Melbourne’s E-Class trams – the biggest, safest and most accessible on the network – now have a new home.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, joined local Member Robin Scott and the Chair and CEO of Yarra Trams to officially open the new Preston Tram Depot and Workshop today.
The new facility is the product of a $190 million redevelopment of the existing tram depot on St Georges Road.
It was the largest redevelopment ever undertaken of a heritage site while it remained operational in Australia, with Yarra Trams continuing to use it as a heavy maintenance facility throughout construction.
The project created around 250 on-site construction jobs, many more in the manufacturing supply chain, and will support ongoing jobs on the tram network as it grows to meet the needs of a growing Melbourne.
The new depot is part of the $800 million Tram Procurement Program funded by the former Labor Government, which included the purchase of 50 new E-Class trams and associated infrastructure upgrades and operating costs.
After four wasted years under the former Liberal Government, who didn’t order a single new tram in four years, the Andrews Labor Government ordered 20 more in its first Budget and outlined a ten year plan for 80 more in its rolling stock strategy, Trains, Trams, Jobs 2015-2025.
The new depot is big enough to stable all 70 of the new E-Class trams Labor Governments have ordered, which will add capacity for close to 15,000 extra passengers.
It is also home to Yarra Trams’ skills development program, which includes Australia’s first full-sized tram cabin simulator that provides trainee drivers with driving experience before operating a tram.
Currently there are 33 E-Class trams are operating on the network, on routes 11 and 96, and in November they’ll start running on Route 86.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“This brand new home for our biggest trams will support services, skills and jobs, and ensure our tram network grows as Melbourne does.”
“E-Class trams are built in Melbourne for Melbourne. They’re the biggest, safest and most accessible trams on the network and every single one of them has been ordered by a Labor Government.”
Quotes attributable to Yarra Trams CEO Nicolas Gindt
“Modernising the tram network is critical to ensure that we can continue to deliver safe and reliable services to Melbourne and the more than 192 million passenger trips each year.”
“New Preston Depot is one of the most modern tram depots in the world and it has set a new benchmark in our industry in terms of technology and automated services, which will create significant service delivery improvements for our network and the people of Melbourne.”