Managing Noise fact sheet - April 2023

The Victorian Government is investing $1.85 billion in 100 Next Generation Trams and a new tram maintenance and stabling facility in Maidstone.

Managing noise

To support the rollout of the accessible, comfortable and energy-efficient trams on the world’s largest tram network, a new tram facility will be built on part of the old Victoria University site at the corner of Williamson and Hampstead roads.

The facility will be used to maintain, clean and stable the trams, and will also house the tram operations and administration staff.

Tram stabling is where trams are parked while not in operation. To keep Melbourne’s tram network running safely and reliably the facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Trams will access the facility during the day and night via Hampstead Road. The facility is future-proofed to stable up to 60 trams and maintain up to 160 trams.

We heard during consultation that noise from construction and tram facility operations is a key focus for the local community.

The project has adopted a preventative approach to noise management and will manage most noises at the source, where possible.

The facility has been designed to minimise noise with most noise generating activities occurring during the day inside the administration and maintenance building.

Located away from properties, the administration and maintenance building will be used for tram inspections, repairs and major tram maintenance to service the fleet.

To keep noise contained we’ll construct the maintenance building workshop using specialist noise attenuating materials for walls and doors.

To further reduce noise the maintenance building has been positioned with tram access oriented away from properties.

We’ve also designed the facility to keep machinery for operations away from residences with the tram wash and sanding station located towards the centre of the facility.

To minimise noise from the facility we’re installing high quality noise walls along the northern, southern and western boundaries.

The noise walls will significantly reduce noise from the facility for many residents.

The noise walls will be made from solid recycled plastic up to three metres at the base with acrylic panels on top allowing light to pass through.

We’re also planting trees between the western and southern boundary fences to screen the noise walls, provide additional privacy and to provide an attractive outlook.

At Lomandra and Myrtle drives, noise walls will be seven metres high, set back eight metres from property boundaries with trees planted between the noise walls and boundary fences.

At Lightwood Way the noise wall will be five metres high, set back four metres from property boundaries with trees planted between the noise walls and boundary fences.

At Cedar Drive the noise walls will be five metres high and set back eight and a half metres from property boundaries.

Noise level scale

In our planning we undertook noise monitoring in different locations around the project area. We used this information to complete extensive noise modelling.

Noise modelling helped us to understand what types of noise management measures were required and their locations. These results helped inform the design of the facility.

Noise is measured on a scale of units called decibels or dB for short.

During 24-hour operations there will be noise associated with:

  • trams moving around the yard, including tram bells
  • brake testing on the test track
  • trams being cleaned and washed
  • trams starting before and shutting down after service
  • trams being filled with sand at the sanding station

With the noise walls in place, our assessments indicate noise from general maintenance operations at night will be comparable to noise in a typical suburban residential area.

To serve Melbourne’s tram network, during the night-time trams will return to the facility approximately an hour after the last service ends and will move around the stabling yard.

The Next Generation Trams will leave the facility early in the morning, approximately an hour before the first tram service starts.

Expected noise levels from these tram movements at night will be attenuated due to the design of noise walls.

After trams have returned from service, late night tram and vehicle movements and deliveries will be limited, except if needed in an emergency.

The facility’s designs, including noise walls will comply with all Environment Protection Authority Victoria guidelines and relevant noise policies and legislation.

Keeping in touch

To stay up to date on the Maidstone tram maintenance and stabling facility:

Download a PDF version of the Managing Noise fact sheet

Managing Noise Fact Sheet
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