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Designing effective tram infrastructure

Melbourne is home to the world’s largest tram network, running a fleet of over 450 trams. Whilst moving to new generation vehicles, the bulk of the mixed fleet is still based on rolling stock from the 1970s and 80s as well as some historic 1920s W-Class trams which are still in regular operational service.

Cobalt has been working on Melbourne’s trams since 1999, when the network was privatised, acting as Yarra Trams’ external design engineering office. Over this time we have worked on a number of major projects including interior refurbishments, capacity improvements, technology upgrades, as well as design support for Melbourne’s newest tram, the E-Class. Collectively our work has re-imagined and enhanced the passenger experience and shaped the city’s visual identity.

One of these projects involved new passenger information and ticketing technologies to be fitted across the entire tram fleet. Cobalt was asked to develop a smart mechanical system that enabled new cabling to be rapidly fitted throughout the tram.

More recently, Cobalt provided local design and CG visualisation input to Bombardier for the new Melbourne E-Class tram. This project brought greater passenger capacity and comfort, as well as returning local tram manufacturing back to Victoria for the first time in over 30 years.

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Project Areas

Amenities and safety

Passenger Capacity

Concealed cabling

System installation

Construction and finishes

Iconic ‘Tarzan’ handle

E-Class Vision

The Team We believe good design happens by expert people working as a team.

Jack Magree

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Simon Andersen

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Daniel Booker

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Andrew Beard

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Steve Kelliher

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Ryan Harper

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Ricardo Figari

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Melbourne tram approaching stop

Commercial Impact Cobalt straddles both the visual and passenger-centred design elements, as well as the technical engineering, testing and implementation onto networks that must work effectively day in and day out.

Minimal disruption

Customer experience

Increased capacity

Rapid development

Local manufacturing

Other Work