What is happening at St Kilda Junction as a part of Tram Power?

A new substation is being built at St Kilda Junction to provide enhanced power supply to Melbourne’s tram network. Power from this substation will be used on the 3, 3a, 5, 16, 64 and 67 tram routes.

Where will the substation be built?

The new substation will be built near the intersection of St Kilda Road and Fitzroy Street close to the Barkly Street tram stop (Stop 31).

How big is a tram substation?

The power substation has a footprint of 15m x 8m. The structures are approximately 4 metres tall.

Why must the substation go here?

The site near the corner of St Kilda Road and Fitzroy Street was chosen for a number of reasons. To be effective, the substation must be close enough to the trams it powers. St Kilda is a built-up area which means the location of the substation is subject to available land. This location is in a road reserve area where there are no plans for any future works, it also capitalises on an existing services footprint rather than an entirely new site. This location also requires the least amount of vegetation clearance, helping to preserve the landscape of the area.

A power system study of the Melbourne tram network was carried out using a modelling tool that identifies weaknesses in voltage and highlights overloading issues. This study, which took into account the introduction of the new E-Class trams, highlighted the need for additional power supply in certain locations across the network.

The project team uses this modelling data, as well as location considerations such as land reserves, planning zones, proximity to residential properties, community facilities and underground services, to determine an optimal site location for each new substation.

Why don’t you build the substation underground?

St Kilda Junction is an established area with multiple underground services already in place. This existing infrastructure prevents us from building a substation underground.

What will the substation look like?

The substation will be within a fully enclosed building that will be designed to minimise visual impact and help the structure blend in with the surrounding environment. The substation will have a small driveway with parking spaces for two maintenance vehicles. It will not be fenced or lit, as the structure will be fully enclosed.