Bendigo Tramways is expanding
On Friday 10 May 2019 it was announced by Jacinta Allan, Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Member for Bendigo East, that the tramways will undergo a $11.7m expansion!
To create a world class facility enabling Bendigo Tramways to become an international leader in heritage vehicle manufacturing and restoration, and continue to build its reputation as Australia’s pre-eminent tourist tramway.
The project is funded through grants from:
- VicTrack: $7m
- Regional Development Victoria: $3.7m
- Local contribution: $1m
Planning and design will be underway throughout 2019, followed by construction in 2020, with the new facilities to open in 2021.
What is Bendigo Heritage Attractions?
A not-for-profit trust that was formed in 1974 to operate Bendigo’s living heritage. The trust operates Bendigo Tramways, Central Deborah Gold Mine and the Bendigo Joss House Temple.
What is the project?
A major expansion of the Tramways Depot and Workshops that will:
- Create a new purpose built national restoration centre of excellence, for not only trams, but also for heavy rail and other restoration projects.
- Provide training rooms and facilities for other heritage and community groups.
- Allow Bendigo Tramways to gain further restoration projects with surpluses reinvested into enhancing the award winning Bendigo Talking Tram service.
- Create storage spaces for retired W-Class trams from the Newport workshops in Melbourne, as well as facilitating the relocation of Bendigo Tramways from the former Bendigo Gasworks site.
- Revitalise, restore and expand the visitor experiences at the heritage-listed Bendigo Tramways Depot, Australia’s oldest operating tram depot.
- Remediate a former fuel depot site, plus provide new open space areas linked to the new bike paths along the creek.
Visitor experience enhanced
The project will enhance the visitor experience:
- Increased heritage tram and artefact display areas.
- Enhanced depot entrance precinct with expanded hospitality and function spaces – including a Tram Café.
- Restoration works to the heritage-listed depot to maintain its reputation as Australia’s oldest operating tram depot.
- Improved disability access around the depot and workshops.
New workshop and tram depot storage
- The expansion of the workshop spaces allows for purpose built restoration areas that will expand the range of projects that can be undertaken by Bendigo Tramways:
- Remediation of the existing site to address environmental issues asscociated with the site’s former use as a fuel depot, plus landscaping along the Bendigo Creek to create open space aligned to the new bike pathways.
- The ability to repurpose and maintain retired W-Class trams released under the recent Expression of Interest process, will be enhanced with this new facility.
- Dedicated areas for storage of retired W-Class trams from Newport, as well as parts, equipment and Bendigo’s own fleet of historic trams relocated from the Bendigo Gasworks.
- New paint shops for large projects as well as ‘working from height’ platforms will improve safety for staff and volunteers.
- Training facilities have been incorporated so that Bendigo Tramways can be a centre of excellence in heritage operations and restorations.
- Opportunities to create new positions, including apprenticeships partnering with a local Rotary Club.