the trams moved to the 'new' preston workshops depot. It will have a capacity of 160 E class trams, so there will be more than enough space.

In my mind, smart money would be to keep them both.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
VicSig has posted photos of the track along Miller St adjacent to Preston Workshops being upgraded this week. This is the track that boasts its own railway bridge. Not to hard to assume that this has something to do with the Preston Workshops upgrade project, and the fact that the track along Miller Street was decrepit anyway. In the photo with actual track being laid, there seems to be some interesting configuration being constructed, including a new track to the south of the main lines.  Also, according to maps of the project, there is also supposed to be a new track to but to the north of the main lines to connect to the east entrance of the workshops.

Track being dug up: http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19009

Track being laid: http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19010

From May 2014, Preston Workshops media release: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/media-centre/news/articles/2014/historic-depot-redevelopment-to-drive-a-brighter-tram-future/
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
I thought that East Preston was getting upgraded?
railblogger

You would think that East Preston was going to be kept. The depot fan tracks were renewed in 2012: http://www.vicsig.net/photo/14739
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

On the LHS of the second photo a new exit track from the east side of the workshops is being laid, where new stabling is being constructed. On the RHS, a new loading dock is being built because the existing one will be replaced by a new main access track in a Y configuration.
A little odd to have a loading dock on the road - I guess it will be well fenced!
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
On the LHS of the second photo a new exit track from the east side of the workshops is being laid, where new stabling is being constructed. On the RHS, a new loading dock is being built because the existing one will be replaced by a new main access track in a Y configuration.
A little odd to have a loading dock on the road - I guess it will be well fenced!
bramt
Thanks for the clarification.  It seems the plans have slightly changed from what is presented on the diagram of the new depot/workshops plan.  In the plan, there is a Low Loader bay shown on the very north of the workshops, so it's puzzling what the track on the RHS of that second picture is for.  The other possibility is that it is some kind of holding track, or even a link to the test track that passes underneath the railway bridge...?
  ogigacz Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think I read somewhere on here that after 20 E class trams are in service, they will start appearing on Route 86, does anyone have any idea of what month this is scheduled to start?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
6011 was in service today and provided my first ride on the class and my first use of the Free Tram Zone with it.

As I understand it East Preston will be retained and will run the 86 which requires a significant allocation.  If some or all of those become E-class then they will need all the space they can get.

Preston Works will morph into a revamped and relocated Thornbury depot and will run the 11 as well as offering dedicated servicing for the E-class which East Preston won't - they will only be berthed there not serviced.

Plans change and you still get a different version depending who you ask but at least the above seems plausible.  

The hump (Miller Street bridge) was perhaps the worst track on the system and had been low priority until now as it saw almost no regular passenger traffic for some years.  The only use is car-in and car-out workings to service the 11.  Shuttle cars and changeovers in service have long since ceased.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

6011 was in service today and provided my first ride on the class and my first use of the Free Tram Zone with it.

Gwiwer
Have you really not ridden a tram since myki became the only ticket?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Have you really not ridden a tram since myki became the only ticket?
bramt
I have ridden trams on the rare occasions I am in the City using V/Line paper tickets which offer 2 hours unlimited travel.  And on occasions using the City Circle which has always been free.  I have still not used Myki.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Some interesting new photos have appeared on VicSig of the Preston Workshops redevelopment.  That new track on the south side of Miller St is indeed the new loading dock - plans have obviously been altered from what was initially presented in Yarra Trams plan for the area.

The new Eastern Entrance to Preston Workshops:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19093

More of the Eastern Entrance track:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19094

Miller St Loading Dock:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19095

Miller St tracks:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19096
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

 That new track on the south side of Miller St is indeed the new loading dock - plans have obviously been altered from what was initially presented in Yarra Trams plan for the area.

Miller St Loading Dock:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19095

Miller St tracks:
http://www.vicsig.net/photo/19096
jdekorte

Is that area of Miller Street now going to be fenced off, or is that ramp down going to be in public space where it can 'tempt' cycle riders and may be even the odd car driver to attempt a jump ?.

I can just imagine Preston's night security hearing a loud BANG out in Miller Street only to go out and find a rather bent car at the foot of the loading ramp....
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Is that area of Miller Street now going to be fenced off, or is that ramp down going to be in public space where it can 'tempt' cycle riders and may be even the odd car driver to attempt a jump ?.

I can just imagine Preston's night security hearing a loud BANG out in Miller Street only to go out and find a rather bent car at the foot of the loading ramp....
Matthew
I don't think much of Miller St is open to road transport. The railway bridge is certainly tram only.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Miller Street "hump" is open to tram and pedestrian traffic only.  The rest of the street at both the workshops and Preston ends is open to normal motor traffic.  The Hump always used to have a section of ballast road or raised rails which was sufficient to dissuade motorists from making use of it as a short cut or to avoid the busy Bell Street level crossing and others nearby.  If it has now become closed to all bar YT and pedestrian traffic at the Thornbury end there is no real risk of hi-jinks off the "launching ramp".
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Probably the piece of tramway infrastructure most misused to launch cars is the safety zone prowls. Just about every one is covered in tyre marks and scratches...
These are being slowly replaced with white bollards as stops are upgraded to platform stops. I wonder if any will be kept by museums? Smile
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I caught a couple of E class trams yesterday on route 96.

They seem to have way better suspension than the other low floor trams; the noise and vibration at speed much lower (but maybe only because they're new!). Siemens trams in particular are not ageing well in this regard; hopefully the new Bombardiers manage that better. They're also very large, accessible and spacious but people still persist with that bad habit of hanging around the doorways. I like the option of passenger-operated mode for the doors; on very hot or very cold days it helps a lot if not all the doors are opened at every single stop.

The automated announcements and the 'hail bell' on both trams were very loud - maybe that needs turning down a bit.
  glennofootscray Junior Train Controller

Location: Footscray
The doors on the E class are usually all opened at every stop due to alighting and boarding passengers staring blankly at the doors when unlocked, not knowing what to do, this behaviour increases dwell times at stops. Also the doors have a painfully slow closing time compared to the combinos and the bumblebees.

As for the loud audio, it is still ignored by those with or without personal listening devices, judging by the number who sit there after the tram has finished its run and is heading into the depot.

Glenn.

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