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Wattle Park becomes home to W-Class heritage tram again

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wattle Park is once again home to one of Melbourne’s much-loved W-Class heritage trams.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith and Member for Burwood Graham Watt today announced the new tram had arrived after careful re-conditioning by the Bendigo Tramways Trust for its new outdoor home. It replaces the one burnt by vandals in December 2011.

Mr Smith and Mr Watt were both on site to witness the arrival and craning in of the heritage tram, which dates back to the World War II.

Mr Watt said the Victorian Coalition Government’s donation of the tram was great news for Wattle Park visitors and the community.

“Kids of all ages from four to forty will be rapt that the tram has come to the park just in time for the Easter School Holidays,” Mr Watt said.

“Many people were extremely saddened when the previous much-loved tram was destroyed. It is great to see another tram back in the park for everyone to use and enjoy.”

Mr Smith congratulated Parks Victoria staff, who worked with VicTrack, the custodial owners of the heritage trams, to find a suitable replacement.

“The tram has been carefully reconditioned by the Bendigo Tramways Trust with fittings and wheels removed, steel interiors installed, and a fresh coat of paint,” Mr Smith said.

“Wattle Park has had a strong historic and local community connection to these trams since it was opened by the Hawthorn Tramway Trust in 1917.

“The number 861 ‘W-Class’ tram that has been donated was first used during the World War II. It’s good to know that it will be used again after being in storage at the Preston Tram Workshop for many years.

The tram was transported from Bendigo yesterday and was craned into position. Installation will be completed in a few weeks time.

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