News and events

Restored W-Class tram enters service

18 Sep 2015

A third refurbished W-Class tram entered service on the City Circle route today, restored to its former glory but adding modern safety equipment and passenger comfort.

The popular City Circle has around 3.3 million passenger trips each year. These passengers will experience the trams of yesteryear, with modern comforts.

Yarra Trams is restoring four W-Class trams as part of the $8 million project, which brings the trams as close to their original appearance as possible.

Christopher Stinchcombe, Yarra Trams’ Director, Rolling Stock, said: “We’re proud to see the tram back in service for millions of Melburnians and tourists to enjoy on the popular City Circle route.

“The tram has been restored as close as possible to its original appearance, while improving performance along with driver and passenger safety.”

The work extends beyond what people can see and includes detailed engineering, safety and structural work to bring them up to modern standards of safety, reliability, passenger comfort and maintainability.

Each restoration is a complex undertaking, where the tram is stripped down and rebuilt.

This upgrade creates a new class of tram, the W8.

“The amount of work that has gone into creating these restored trams should not be underestimated, because they are essentially a new tram just like the next generation E-Class,” said Mr Stinchcombe.

The Yarra Trams project team at Preston Workshops managed the restoration, which was undertaken at the Bendigo Tramways Depot. This included: 

  • painting and restoring the livery to its original green and gold splendour
  • restoring the original seating
  • placement of the heritage logo of the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board on internal glass panels
  • installing a new PA and passenger information system
  • installing an improved traction system, which is the ‘engine’ that drives the tram
  • replacement of electrical systems within the driver’s cabin with 24-volt to improve safety
  • using LED lighting for headlamps and brake lights to improve visibility.

The tram has been at Preston Workshops undergoing network testing prior to entering service.

“Tourists can now experience a trip on this historic Melbourne icon, while enjoying the comfort and safety of a new tram,” said Mr Stinchcombe. 

The iconic trams were originally designed back in the 1920s as the ‘standard’ tram for Melbourne.


Yarra Trams media line: 0410 473 719

Public Transport Victoria media line: 0466 017 500

View a video of the tram leaving the depot.