Victorian Govt commits $26M for the local maintenance of trams

Photo by Pat Whelen on Unsplash

To deliver a local pipeline of jobs, the Victorian Government has committed $26 million to a program which will see some of Melbourne’s tram fleet rejuvenated.

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll today visited the Preston tram depot, where 50 jobs have been supported from more than 25 local suppliers working to extend the life of Melbourne’s classic A- and Z-Class trams, keeping the world’s largest tram network running safely and reliably for years to come.

“We’re breathing new life into our iconic older trams before we start rolling out our most comfortable, energy-efficient and accessible trams ever – made in Victoria, by close to 2,000 Victorians,” Carrol said.

The program will see the revitalisation of the tram’s mechanical and electrical systems. The older tram models, which will be the priority, make up around one third of the city’s fleet.

Works are expected to enable the older trams to provide services until the Next Generation Trams are delivered from 2025.

100 Next Generation Trams will make up the biggest single investment in trams in the state’s history – with $1.48 billion in the Victorian Budget 2020-21 to design and manufacture Victoria’s most modern, accessible and energy-efficient trams and purchase land for a new dedicated tram maintenance facility.

Locals will also build the new tram fleet in Dandenong, south-east Melbourne, which is expected to support up to 1,900 local manufacturing and supply chain jobs at the peak of production.

“We’re building a world-class rolling stock industry right here in Victoria – with an ongoing pipeline of secure jobs to ensure we attract the best design, engineering and manufacturing talent for our public transport network,” Carrol said.

As they are introduced, they will gradually replace the A- and Z-class trams across the network, which first entered service between 1975 and 1986.

The A- and Z-Class life extension program is supported by the Labor Government’s $2.7 billion Building Works stimulus package, boosting local jobs as Victoria moves through its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

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