Preston Workshop

Tram Procurement Program

The Tram Procurement Program is an $800 million package of works and upgrades to improve the accessibility, capacity and reliability of Melbourne's tram network.

The Tram Procurement Program includes:

  • 50 new E-Class low-floor trams delivered by 2018;
  • Upgrading Route 96 to become Melbourne's first fully accessible route - this is also the first route to receive the new trams;
  • Redeveloping the Preston Workshop and Southbank Depot, where new trams will be stored and maintained; and
  • Power upgrades and accessibility improvements to other low-floor tram routes.
The 2015-16 State Budget included $274 million for 20 additional E-Class trams, taking the total order to 70 trams.

Seventy E-Class low-floor trams

Seventy new E-Class low-floor trams are being delivered to Melbourne's tram network. As of April 2016, nearly half of the new trams have been put in service, with 34 E-Class trams operating on routes 96 and 11.

E-Class trams are scheduled to start operating on Route 86 from November 2016.

The new E-Class trams are being designed, constructed and maintained by Dandenong based company Bombardier, creating some 500 local jobs.

The E-Class trams are not only the biggest Melbourne has ever seen, but are also the safest and most accessible with a range of innovative features.

For more information, see New E-Class trams.

Route 96

Route 96 is being upgraded to become Melbourne's first fully accessible route.  Public Transport Victoria, in partnership with Yarra Trams and VicRoads, is delivering a terminus to terminus solution which, along with the new E-Class trams, will make Route 96 a faster, safer and more reliable service for tram passengers.

Route 96 is the first route to receive the new E-Class trams.

Upgrades to Route 96 include:

  • new accessible stops, including new terminus stops at Blyth Street, East Brunswick, and Acland Street, St Kilda
  • real-time customer information
  • segregation between trams and general traffic
  • tram priority at traffic signals and
  • better intermodal connectivity with train and bus timetables.
Read more about the Route 96 upgrade.

New Preston Depot

The 18-acre, 90-year old Preston Workshop site has undergone a $190 million upgrade to provde stabling, operational and maintenance facilities for new E-Class trams.  The biggest tram depot redevelopment in Melbourne's history was completed in March 2016, transforming the Preston Workshops into a state-of-the-art facility.  

New Preston Depot will accommodate up to 70 E-Class trams, and is also home to Australia’s first full-sized tram cabin simulator, that provides trainee drivers with driving experience before operating a tram.

Southbank depot upgrade

A $24 million upgrade of the Southbank tram depot was completed in 2012, enhancing maintenance facilities for the existing tram fleet and the 50 new E-Class trams.  The Southbank depot provides an alternative servicing site to the Preston Workshops, helping to improve the reliability and punctuality of the network.

The upgrade works included the installation of the network's first fully automated tram wash and a 60,000 litre underground water tank to capture stormwater for use in the tram wash.  The new automated wash facility means a tram can now be cleaned in three minutes - much quicker than the normal hour it takes to wash a tram by hand.

The upgrade also included the following improvements:

  • expansion and improvements to the workshop area, providing increased capacity to carry out maintenance works to all types of trams in the fleet and increased room for stabling
  • installation of an underfloor wheel lathe that is used to carry out essential wheel maintenance on the fleet, improving passenger comfort through a smoother ride and reduction in wheel noise
  • additional maintenance pits, work platforms and gantry cranes
  • a new mezzanine office area, workshops and storerooms
  • improved safety features for staff
  • improved underfloor and roof access for tram fleet maintenance and
  • a new automatic wheel measuring station.