Major Tram Upgrade Program Passes Halfway Mark

18 November 2021

A program of works to improve reliability and passenger experience on Melbourne’s iconic tram fleet has passed the halfway mark, boosting employment and injecting money into the local manufacturing economy.

The 250th tram upgrade was completed by Yarra Trams and Downer, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $230 million program to refurbish nearly 450 trams across Melbourne.

Approximately 130 jobs have been created at Downer to deliver the six-year program, including staff who transitioned from the automotive and defence sectors, and five new apprentice positions.

Jobs are also being supported in the supply chain with more than 50 local suppliers providing materials and services.

The tram refurbishments include an overhaul of mechanical components to ensure reliability, structural repairs to remove and protect against corrosion, window replacements, newly upholstered seats where required, new flooring and a repaint.

The 250th tram to be upgraded has served Melburnians well, with the B-Class tram having clocked up 1.7 million kilometres since it entered the network in 1993.

The upgrades come ahead of the biggest single investment in trams in decades, with the Labor Government investing $1.48 billion through the 2021/22 Victorian Budget to design and manufacture 100 Next Generation Trams, to be housed at a new tram maintenance and stabling facility in Maidstone, in Melbourne’s West.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll

“We’re building a world-class rolling stock industry right here in Victoria for Victorians.”

“Whether its trams, trains or buses, we’re helping to build our engineering, design and manufacturing expertise while supporting jobs and businesses in the supply chain.”

Quotes attributable to Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer Julien Dehornoy

“Some of our Z, A, and B class trams have served Melbourne for more than 40 years, and this project makes sure that they feel as fresh as the day they were built.”

“The refurbished trams are more comfortable and reliable for our passengers and will continue to serve this wonderful city as Melburnians get back to being Melburnians again.”

Quotes attributable to Downer Chief Executive Officer Grant Fenn

“It is a testament to our skilled team of more than 130 people at East Preston that we are able to refurbish and extend the life of the different types of trams across the fleet for the passengers, in what is the world’s largest tram life extension and refurbishment project.”

“Our team has continued to deliver throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring these trams are ready as Melburnians return to the Yarra Trams network as restrictions lift.”

Reviewed 17 November 2021

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