W Class trams dominated Melbourne's streets for over 60 years.
This photo is from 1992

But these are long gone, and almost all the rest may soon follow.

Visit the National Trust's campaign page to see how you can help keep more W Class trams running !

And you can sign our on-line petition by clicking here

The National Trust been campaigning for years to keep a significant number of Melbourne’s unique and iconic W Class trams in operation.

The Trust classified the remaining fleet of 300 in 1990, highlighting the fact that they had been an essential part of Melbourne’s character for over 60 years. In 1993, the then government promised to keep 53 on the streets, and not to sell the 'surplus' to overseas tourist routes.

In the late 1990s, about 50 were upgraded with new brakes, heaters, and other modern equipment, allowing them to continue in operation.

But now only 12 are used on the City Circle, and of the other 40 that were promised, only 20 are used at any one time on only two routes. The government recently confirmed that these 40 are to be phased out in the next few years.

That means there will be no more traditional cream and green W Class trams running on Melbourne's streets. They will be just a memory, like the one represented in 2006 during the Commonwealth Games ceremony.

With this lack of committment, many of the W's have not seen major maintenance for years.

This one was photographed in 2008.

The international importance of Melbourne's W Class trams is better recognised overseas than here. See this page from San Fransisco's Museums in Motion site. In fact almost more are operating succesfully overseas than here.

W Class trams in Seattle
photo virtualtourist.com

W Class tram in Memphis
photo from U S Streetcar systems, John Smatlak.

W Class tram in San Francisco.
photo from about.com

This tram was donated to the Copenhagen Tram Museum as a wedding present.

Join our campaign to keep more W's running in Melbourne !

We also welcome your comments.


  1. Why can't we keep them if they are allowed overseas? it seems like Australia selling out again.

  2. These trams simply can't go, end of story. They are a well known icon for advertising Melbourne. In years to come are we going to recognise Melbourne by its newer models? I think not. Whoever is responsible for their maintenance needs a good kick in the rear for letting them fail over the years. Shame on you. These trams MUST stay or we will only have memories in pages of history books.

  3. These trams not just need maintenance a proper restoration job. These trams need proper paint job not a incomplete paint job like to day. These trams need fresh brakes so they can operate them at max speed, not 10KH that makes it slow on regular services. These trams should be used in outer south suburbs in trams less areas like ,frankston ,brighton ,chelsea ,cranburne ,clayton ,Dandyong, other south easten suburbs away from city routes.

  4. The reason W class trams can't drive on swanston ST CBD its because there to slow, they hold up modem trams because they have to drive them at 10kh because of wearing out the brakes. Yarra trams don't maintain them proply enough. I agree these trams made Melbourne'ts history dominated Melbourne streets for many years.

  5. Can we make a facebook group? It's certainly a good way to get your message out to a large group of people and get them involved. I think Melbourne would be much worse off without the history that the W class trams bring to our streets.