Trams of Australia

C class

(C, E, N & P classes - Maximum traction, bogie, drop-end and centre combination)

[Link to picture of E-class tram] [14] Ballarat No. 38 outside depot

Nos: C(25-35), E(36-45), N(117-126), P(131-138)
Introduced: 1916 - 1917
Withdrawn: Scrapped or sold to State Electricity Commission in mid 1940s
Electrics: 2 x 65hp GE 201G motors,
Size: 45ft 5.5in x 8ft 9in
Seating/Crush load: 52/??

The C and E classes were built for the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT), and the N and P classes for the Hawthorn Tramways Trust (HTT). The Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board gave them these letter codes when it took over the trusts.

In 1928, these codes were rationalised by the MMTB. The C, E, N, and P classes are all Maximum Traction bogie, two-bogie drop-centre saloon cars, so they were all re-designated C-class.

The Maximum Traction bogie is assymmetrical, with larger wheels on the driven axle and smaller non-driving wheels. In general, the larger wheels on each bogie are nearer the ends of the tram. The bogies were Brill 22E (most of the single-truck trams in Melbourne used Brill 21E trucks). To today's drivers, there is nothing "maximum" about the traction at all - it is very easy to get wheels to slip. They also have a tendency to jump the track, and need restraining chains, like seatbelts, to hold them when they do. Still, the ride comfort for the passengers would have been much greater than on the single-bogie trams.

Preserved (old) C-class trams
In operating condition: Non-operational trams:

Thanks to Tim Blythman for information for this page.

[14] Thanks to Andrew Cox and the Ballarat Vintage Tramway for this photo. Photo taken by Andrew Cox at Ballarat Depot. Used by permission.