The Government of Victoria in Australia has announced the start of operations of the first Bombardier E-Class tram in Melbourne.

Two new tram services, 51 and 52, are currently set to begin passenger operations, representing the first of 20 new services that were ordered by the government in 2015.

The new low-floor E-Class trams can carry more than 200 passengers at a time and include a greater number of myki ticket system readers.

The vehicles have been manufactured by Bombardier and are equipped with audio and visual passenger information, air-conditioning and dedicated spaces for passengers with prams and mobility aids.

E-Class trams also feature a new cab design with eight additional hand rails and 24 more strap hangers.

The trams have been built at Bombardier’s facility in Dandenong, Victoria, and the construction process supported nearly 500 local jobs and suppliers.

Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said: “We’re building bigger, better trams in Melbourne, for Melbourne, supporting hundreds of local jobs.

"The E-Class tram is local manufacturing at its best, and we can take great pride that these locally manufactured trams will move locals and tourists efficiently and comfortably."

“The E-Class tram is local manufacturing at its best, and we can take great pride that these locally manufactured trams will move locals and tourists efficiently and comfortably around our city.”

Both trams will operate on the 96, 86 and 11 routes.

Victoria funded a further 10 trams in this year's state budget, taking the total number of E-Class trams to be purchased to 80.

The full fleet of 80 trams is expected to be in service by mid-2019, which would enable the provision of transport services to an additional 17,000 passengers.


Image: E 6001 and E 6002 trams in Bourke St, Melbourne. Photo: courtesy of Liamdavies via Wikipedia.