There are some great resources on the internet for details of public transport in Melbourne. Trams, trains and buses, we have the lot.
I have done some tram research and snapped with the camera and here is an educative post for you. Amaze your friends with your detailed knowledge, or just skip the post and come back in a week when I will tell you about trains. Well, maybe not.
In order of appearing on the streets of Melbourne.
Here are a couple of Ws, W Class actually. They are further divided
into sub classes such as W5, W6 or SW6, but don't you worry about that.
They are Melbourne's old trams. You can see them on the free City
Circle line, travelling along Latrobe Street from St Vincent's Plaza to
Docklands and in Chapel Street. They are noisy and quite slow, but
comfortable and served Melbourne well for many decades. Tram numbers
perhaps, 800 to 1020.
This is a Z1 or Z2 tram. They are much the same, just call them Zeds.
They have pointy noses, round headlights and a green dot matrix
destination that is hard to read. They are jerky and tend to scream
when they get up speed. They are mainly seen in the more expensive
areas of Melbourne, south of the river. Tram numbers, 1 to 115. Later edit: All Z trams now have driver's air conditioning.
This is a Z3 tram, still with a pointy nose, but rectangular headlights,
an extra door, bright orange LED destinations and gently whine when in motion. They have what looks like a cat carrying cage on the roof at each end.
These are air conditioning units for the drivers. See them or catch
them anywhere almost. Tram numbers 116 to 230.
Since we are now at the end of the alphabet, back to the beginning with A class. There were two models, but they are much the same. They are quite short and boxy looking and not terribly big inside. They too have the bright orange LED destinations, along with the rectangular headlights of the Z3 and they feel similar to travel on like the Z3. Mostly seen on east west Melbourne routes. Tram numbers 231 to 300.
Then we have the B class tram, in my opinion the best tram Melbourne has
ever seen. It was built locally and is quite old now. It presents in two
sections, articulated in the middle, and is Melbourne's first tram with
air-conditioning, which works very well. It is a very comfortable tram. It
still retains the rectangular headlights but there are a pair each side.
It still has the hard to read green dot matrix destination. There are a
decent lot of them and they are spread over the system. Tram numbers
2001 to 2132.
Suddenly and strangely we lost the ability to build trams in Australia and the C class, or Citadis, arrived from France. It is a disabled friendly tram with low floors. It is dreary shade of grey but has quite stylish lines. It is somewhat nicer to travel on than the other type of Euro tram. You will see C class trams mostly in Collins Street and they have air con, but the green dot matrix destination is not great to read. Tram numbers 3000 to 3036.
Only Germans could have designed such an ugly brute as the D class,
Combino tram(sorry MD). They come in 3 bit articulated bits, D1 or 5
bits, D2. They are mostly white, square looking, with easy to read
green dot matrix destinations. The seats are tiny, you get thrown side
to side, hear every vibration over rough track and have woefully
inadequate heating and cooling. They are used mostly south of the river
but frequently visit East Brunswick, the other end of the St Kilda light
rail and Moreland, the other end of the Toorak route. Tram numbers 3501 to 3538 for the short ones and 5001 to 5021 for
the long ones.
And then we have Bumblebee, which is like a C class only longer and brightly painted. It is an improvement on the shorter Citadis, but unfortunately, we are only renting them and have to give them back. Only used on the St Kilda light rail. 5100 to 5123.