Bombardier E-Class Tram for Melbourne


  • Bombardier
  • Public Transport Victoria (PTV)
  • Yarra Trams
  • KDR
  • Victorian Government, Department of business and innovation


The Melbourne E-Class tram is a Light Rail Vehicle designed exclusively for the Melbourne tram network. It has been designed to reflect different aspects of the city’s personality and to create an iconic addition to Melbourne’s tram network.
The Melbourne E-Class tram will provide exceptional reliability and service in Melbourne’s challenging operational environment.
The Vehicle interior has been designed with clean crisp lines and forms to reflect an image of a high quality service. To maximise the passenger experience, design elements have been carried through from the vehicle exterior, creating a visually and emotionally holistic public transport design.

Key Features


Melbourne’s existing tram fleet includes many imported vehicles, not designed or suited to the operational environment. Bombardier’s design responded to the opportunity and need for a vehicle specifically designed for Melbourne, its network environment and its people.
Utilising Bombardier Australia’s internal Industrial Design Centre of Excellence saw the vehicle design set new standards with regards to aesthetic and functional appeal. Inspired by one of Melbourne most loved icons, Luna Park, the E-Class tram front end design reflects the bold neon lighting crowning the famous “Mr Moon” face through the lighting details of the vehicles striking windscreen surround.


Bombardier’s internal Industrial Design centre of excellence has been able to transform over the last 10 years a very heavy Engineering lead industry into an industry that respects and understands the importance and role of design. Industrial Design has not only created a great product for the end user, but it has also improved assembly methodologies, standardisation of parts, improved supplier and manufacturer’s performance, quality and techniques. Industrial design has also pushed the local and international supply base out of their standard comfort zones and into areas of innovation.


The vehicle design created by Bombardier is world class, with international interest in the design for other tram networks. Bombardier’s Industrial Design talent and expertise is now being exported internationally, designing vehicles for cities including Basel, Konya, Freiburg, and Liege . The timeless design of the Melbourne tram will lead to the vehicle’s adoption for the entire Melbourne fleet over the next 10 years. (400+ vehicles).
During the design process leading to manufacture, a full scale mock-up provided vital feedback to the design team through end users, including special needs groups, reviewing and assessing the vehicle interior and exterior design.


Inclusion of Human Factors into the design process has streamlined and enhanced end-user acceptance. While cross-disciplinary design enabled Bombardier’s internal Industrial Design team to develop the design in the right direction. Influencing structural design by challenging current ideologies and manufacturing solutions enabled Bombardier to develop a unique cab crash structure while maintaining the concept design. As well as not only cross linking with structural engineers and designers we were also able to cross-link with electrical engineering disciplines by developing the front lights to a low cost solution, minimising parts through standardisation and developing a solution that was also maintenance friendly.

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