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Constituency question: Tram Route 58

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran) : My constituency question is for the Minister for Public Transport, and the question I ask is: when will the high-capacity E-class trams be put into regular service along tram route 58, which travels through the Prahran electorate and through South Yarra? It was a welcome announcement that the new trams would begin testing on route 58, and certainly getting new high-capacity trams to run along tram routes throughout the Prahran electorate is something that I have been advocating for for a long time, particularly on route 58, which is one of Melbourne’s busiest routes that experiences frequent overcrowding, and it is only going to get busier with ongoing development next to South Yarra station and the new Domain station. I would also urge the government, with the rollout of high-capacity trams, to accelerate new level-access stops to ensure access to the new trams and to increase the manufacture of new trams to 20 per year, as per their own rolling stock strategy. So I ask the minister: when will the trams actually come into full service?

Answer: Victoria is procuring 100 new E-Class trams, the first 81 of which are already in service, operating on routes 11, 86 and 96. As you have noted, E-Class trams are currently being tested on Route 58.  The introduction of E-Class trams to a new route cannot proceed until adequate rolling stock has been delivered and safety accreditation has been achieved. Testing to achieve accreditation has begun. This is a thorough process that will identify any additional enabling infrastructure or modifications to existing stops and tracks that ensure passengers and other road users have a safe journey.

Key pieces of enabling infrastructure for Route 58 are in delivery, including new terminal, substations and platform stop upgrades at Flagstaff and South Yarra station. Additional minor works will be identified as part of the testing process. The date of potential introduction of E-Class trams to full service on Route 58 will be determined when the extent of those works has been established.

Hon Melissa Horne MP

Minister for Public Transport

Minister for Ports and Freight