Yarra Trams employees head to Leipzig for competition
20 May 2022
MELBOURNE TRAM DRIVERS TO COMPETE IN EUROPEAN TRAM DRIVER’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
Later this month the world’s most skilled tram drivers will come together to test their skills and vie to take home the title of world’s best tram driver at the European Tram Driver’s Championships.
Yarra Trams has been invited to participate in the 2022 edition of the championships, and the Melbourne-based team will be the first non-European team to compete.
After the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 competitions due to COVID-19 restrictions, the competition is back for its 10th year, with teams gathering in Leipzig, Germany to compete in a series of safety and precision-driving based challenges. One of the best-loved challenges from previous years, tram bowling, is also poised to return to the championships. Each of the 25 teams from 19 nations consist of one male driver, one female driver, and a team coach.
Australia will be represented by experienced Yarra Trams drivers Amanda Paul and Frendy Lim who have each been driving trams in Melbourne for more than five years. They will be assisted by Malvern Depot Team Manager Wayne Speers who will be serving as the ‘team coach’ for the event.
Ahead of their departure for Europe next week, Amanda and Frendy completed a training day at New Preston Depot where they practiced safety-critical skills including precision stopping, speed estimation and smooth driving. They also had the opportunity to practice tram bowling with a massive 4m diameter beach ball.
In addition to the 2019 championship’s winner Brussels and host city Leipzig, teams from Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Brno, Budapest, Dublin, Florence, Frankfurt, Hanover, Kyiv, Košice, Krakow, Luxembourg, Lviv, Lyon, Oradea, Porto, Sofia, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Vienna, and Zaragossa will also be competing to win the title as world’s best tram drivers.
With Melbourne’s trams ranging from the historic W-class trams to the modern, Melbourne-built E-classes, Yarra Trams’ drivers are highly experienced across multiple styles and generations of trams. This diversity of tram experience places Yarra Trams’ team in good stead to place well in the upcoming competition where they will be driving trams that operate on Leipzig’s 150 year-old network, the third largest in Germany.
Keolis Downer is the proud operator of Yarra Trams - the world’s largest tram network, with 1,400 drivers operating approximately 500 trams across more than 250km of double track through Melbourne’s streets.
Yarra Trams is currently recruiting more than 150 new tram drivers over the course of 2022, and those interested in exploring a change of career, or re-joining the workforce are encouraged to visit Yarra Trams’ careers webpage.
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll
“We have some of the most highly-skilled drivers on our iconic tram network here in Melbourne and we’re excited to see them on the world stage and put their talents to the test.”
Quotes attributable to Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer, Julien Dehornoy:
“I know Melbourne’s tram drivers are among the best in the world, and now we’ve got the opportunity to prove it at the world’s largest gathering of international tram drivers!
“We are very proud of Amanda, Frendy and Wayne representing Melbourne’s iconic and historic tram network in Leipzig.”
Quotes attributable to team coach Wayne Speers:
“Amanda, Frendy and I are incredibly excited and proud to be representing Australia and Yarra Trams at the European Tram Driver’s Championship.
“The competition will be tough, but I’m confident with all our training and experience we’ll be able to perform well and hopefully bring the title back to Melbourne!”