First tram gets police escort into Canberra under the cover of darkness
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First tram gets police escort into Canberra under the cover of darkness

While most of Canberra was sleeping, the first tram carriage for the multi-million-dollar light rail network was being escorted by police into the national capital.

It's another tangible sign of progress on the light rail network, with work on the 12km City to Gungahlin corridor continuing apace.

The tram on the back of a truck ready for export.

The tram on the back of a truck ready for export.

The tram was being towed into a shed Exhibition Park in Canberra at Mitchell about 2am on Wednesday. The ACT Government is expected to unofficially unveil it soon.

Fourteen "light rail vehicles" aka trams are slated to run on the 13-stop corridor. The remaining 13 trams are yet to arrive.

The tram was transported from Spain to Australia on the ship Hoegh Berlin.

The tram was transported from Spain to Australia on the ship Hoegh Berlin.

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The capacity of each vehicle is 207 passengers - 66 seats and 141 people standing. Four bikes will be allowed per carriage.

The vehicles have been exported from Spain for use in Canberra. A video has been posted of its arrival by ship in Port Kembla before being trucked to Canberra.

Transport Minister Megan Fitzharris said it was another milestone for the light rail network.

"It is exciting to see Canberra Metro deliver the first of 14 vehicles for the project. It's a nice Christmas present for the city," she said.

The tram's journey from Spain to Australia took about seven weeks.

The tram's journey from Spain to Australia took about seven weeks.

"This is another milestone for the project, and I hope Canberrans are starting to get excited about how light rail will deliver better public transport in this city.

"I would like to thank Canberra Metro and all those involved in the transportation of the vehicle, including NSW and ACT police, who ensured the transportation was done in a safe and secure manner."

A spokesman for Ms Fitzharris said the tram was transported at night for logistical reasons including the need to close roads.

Chief Minster Andrew Barr visited the Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles factory in Zaragoza to inspect the first LRV before its shipment.

A video of the tram leaving Spain for a seven-week journey to Australia has been posted on YouTube.

The maximum speed of the vehicles is 70km/h.

The light rail vehicles will feature artwork by Aboriginal elder Uncle Jimmy Williams on their seat fabric.

Emerging artist Hannah Quinlivan will have her work featured on the glazed screens at each platform.

More images of the trams destined for Canberra are here.

Construction of the first stage of the light rail network is slated for late 2018.