The return of trams running in the Auckland CBD is one step closer, with the arrival of two trams from Australia this morning.

The pair of 1920 trams - a W2 and a X-1 Class - will run along a 1.5km loop at Wynyard Quarter.

Sections of rail have already been installed and the loop is expected to be completed in August in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Waterfront Auckland Chief Executive John Dalzell said the trams were restored at the Bendigo Tramway Museum in Victoria.

"They have both been painted in the original 1950s 'carnation red', and will soon be emblazoned with 'Waterfront Auckland Trams' livery."

The 17 tonne, 48 feet long W2 tram has a seating capacity of 52 and a 2-person tram (driver and conductor). The 9 tonne, 31 feet long X-1 tram has a seating capacity of 32 and requires one person - the driver.

The arrival heralds the return of trams to the central city - electric trams ran down Queen St from 1902 until 1956, when the rails were removed.

- Herald Online