It was indeed a good day yesterday (January 16), when Muni’s refreshed Melbourne tram debuted on the F-Market & Wharves line. The 1928 tram’s return to service showed off a fresh paint job and spiffy side panel markings identifying its home town, along with new, discreet running lights to meet state Public Utilities Commission standards. The identifying decals are courtesy of the State of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. It’s part of a growing cooperative effort, facilitated by Market Street Railway, which includes provision of spare parts for our 496, without cost to Muni. It may even lead to the donation of a second Melbourne tram of the SW6 class, a fully operational post-war version of the tram we have now, equipped with center section doors and other upgrades. (Read more about the SW6 class here.)
But that’s a prospect for tomorrow. For now, enjoy the return of 496, showing off the great work of Muni’s shops crew. When Victoria Minister of Tourism Tim Holding dedicated the car at the ceremony yesterday, he paid tribute to that crew along with Muni management and Market Street Railway for taking such great care of Melbourne’s heritage.