Older trams make way for next generation

Monday 18 May 2015

Z-Class to E-Class 2

Some of Melbourne's oldest trams are being retired after close to 40 years of service as more next generation E-Class trams are added to the network.

The retirement of Z-Class trams is part of Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria's cascade plan, which redeploys high-capacity, low-floor trams to routes where they are needed most.

22 E-Class trams are now in service on Route 96, but the benefits of E-Class are being shared across the world's largest tram network.

A further 28 E-Class will be delivered as part of the current Tram Procurement Program, and the Victorian state government has recently committed funding for an extra 20 E-Class trams.

The Tram Procurement Program also includes the redevelopment of Preston Workshops into a state-of-the-art depot facility and other network upgrades.

Z-Class trams were first introduced to the network in 1975 and those that have recently retired had each travelled close to 1.8 million kilometres, equivalent to four and half trips to the moon.

In December 2014, the first three Z-Class trams were retired from passenger service. An additional five trams have been retired since the start of this year.

Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria have committed to gradually retire more older trams as new E-Class trams arrive on the network.

Before being sent to scrap for recycling, all the useful parts from the trams will be removed so they can be used on other trams.

Example of the tram cascade:

Route 19, one of the five busiest routes in Melbourne, is now able to carry more passengers on high-capacity D-Class trams that previously operated on Route 96.

Double carriage B-Class trams have transferred from the Brunswick Depot that operates Route 19 to East Preston Depot, which operates Route 11.

A-Class trams have moved from East Preston to Glenhuntly Depot to allow the retirement of Z-Class trams.