Tram Power Upgrade - Thornbury substation

9 November, 2016

Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria (PTV) wish to update you on the new tram power substation on Stott Street, opposite Kemp Street, in Thornbury.

We wish to inform you that the feedback period to have your say on the proposed architectural options has now closed.

An information session was held on 25 October 2016, for interested community members to find out more about the new tram power substation. The session was also an opportunity for attendees to provide feedback on the proposed architectural treatment concepts for the substation.

Architectural treatment

To summarise, 3 architectural options were presented to the community:

Option 1: Green screen - an architectural fence line (site perimeter) with a climbing plant coverage

Option 2: Cladding structure - a wraparound vitrapanel with a graphic fa├žade render

Option 3: Timber structure - a perimeter fence around the substation made from natural materials

Based on email submissions and feedback received at the information session, the preferred option is a variation of Option 2. This includes the following features:

  • An Aboriginal mural by a local Aboriginal artist on the substation building (or cladding panels)
  • Native landscaping within the substation site and remediation around the site
  • Removal of the current fence replaced with a low bollard-style perimeter fence

This varied option is preferred by the community because it aims to:

  • Reduce the visual bulk of the site
  • Recognise the historic significance of the area
  • Improve visual amenity of the streetscape
  • Align with landscaping in other local parks

Yarra Trams and PTV will consult with the local council and the Aboriginal community to investigate this revised option.

Acoustic Solution

In November 2015 a temporary mitigation solution was installed to minimise noise impacts from the substation air-conditioner units. The air-conditioner units are currently operating and further work is being undertaken to trial options to reduce the current noise levels. An additional wall extension around the northern end of the substation may be factored into the final architectural design to further reduce the noise levels if required.

Substation remediation

In late 2015, Yarra Trams received notification from its contractor, Siemens Zinfra, that the cement sheeting used in the flooring of its substation contained asbestos material. The material was isolated within the substation and access to this site has always been restricted to authorised personnel only.

Based on expert advice received fromGreencap (a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) accredited organisation), we assure you that the risk of exposure to the community is negligible.

In accordance with advice from WorkSafe, an accredited specialist cleaned the substation in February 2016. The second stage of the remediation work will involve removal of the flooring containing asbestos within the substation. This activity is scheduled to commence in Q2 2017 and is expected to be completed within four months. The architectural treatment is scheduled to be completed in conjunction with the remediation activity. We will provide more details about this activity once it has been finalised.

Providing a tram network for the future

  • Upgrading tram power is an important part of modernising Melbourne's tram network. This substation at Thornbury will provide power to nearby Route 11.
  • Upgrades to substations will deliver a more reliable power supply to support high capacity trams as they are introduced across the network.

Keeping the local community informed

  • PTV and Yarra Trams are committed to keeping the local community informed regarding this activity and remediation progress.
  • If you would like to know more about this upgrade, please call 1800 800 007 or email

Tram Network Upgrade - Thornbury substation update notification letter (PDF, 295KB)

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