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Wheel shortage forces Melbourne trams off the roads

3AW Mornings
Article image for Wheel shortage forces Melbourne trams off the roads

A shortage of wheels has forced almost a dozen of Melbourne’s trams off the rails, and more are expected in coming weeks.

Eleven trams have already been removed from the network temporarily.

It comes after COVID-19 supply disruptions for the wheels for A-Class, B-Class and Z-Class trams, which are usually sourced from South Africa.

Yarra Trams CEO Carla Purcell says three tram routes are affected so far.

“It’s the older trams and they don’t operate on every route, so at the moment it’s only three tram lines — the 58 the 59 and the 109 — that are impacted,” she told Tony Jones, filling in for Neil Mitchell.

Timetables on route 58, 59 and 109 services have been made to cope with the shortage.

“The timetable change that we’ve made will see about a one minute wait time increase for passengers,” Ms Purcell said.

Yarra Trams expects to have more wheels available in the next month, with the transport provider looking to source from Europe, but in the meantime, the problem is set to get worse.

“Wet weather means more wheels are needed,” Ms Purcell said.

“We do anticipate there will be more trams that are impacted over the course of a month.”

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