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The correct title of this article is M>Tram. The substitution or omission of any brackets is because of technical restrictions.
Industry Tram operator
Predecessor The Met
Successor Yarra Trams
Founded September 1999
Defunct 18 April 2004
Headquarters Melbourne
Area served
Parent National Express
Website www.mtram.com.au

M>Tram was an Australian tram company, operating half of Melbourne's tramway network. Owned by National Express, it originally traded as Swanston Trams before being rebranded in October 2001.[1] It was absorbed into Yarra Trams in April 2004.


Swanston Trams was established in October 1997 when Met Tram was split into two business units in preparation for privatisation of the Public Transport Corporation. In August 1999, National Express commenced a 12-year contract to operate the Swanston Trams franchise.[2][3]

In October 2001 Swanston Trams was rebranded as M>Tram. In December 2002 National Express handed back the franchise having been unable to renegotiate financial terms with the State Government.[4][5]

In May 2003 the State Government announced it would establish a single company to operate the tram networks, and was negotiating with Yarra Trams (who operated the other half of the network) to operate this entity.[1] In February 2004 an agreement was reached, and the networks were reunited in April 2004.[6]


The M>Tram network was focused on the north-south tram routes in Melbourne, running along Swanston, Elizabeth and William Streets though the CBD and then into the suburbs. It was also responsible for the cross-suburban routes. Brunswick, Essendon, Glenhuntly and Malvern tram depots were operated by the company.[7]

Part of the franchise agreement required replacement of older rolling stock with newer models, and refurbishment of the existing rolling stock. New Siemens 3 and 5 unit Combino trams were purchased as the D1 and D2 class, the first of 38 D1 class trams entering service on 19 December 2002[8] and the first of 21 D2 class trams on 3 March 2004.[9] Z3 and B2 class trams were also internally refurbished by M>Tram, receiving green seat pads, and yellow stanchions and grab rails.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Public transport – Metropolitan train and tram franchising project". www.doi.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  2. ^ National Express Group Awarded Three Franchises National Express June 1999
  3. ^ Nation Express takes root in Melbourne Railway Gazette 1 October 2000
  4. ^ National Express walks out of Australian rail service The Telegraph (London)17 December 2002
  5. ^ Nat Express pull back Down Under The Telegraph (London) 3 September 2004
  6. ^ "Vicsig – Trams – Farewell M>Tram Tour". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  7. ^ "Vicsig – Trams – Tram Depots". vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  8. ^ "Vicsig – Trams – D1 class trams". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  9. ^ "Media Release: Super Tram Comes to Melbourne". www.dpc.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  10. ^ "Vicsig – Trams – Interior". www.vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Public Transport Corporation
(as Swanston Trams)
Trams in Melbourne
North-south routes

Succeeded by
State Government receivership,
then Transdev TSL trading as Yarra Trams