Victoria Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu
Baillieu To Save W-Class Trams
Victor P Taffa
A Baillieu Government will preserve W-Class trams for Victoria, Leader of the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Ted Baillieu said today.
“These iconic trams were designed in Melbourne and introduced in the 1920’s, and the few we have left should be maintained and preserved as heritage and cultural icons of our city.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“While approximately 40 W-Class trams are in working order at the moment, operating on the City Circle route and on two regular public transport routes, there are many others in storage slowly rotting away.”
“Of those, most have been left to rot under a Labor Government and may end up on the scrap heap.”
“This would leave Melbourne in the disgraceful position of losing its remaining historic W-Class trams.”
“These icons of Melbourne’s history must be saved and preserved.” Mr. Baillieu said.
“To ensure that the W-Class tram continues to operate in Melbourne, a Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will invest up to $8 Million in its first term to maintain, restore and trial a limited return to operation for the historic W-Class trams.”
“This will require the restoration of the trams to as close to original condition as possible, while still meeting current safety levels.”
“A Coalition Government will take the W-Class trams that Labor has discarded, gradually restore them, and operate them in activity centres and on tourist routes.” Mr. Baillieu said.
The Coalition will work with Yarra Trams and local councils to restore W-Class operations in some key activity centres. Options under consideration include:
- Central Business District
- St Kilda, South Melbourne
- Chapel Street, South Yarra, Prahran and Armadale
- Fitzroy, Brunswick and Coburg
Routes will be determined in consultation with Yarra Trams, the National Trust and Melbourne and local councils.
A ticket on the W-Class trams will be the same price as other public transport, and the City Circle route will remain free.
Work on the restoration of these trams will update the braking systems and improve driver safety and passenger comfort, as well as painting and restoring their heritage livery to its original splendour.
The W-Class trams are a unique feature of Melbourne’s history and their future will be guaranteed under a Baillieu Government.
The services will operate outside peak hours.