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New life for Melbourne’s historic W-Class trams

27 Sep 2018

The last of Melbourne’s iconic fleet of W-Class trams that service the City Circle will be restored to ensure they continue to be a hit with tourists and locals for many years to come.

Acting CEO of Public Transport Victoria Alan Fedda said the remaining W6 & W7-Class trams in operation will be stripped back to bare metal before undergoing a major rebuild to improve safety and reliability.

“These upgrades will bring the entire W-Class tram fleet up to modern safety standards and ensure they continue to be a Melbourne icon for years to come,” he said.

While the remaining trams are restored, City Circle trams will operate every 30 minutes from 15 October 2018, before progressively returning to the current 12-minute frequency as the restored W-Class trams return to the network.

To ensure passengers in the north of the CBD can continue to catch trams regularly on the weekend, additional services will be added to Route 30 along La Trobe Street on the weekend, matching the current frequency of the City Circle services along the route.

A permanent boost to Route 30 services on the weekend, and weekday evenings, will be implemented in 2019 giving additional options to tram passengers in the north of the CBD.

“When these historic trams were first introduced on the network, Melburnians paid for things with pounds and shillings and King George was Australia’s monarch,” said Mr Fedda.

“So, given their age, the engineers at the Bendigo Workshops are carefully bringing them into the modern age, while retaining their distinctive, historic character.”

In line with maintenance and safety standards, all of these trams need to be upgraded by the end of 2018, including the trams operated by the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.

PTV and Yarra Trams have been in discussions with the company that operates the restaurant trams to identify options for their continued operations.

Along with improving the safety of the fleet, the W-Class restoration program includes a reinforced driver’s cabin, new electronics and wiring, and restoring the iconic green and gold livery.

Since 2012, six W-Class trams have been upgraded, with work currently underway on another three.

A total of 12 trams are scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Find our more information regarding the City Circle tram and new services for Route 30