New tram fleet and infrastructure upgrades
As part of a $1.1 billion State Government investment, 70 next-generation E-Class low floor trams are being delivered to Melbourne's tram network, along with upgrades to tram power, depots and termini to support the new trams. Customers are benefiting already, with E-Class trams operating on Routes 11, 86 and 96. From late 2016, E-Class trams began running on Route 86; the first time low-floor trams have operated on the route
E Class Trams
Seventy new E-Class trams are being designed, constructed and maintained by Dandenong based company Bombardier, creating about 500 local jobs.
The new trams are larger than previous models, carrying more passengers; and providing easier boarding and exit at level access stops, slip-resistant floors, enhanced air-conditioning, and better on-board customer information systems.
The roll-out of E-Class trams onto a number of key tram routes has benefits for travellers using other tram routes; with other high-capacity trams being redeployed to elsewhere on the network as E-Class trams are introduced.
Route 96 is being upgraded to become Melbourne's first fully accessible route. Public Transport Victoria, in partnership with Yarra Trams and VicRoads, is delivering a terminus to terminus solution which, along with the new E-Class trams, will make Route 96 a faster, safer and more reliable service for tram passengers.
Upgrades to Route 96 include:
- new accessible stops, including new terminus stops at Blyth Street, East Brunswick, and Acland Street, St Kilda
- real-time customer information
- segregation between trams and general traffic
- tram priority at traffic signals and
- better intermodal connectivity with train and bus timetables.
Read more about the Route 96 upgrade.
New Preston depot
The 18-acre, 90-year old Preston Workshop site has undergone a $190 million upgrade to provde stabling, operational and maintenance facilities for the new E-Class trams. This was the biggest tram depot redevelopment in Melbourne's history and will transform the Preston Workshops into a state-of-the-art facility. The upgrade created more than 200 jobs and was completed in March 2016.
Southbank depot upgrade
A $24 million upgrade of the Southbank tram depot was completed in 2012, enhancing maintenance facilities for the existing tram fleet and the new E-Class trams. The Southbank depot provides an alternative servicing site to Preston, helping to improve the reliability and punctuality of the network.
The upgrade works included the installation of the network's first fully automated tram wash and a 60,000 litre underground water tank to capture stormwater for use in the tram wash. The new automated wash facility means a tram can now be cleaned in three minutes - much quicker than the normal hour it takes to wash a tram by hand.