The 10th next generation E-Class tram has hit the tracks today, providing capacity for 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96.
The heritage-listed theatre building at Preston Workshops will be transformed into modern driver facilities as part of the $190 million New Preston Depot Project, part of the overall investment of more than $800 million in tram procurement and associated infrastructure upgrades.
Public Transport Victoria Chief Executive Officer Mark Wild said that our newest tram has proved a great hit with passengers and is providing much needed capacity on Route 96.
"The 10th E-Class tram is hitting the tracks today and these trams are providing capacity for up to 2100 passengers at any one time on Route 96.
"These next generation trams are improving capacity, safety and accessibility, providing a more comfortable journey for thousands of passengers every day.
"Bombardier has been working extremely hard to build Melbourne's state-of-the-art next generation trams as quickly as possible.
"It's fantastic news for Melburnians that we'll been able to introduce 10 E-Class trams onto the network this year, providing much needed capacity on Route 96.
Coleman Rail will redevelop the existing Preston Workshops heritage buildings, providing upgraded facilities for staff, including tram drivers and rolling stock maintenance teams.
The workshops in Preston have been responsible for building and maintaining the city's tram fleet since the 1920s, and have been heritage listed.
Mr Wild said that the New Preston Depot Project is now well underway, and it's great to have awarded the final contract to transform the administration and heritage buildings.
"It is expected that the facilities will be ready for use in early 2016, as soon as the rest of the work at the depot is complete," Mr Wild said.
Yarra Trams Chief Executive Office Clément Michel said that today is another significant milestone in the delivery of 50 new trams for Melbourne, with the 10th next generation tram entering passenger service.
"With more E-Class trams on the network, this allows other high-capacity trams to cascade to other routes where demand is greatest, providing benefits across the network.
Passengers on Route 19 are already travelling on low-floor D-Class trams that previously operated on Route 96, maximising the benefits of the accessible platforms stops installed in Elizabeth Street 12 months ago.
"The revitalisation of the heritage buildings at Preston Workshops will provide our employees with the best facilities available, including the state-of-the-art simulator that is revolutionising the way we are training our drivers.
"Once complete, the new depot will become home to the employeescurrently based at the East Preston Depot on Plenty Road.
"Melbourne boasts the world's largest operating tram network with around 600,000 passenger trips each weekday.
"With daily tram patronage forecast to increase to over one million in 2031, this investment in 50 next generation trams and modern infrastructure ensures that the tram network will continue to meet the needs of our customers and make Melbourne an even more liveable city," Mr Michel said.