Bombardier E2 Class

 
  steve195 Junior Train Controller

The Age are reporting (here) that the redesigned E-class will be unveiled tomorrow.

It looks like the E2 (i.e. 6051-) will have much slimmer A pillars (or whatever you call them on trams) to improve driver visibility.



"It will include extra handholds and grab rails, reducing the risk of passenger falls..
Internal cameras will be fitted to the trams so drivers can more easily see passengers moving between the tram and platforms."

These sound good, however there is no mention of a software update to smoothen the ride.

The article also states that the internal upgrades will be retrofitted to the rest of the fleet; I suppose that is one advantage of local production.


What do we all think?

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  James974 Chief Train Controller

What do we all think?
steve195
I don't mind the new look. Slimmer, more handholds, better visibility for the driver and this is the step in the right direction. Some further tweaks could be made (e.g. smoothening the ride).

Here's the webpage of the design team for the refinements:
https://www.good-design.com/entry/melbourne-lrv-e2-class-design-enhancement/
  James974 Chief Train Controller

This photo is more clear of the changes made at the front as a comparison between the two.
  James974 Chief Train Controller

This shows the cab interior looks between a E class and E2 class tram
  JeanMeunier Beginner

The most expensive trams in the world! Congratulations to Bombardier and to the Victorian Government! 274m$ for 20 trams, 274m$, 13.7m$ per tram!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The Age are reporting (here) that the redesigned E-class will be unveiled tomorrow.

It looks like the E2 (i.e. 6051-) will have much slimmer A pillars (or whatever you call them on trams) to improve driver visibility.



"It will include extra handholds and grab rails, reducing the risk of passenger falls..
Internal cameras will be fitted to the trams so drivers can more easily see passengers moving between the tram and platforms."

These sound good, however there is no mention of a software update to smoothen the ride.

The article also states that the internal upgrades will be retrofitted to the rest of the fleet; I suppose that is one advantage of local production.


What do we all think?
steve195
There is also no mention of adjusting the floor heights slightly for DDA compliance.
  HardSleeper Junior Train Controller

Location: Route 48
The Age are reporting (here) that the redesigned E-class will be unveiled tomorrow.

It looks like the E2 (i.e. 6051-) will have much slimmer A pillars (or whatever you call them on trams) to improve driver visibility.



"It will include extra handholds and grab rails, reducing the risk of passenger falls..
Internal cameras will be fitted to the trams so drivers can more easily see passengers moving between the tram and platforms."

These sound good, however there is no mention of a software update to smoothen the ride.

The article also states that the internal upgrades will be retrofitted to the rest of the fleet; I suppose that is one advantage of local production.


What do we all think?
steve195
I hope that livery is just an artists impression, looks like a poor ripoff of the current E Class design which incidentally is the best rendition of the PTV livery across the whole fleet...
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Seeing the side-by-side driver's view, the difference is dramatic. The obstruction of view in the E1 is very obvious. It seems like it would be a large problem for drivers, is it? Any complaints?

Minor issues I hope to see fixed in the E2:
-The jerk when starting to move. A good driver with a good tram is ok, but some trams apparently simply can't be driven smoothly.
-The CLICK from the door interlocks each time the tram starts to move.
-The ~1s delay between coming to a stop and the doors opening. I'm sure this can be reduced as it is not noticeable on any other tram or train
-Improvements to the internal ramp at the doorways. It's too steep and too awkward. I'm able bodied, but I have almost face-planted while boarding at a platform stop in the wet, because the ramp was steep, wet and slippery.


Stuff that won't happen:
-Make the floor level, by adding a step around the seats. In my mind, that would reduce slips because the floor is predictable, and wouldn't reduce wheelchair access (they don't fit down the aisle anyway).
-Camera footage of cars illegally passing at stops, with automatic enforcement (speed camera style).
-Flip-down seats in the empty space between the 2 doors in end modules
-Put the route number on the right hand side of the desto
  steve195 Junior Train Controller

New interior via the premier's social media:

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
New interior via the premier's social media:

steve195
Is this half finished, half baked or just Victorian, please?
  steve195 Junior Train Controller

The finishing touches are done at Preston.
  Chrono Detector Assistant Commissioner

Location: Tram 57/59
I just wish the seats were more comfortable and softer like the ones found on the Z/A/B fleet, ever since after 2001, the seats on the rest of the low floor trams are horrible and in poor quality, and the seats on the E tram aren't too great either. Doesn't appear these new E2 revision trams will have more comfortable seats either.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The finishing touches are done at Preston.
steve195
I note that the pic came originally from "via the Premier's social media".

Why would anyone publish a promotional photo of a half finished anything? Not that I imagine that the premier or his staff would be aware that the fit out was only half finished.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

Doesn't appear these new E2 revision trams will have more comfortable seats either.
Chrono Detector
Blame the vandals who slash the seats.

The operators are going for vandal resistance over passenger comfort.

This problem isn't unique to Melbourne.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
E2s going straight onto route 96. Let me guess, the E1s are already too old for the vegan-soy-latte crowds of Brunswick so those ones are going to the 86 and 19 to replace the last of the B2s. I suppose at least get to have comfy seats for another twelve or so years on route 75.

As for uncomfortable seats, vandal-proofing them has almost nothing to do with hard seats with practically no padding under the fabric. When a B2 has its seats slashed by a bunch of teenagers hiding all the way down at the other end, the seat cushions are replaced with the exact same ones, they don't magically put a plastic Citadis seat on top of where the old one was (that said, the Comeng trains actually do have "new" seats sitting right on top of the old fibreglass bases at the non-driving end).

Also, a single tram now costs more than the average TattsLotto jackpot? When will someone buy Holden and start selling Kingswoods using new old stock HQ parts for only $499,999?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Grytviken
E2s going straight onto route 96. Let me guess, the E1s are already too old for the vegan-soy-latte crowds of Brunswick so those ones are going to the 86 and 19 to replace the last of the B2s. I suppose at least get to have comfy seats for another twelve or so years on route 75. ...
Heihachi_73
As a 96'er myself I have to object to you singling out Brunswick people as "vegan-soy-latte crowds". I'll have you know that people in Fitzroy, Carlton, Albert Park, Middle Park and especially St Kilda are no less that way than Brunswick people are.

Actually Labour ran dead in the Melbourne electorate at the last federal election, they put so little time and money into the inner north that they actually came third. The Greens won, but the Libs came second. But to the south of the city, both the Libs and Greens have been doing well in the state seat of Albert Park, so perhaps putting the newest trams on the 96 route is an
attempt to shore up the ALP vote in that area?
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
How about putting the centre bogies right under the articulations instead of under the centre section?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Grytviken
How about putting the centre bogies right under the articulations instead of under the centre section?
Myrtone
The E class is a standard Bombardier design with a few minor cosmetic tweaks. Trams just like them run in dozens of cities all over the world. To redesign the wheels, chassis, and traction motors for just one city would be prohibitively expensive.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
But what if it isn't redesigned for just one city, but other cities ordering trams similar to our E class. Unfortunately, none have done so yet.
  Matthew Junior Train Controller

But what if it isn't redesigned for just one city, but other cities ordering trams similar to our E class. Unfortunately, none have done so yet.
Myrtone
A Jacob's bogie articulation is reasonably complex and it would appear Bombardier want to stay away from it. It would probably make the tram even more expensive. If you want bogies under the articulations order Škoda. They appear to have the only series production of Jacobs articulation style tram.

While Melbourne's E is called a Flexity Swift by Bombardier, it's more of a merging of the Flexity Classic and the Swift into something quite different from either.

I suspect they won't sell that many, most operators are going mostly on price and the E configuration has 4 bogies in a 30m of tram whereas the 'common' fixed truck articulated tram only has 3 bogies in 30m of tram. That must make a significant difference in cost. škoda's 14T is another 'track friendly' tram, yet only 2 cities have ordered them. The extra bogie per length makes them expensive.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Grytviken
Perhaps some of us don't have much exposure to the concept of competitive markets. There are a few major companies that make and design trams, but I'll use an analogy and if we think of them like car companies, it should make the idea easier to grasp.

Your employer has decided to buy a fleet of Toyota Camrys, there are a few variants available such as longer wheelbases, different internal fit outs, diesel or petrol engines, etc. All of these can be supplied at a competitive cost. But they do not have a design for a station wagon. The only way you can have a Camry wagon is to employ an engineer and repair shop to modify a standard Camry. So while an ordinary Camry will cost around $30,000 to buy, a specially built bespoke Camry station wagon would cost around $100,000.

Clearly that is a ridiculous amount to pay, so if you really want a station wagon, it would be far smarter to buy one off the shelf from a different car maker that does make them such as Mazda or Ford rather than get a bespoke Camry station wagon made at vast expense.

So to get back to trams, Bombardier's Flexity Swift model of tram comes with a range of options, but it does NOT include bogies under the articulations. Now if you had an unlimited amount of money to spend, you could probably modify the design. But that would be a huge waste of money. Instead if you really wanted that type of wheel arrangement, it would be far smarter to look at alternative brands of trams such as Siemens, Alstom, Skoda, etc.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Perhaps Bombardier could add Jacobs bogies to their lineup. You should think of trams as like buses, not cars. While I don't know about buses, I do know that rail vehicles, including trams, don't come off-the-shelf the way cars do.
Unfortunately, we only ordered  50 E1 class trams, if our order were much larger, say as large as Toronto's, we could probably order a more customised design at a competitive cost.
If Adelaide were to order the same design, especially if it were a joint venture order, then the cost of customisation would be even lower. Perhaps they should when they order more trams.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Grytviken
I have no doubt that all of the four biggest tram makers (including Bombardier) have looked at bogies between carriages, but as Matthew points out, only one currently thinks that it is worth it, considering the extra cost.

In the same way, Toyota would have considered designing a Camry station wagon, but they thought that there wasn't the market to justify the extra cost, so they decided to leave that niche to other car makers. Unless someone has a strong brand loyalty to Toyota, everyone requiring a station wagon that size would be quite happy to buy a similar model from Mazda instead. This analogy applies to trams as well, if a city really wants alternative wheel arrangements they can buy a Skoda tram.

The result is that Toyota (or Bombardier) is happy to save the money it would cost to design and build a variant with limited appeal and customers who really want that variant can go to a different company that offers it.

Melbourne trams don't need bogies between the carriages, so for the latest order of trams, 'the powers that be' wisely decided to save the extra money trams like that would cost.
  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
Melbourne trams don't need bogies between the carriages, so for the latest order of trams, 'the powers that be' wisely decided to save the extra money trams like that would cost.
Bogong
So B class don't need bogies at the articulations? Wink

The Škoda 15T is actually hugely cheaper than the E class but the Victorian govt wants the trams built in Victoria and Škoda won't do that and was knocked out of the original bid because of that. There is basically a huge subsidy paid for local manufacture. As for bogies, the extra expense is for the extra bogie (fourth bogie in 30 metres), no matter where it is on the tram, Jacobs or not. The major benefit of the extra bogie is a substantial reduction in axle load and therefore less damage to the tracks. There is also extra expense in having swivelling bogies but these pay off again in less track wear.

The advantage of the Jacobs bogie in a low floor is that it frees up the cabin space into a blank canvas in which doors and seats can be flexibily positioned wherever you want them. When the bogies are in the cabins there are huge bogie boxes that severely restrict placement of seats and doors within each module. In the Škoda 15T the six doors are evenly-positioned along the side of the tram. In the E there are only 5 doors and these are in uneven bunches.

The Škoda bogies also have asymmetrical king pins with two on each Jacobs, in order to maintain the kinematic envelope, and this would be patented. That leaves a conventional Jacobs bogies (as on the Bs) available to other manufacturers and this would probably require very short module sections to maintain the kinematic envelope. Nowadays manufacturers prioritise cost-minimisation and they won't promote more expensive (better) solutions or they'll miss out in competitive tendering. Clients under modern tendering rules almost invariably score price over technical suitability, so the end result is a pretty dumbed-down industry. Melbourne has placed more emphasis on technical matters and pays a price for that.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So B class don't need bogies at the articulations? Wink
tonyp
The B class is a high floor design, so it's easier to have pivoting and Jacobs bogies.

The Škoda 15T is actually hugely cheaper than the E class but the Victorian govt wants the trams built in Victoria and Škoda won't do that and was knocked out of the original bid because of that. There is basically a huge subsidy paid for local manufacture. As for bogies, the extra expense is for the extra bogie (fourth bogie in 30 metres), no matter where it is on the tram, Jacobs or not. The major benefit of the extra bogie is a substantial reduction in axle load and therefore less damage to the tracks. There is also extra expense in having swivelling bogies but these pay off again in less track wear.
tonyp
Škoda trams may be cheaper in Europe than Bombardier, but in Australia, they might be considerably more expensive because they would have to be built completely in Europe and then imported.

The advantage of the Jacobs bogie in a low floor is that it frees up the cabin space into a blank canvas in which doors and seats can be flexibily positioned wherever you want them. When the bogies are in the cabins there are huge bogie boxes that severely restrict placement of seats and doors within each module. In the Škoda 15T the six doors are evenly-positioned along the side of the tram. In the E there are only 5 doors and these are in uneven bunches.
tonyp
Is this really a significant advantage?

The Škoda bogies also have asymmetrical king pins with two on each Jacobs, in order to maintain the kinematic envelope, and this would be patented. That leaves a conventional Jacobs bogies (as on the Bs) available to other manufacturers and this would probably require very short module sections to maintain the kinematic envelope. Nowadays manufacturers prioritise cost-minimisation and they won't promote more expensive (better) solutions or they'll miss out in competitive tendering. Clients under modern tendering rules almost invariably score price over technical suitability, so the end result is a pretty dumbed-down industry. Melbourne has placed more emphasis on technical matters and pays a price for that.
tonyp
The reason that we have placed more emphasis on technical matters is because we are a legacy system, which cannot be modified to suit industry standard tram designs. The type of tram you prefer may be technologically superior, but the fact is that by buying Bombardier, a client is buying the ability to share a supply of spare parts with many other cities that have also chosen Bombardier. Bombardier may be superior in terms of the whole product, even if not technologically.

Škoda trams might have better performance, especially on legacy systems, but it is a lot better? On well maintained straight sections of track, whether the bogies move or makes nary a difference. So if your tram routes are mostly straight, and say all your curves have curve easement, then there isn't a significant gain on the bogies moving.
The standard L.R.T minimum curve radius is 25m, and so clients building new might not see any benefit in pivoting bogies that outweighs the cost if their stock is low floor. If you look at curves on Melbourne tramways, you'll notice that the track centres are wider than on straight track. That's not the case on the Sydney light rail. The short carbody sections of fixed bogie trams means that a wider curve can be put into less space.

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