After spending the previous 30 years in a dusty workshop, a retired W-Class tram has made its final journey across the state and arrived at its new home in Mildura to spend the rest of its life as part of a social enterprise farm.
The tram will be refurbished and become part of Benetook Farm, run by Sunraysia Residential Services, an organisation that provides support and accommodation for people with disability.
The farm gives people with disability the opportunity to learn and socialise while carrying out activities including horticulture, woodwork, singing, dancing, cooking and entertaining.
The tram will be used for public tours, education, and social events at the farm, and will become a tourist attraction for the local area.
Local communities are given the opportunity to give a new home to predominantly W-Class trams that have been retired from the network. More than 1,500 applications were received to re-home the retired trams.
The tram is the sixth to leave the Newport Workshops following an expression of interest process last year to give Victoria’s retired trams a new home, with Sunraysia Residential Services successfully applying for this tram.
Around 130 trams were available thanks to the Andrews Labor Government, with the process to move all trams from Newport expected to take around two years. The first tram to depart the workshops went to the set of TV drama series Neighbours, where it is promoting Melbourne to an international audience.
Other retired trams to have already been rehomed are in the process of being transformed into community coffee shops, food trucks and educational resources for the local community.
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp
“This tram will be a unique attraction for visitors to Benetook Farm, adding a unique touch to the many excellent activities the farm already offers.”
“The refurbishment of this tram will give locals the opportunity to work on a project that will give back to the community, while transforming a Victorian transport icon into a new landmark for Mildura.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
“It’s fantastic to see another retired tram given a new lease on life after being stored in the Newport Workshops for nearly three decades.”
“We are gifting these retired trams to the Victorian community, museums, and public organisations, including schools, while also covering the cost of relocating them to their new homes.”