More than 100 of Melbourne’s iconic W-class trams are being auctioned to the Australian public for the first time.
Part of Victoria’s retired trams strategy, 134 historic trams will be offered to rail enthusiasts for cafes, classrooms and other attractions in the hope of preserving them future generations.
134 trams will become available to the public on 28 May, while 20 painted specialty trams will be used for public display.
Private collectors and businesses will be charged $1000 per tram, plus transport costs, while they will be available for free for schools and community groups.
Victorian transport Minister Jacinta Allen said that it was important for the historic trams to be accessible to the community.
“Over the years trams have transported millions of Victorians, connected our communities and are an integral part of our rich heritage,” she said.
“It is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to think about how these retired trams, that played such a significant role in the history of our public transport service in the city of Melbourne, can be put to a new purpose, a new lease of life”
The rare opportunity is the first time such a large number of the heritage vehicles will go up for grabs, years after last being in use.
The expression of interest process will ask people to explain how they’d restore and maintain one of the trams, following an inspection of the decommissioned trams currently in Melbourne’s storage yards.