Breathing New Life Into Our Historic W-Class Trams

23 October 2016

The Andrews Labor Government will develop Victoria’s first comprehensive strategy for the future of Melbourne’s historic W-Class trams.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced a W-Class reference group to advise on how best to use the heritage trams, which first started running on Melbourne’s streets nearly 100 years ago.

A detailed audit of nearly 200 remaining W-Class trams will determine the condition of each of them and their potential for future refurbishment or use.

The reference group will work with and include representatives from Public Transport Victoria (PTV), VicTrack, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, and Yarra Trams to undertake the audit.

Other stakeholders will be asked to share their knowledge and help shape their future use in the coming weeks and months.

A great deal of interest has already been generated about using these W-Class trams, and a PTV survey has proved Victorians recognise and appreciate their value.

A number of potential uses have been canvassed, but the condition of the de-commissioned trams, which have been in storage for many years, won’t be fully understood until the audit is complete.

Victorians and visitors continue to enjoy these iconic trams through public exhibits, along the City Circle Tram service and Bendigo Tramways, where more than three million people each year ride one of the twelve W-Class trams around the loop.

The group is expected to report back to government with their findings in the second half of next year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“W-Class trams hold a special place in the hearts of all Victorians and the Andrews Labor Government will ensure they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

“These icons have sat dormant for far too long, which is why we’re establishing a reference group to undertake an audit on each and every one of them and develop a plan to determine their future use.”

“Earlier this year, we sent the sixth W-Class tram up to Bendigo to be restored – we hope to see more of these icons back on our streets.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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