Launceston the last stop for two Melbourne trams

Published on 12 April 2019

Melbourne Trams.JPG

Two retired Melbourne trams will now call Northern Tasmania home after the City of Launceston recently acquired them for use in the city's parks.

In August 2018, VicTrack announced that it would hold an Expressions of Interest process for the sale of its fleet of retired Melbourne passenger trams.

More than 1500 applications were received for the 134 trams available, and the City of Launceston was recently informed that its $1000 bid for two trams was successful.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the City of Launceston was thrilled to have acquired the trams, which will arrive in Launceston today.

"We can imagine a whole host of different uses for them, whether that's as play elements in parks, dining areas, kiosks, and more," Mayor van Zetten said.

"Our plans at this stage are for the trams to be put into storage at our depot until we can consult with community groups on potential future restoration or fit-out projects.

"The process ahead will be really exciting because we can envision different community groups getting involved. The work ahead could be a really great learning and educative experience for students working with some of those local groups.

"The proposal we have been exploring is the potential use of the trams as outdoor dining elements at Riverbend Park, where they could be utilised by food van patrons.

"Ultimately, they could be re-purposed as picnic or play elements, or perhaps the community will have ideas for future uses that we haven't yet thought of.

"We're looking forward to being able to see the trams up close and then we can start to have discussions with community groups about what the best options are, and how we go about realising the best outcome."

Mayor van Zetten said the acquisition of the trams celebrated Launceston's historic relationship with Melbourne, as well as Launceston's own tram heritage.

"We know Launceston's Macquarie House was the warehouse used to provision the voyage which ultimately led to the founding of Melbourne in 1835, and that Launceston's first tram ran in 1911.

"So there are some interesting links there that these trams will serve as a reminder of. The trams are in original condition so there is a fair bit of work ahead of us, but we think they're going to be a really exciting addition to Launceston and something that will really delight children."