News State Victoria Hundreds to miss out on adopting an iconic Melbourne tram
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Hundreds to miss out on adopting an iconic Melbourne tram

retired w-class melbourne tram
There are 134 of the retired trams to be adopted out in a Victorian government initiative. Photo: AAP
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Hundreds of people will miss out on adopting one of Melbourne’s iconic retired trams as part of the Victorian government initiative.

There were more than 1500 applications for just 134 trams, The New Daily can reveal.

Successful buyers will have to stump up $1000, plus thousands more to have the tram transported to them and rid of asbestos at a cost of up to $8000.

Schools, community groups, museums and public organisations in Victoria will be spared the buyer’s fee and transportation costs.

Expressions of interest for the Z- and W-class trams closed in July and applicants are expected to hear later this month.

“We are currently assessing the applications and expect to let people know the outcome by the end of the month,” a VicTrack spokesperson told The New Daily.

A second round of offers could also be made if some successful applicants pull out, according to an email from the chair of the evaluation panel.

“Successful applicants will need to demonstrate how they can refurbish and maintain the tram,” chair David Hunter told applicants on Tuesday.

“If some of the successful short-listed applicants don’t go forward with the opportunity, then a second round of offers will be made to the next highest application.”

Applicants were asked how they would restore, repurpose and maintain the trams to preserve them for future generations.

Plans that best serve the community are expected to be given priority.

“If they’re not going to be used on the network, we want to keep these trams accessible to the community,” Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said in May, announcing the initiative.

Restoration costs depend on the intended use of the tram and its condition.

Professional restoration of the tram’s internal fittings could cost between $35,000 and $80,000, though there is no requirement to use professional services.

Repurposing a tram into a cafe or bar could cost as much as $250,000.

Buyers need to source their own quotes for transportation costs, but VicTrack estimates it could be anywhere between $2000 and $10,000, depending on the distance from their current home in Newport in Melbourne’s inner-southwest.

“The cost of transporting, maintaining and refurbishing a tram depends on several factors, including the distance it needs to be moved, the condition of the tram and its proposed use,” the spokesperson said.

There are 237 retired trams – including the iconic W-class that have been running since 1923 – but only 134 are up for grabs.

Seventeen have been restored to run on the City Circle loop.

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