Melbourne’s yellow and green trams are being offered for adoption to community groups and businesses who want to give them a forever home.
A total of 134 retired trams, both Z- and W-class, will be put to tender at the end of the month.
Interested people are invited to fill out a questionnaire in which they specify which class of tram they want to adopt, what, if any, seating arrangements they will require, and agree to pay a $1,000 flat purchase fee.
Prospective tram owners are not allowed to visit the trams in the yard before their tram has been allocated, and the trams will only be granted to approved homes.
An independent evaluation panel will oversee the process.
If, for any reason, a successful applicant does not like the tram they are given, the tram will be allocated to another buyer.
The scheme will allow the beloved vehicles to continue in the public eye once they have been pensioned off Melbourne’s public transport system, public transport minister Jacinta Allan said.
“Over the years trams have transported millions of Victorians, connected our communities and are an integral part of our rich heritage,” she said. “These Victorian icons will now be available to come to life once again and preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
W-class trams, the classic green-and-yellow models, were built by the Melbourneand Metropolitian Tramways Board between 1923 and 1956. The slightly younger Z-class were built between 1975 and 1983.
The Victrack website says that it would cost anywhere between $30,000 and $80,000 to refurbish the inside of the retired tram to its original standard, about the same to convert it into a shelter, up to $100,000 to convert it into a bar and $280,000 to convert it into a cafe.
Repairing a tram to operational standard would cost up to $650,000 but Victrack said private trams would not be allowed to trundle on the public network.
“Under no circumstance will retired trams be able to operate on the Melbourne metropolitan tram network due to operational, safety and accessibility reasons,” it says.
Victrack spokesman James O’Brien told the ABC that they have had countless inquiries about purchasing old trams over the years, and expect to receive hundreds of applications.
Applications which showcase the tram in a public space will get top billing.
“A tram is not just for Christmas, a tram is well and truly for life,” O’Brien said.
Expressions of interest open on 28 May and close on 6 July.
Source: The New Daily