Yarra Trams team heading to the European Tram Driver Championships
  Daniel Bowen




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 https://careers.yarratrams.com.au/.

*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

*“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!”*