The Trial of the Trackless Tram

Published on:
Friday, 20 October, 2023

The City of Stirling Trackless Tram is being trialled at the newly-created bitumen carpark outside the Council.

The bold plan to create a 7km trackless tram journey from Scarborough Beach to Glendalough train station started as an idea, attracted some Federal money for a business plan, became a trip to China to the trackless tram shop, a China to Fremantle oceanic voyage, a truck trip to the Stirling Administration Centre and the creation of a new bitumised testing area.

The Trial
The Mayor of the City of Stirling Mark Irwin explains the trial is an Australian-first.

“We received a sum of $2million from the Urban Congestion Fund for the Trackless Tram Business Case and we are using $135k of that for this trial testing.

“We can’t test the tram on Scarborough Beach Road obviously, so we have built a bitumen area where we can test things like the magnetic guidance system, the load on the bitumen, battery performance, turning capability and the like.

“The trial will also see how the users like and use it.”

The Tram
The 30m tram was built in Shanghai, China.  It arrived at the City on 23 September after a 7000km boat trip and a trip up West Coast Highway from Fremantle on the back of a truck.

It is described as a form of mid-tier, sustainable, eco-friendly transport, aiming for net zero emissions when operating.  

It will use a magnetic guidance system along the proposed route, the planning of which is integrated with the Herdsman Glendalough Project, Stirling City Centre Project, Scarborough Beach Road West Project the Scarborough Redevelopment Area project.

Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University Peter Newman has been advocating for this transport technology since the 1970’s, and believes most Councils will love it.

“The proposed trackless tram is an attractive, cheap transport option that does what buses can’t.

“No other technology is as smart, as significant and as important for our transport future.  It will get us out of our cars.

“We will be the only other city in the world outside China using this.

“This is a game-changer, this is the equivalent of going from a landline to a smart phone.”

The testing will be undertaken with partners from Curtin University, ITSG, CRRC and Shanghai Electric.

“We have seen interest from Melbourne and Sydney on the trial and the technology already,” said Cr Irwin.  “You will see the engineers and our user groups putting the tram through its paces outside our building over the coming months.”

The City of Stirling is holding a Symposium – Net Zero Transit, on Tuesday, 21 November for interested groups and individuals.  Tickets are available via EventBrite.

Read more in the September/October 2023 Edition of Western Councillor

Share This Page
Back to of the page