D-class Melbourne tram

D-class Melbourne tram
KDR Yarra Trams D class..jpg
D-class tram in Swanston Street
D1 class (3-section)
D2 class (5-section)
Entered service D1 - December 19, 2002
D2 - March 3, 2004
Built by Siemens TS
Built / In service D1 - 38 / 37
D2 - 21 / 21
Fleet numbers 3501 - 3538
5001 - 5021
Depots Malvern, Southbank
Tare D1 - 25.8 t
D2 - 35.3 t
Length D1 - 20.04 m
D2 - 29.85 m
Width 2.65 m
Height 3.65 m
Motors 4 x 100 kW

The D class, or Combino is a type of electric tram operating in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It was built by Siemens in Düsseldorf, Germany, and the first unit was delivered to the city in 2002. The trams were initially operated by M>Tram, but are now operated by Yarra Trams.


Variants: D1 and D2

The class come in two variants: the D1 class which is a three-section tram, and the larger D2 class five-section tram. The trams feature plug-type doors, next-stop display, and several other features. The trams are built '100% low-floor.'

The D1-class cars can be found on Melbourne's southeastern and inner tram routes and are based at Malvern, Victoria tram depot. The first D2-class cars were delivered to the city in 2004, with the last cars entering service in November 2004.

Cab controls

All D-class trams have a traction braking controller with an integral deadman's trigger that the driver must release and reapply every minute. If this is not done, an alarm sounds. If the alarm sounds for more than a few seconds then the disc brakes are applied firmly, stopping the tram.

Originally the driver could hold it down continuously while the tram was moving, if the driver took their hand off, an alarm would sound, followed soon by track brake application. If after four minutes it had been held-down continuously and the tram stopped, the driver would get an audible warning and the tram would not move until the driver had released it. There was also an alternative deadman's button on the side of the armrest. Drivers discovered that if the armrest were dropped low enough, this button would stay pressed without the driver applying any pressure, they still had to be released every four minutes when coming to a stop. But as soon as the management discovered this, their reaction was "vigilance control," actually a dead-man's vigilance device, and hence the notice in the cab "Vigilance control now fitted, release and reapply every 1 minute, if an alarm sounds, release and reapply immediately."


Originally the D1 and D2 trams were welcomed as a new, modern and comfortable addition to the network's fleet. In recent years they have been derided as having badly designed seating configurations and being extremely noisy, both inside and outside.


External links

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