It has been seven months since Bendigo residents last saw a tram rattling along their streets, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
James Reade, the chief executive officer of Bendigo Heritage Attractions, said this would mark the longest period the trams had been off the streets since 1972 (the year Bendigo Tramways ceased operation as a commuter service).
But that doesn't mean there hasn't been plenty of work going on behind the scenes.
At the Bendigo Tramways depot off Hargreaves Street, staff continue to work on Yarra Trams' City Circle vehicles.
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Mr Reade said the team was just about to finish its 12th tram. With their specialised skills, workers have been completing entire rebuilds of the trams.
Next they will move onto refurbishing and repurposing trams the state government sold and donated under its retired tram strategy for other uses, such as classrooms and restaurants.
Mr Reade said Bendigo Heritage Attractions was also using this downtime to service its own fleet and put new systems in place.
He said the organisation was also working with the City of Greater Bendigo on fixing up defects in the tracks, taking advantage of the time with no trams running as they were usually in operation every day of the year except Christmas.
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Unfortunately, the volunteers who work as drivers, conductors and the like have not been able to continue their work with Bendigo's iconic vehicles through the pandemic.
"We can't wait to welcome our volunteers back when it's safe to do so," Mr Reade said.
But Bendigo Heritage Attractions is taking advantage of this quiet time to advertise for and train up new tram drivers, with positions open for a full-time and a part-time job.
It is not yet known when the trams will begin to take sightseers along Bendigo's historical streets again, but Mr Reade is optimistic there will be plenty of keen passengers when the time comes.
"We expect that once the trams are back on the street, we'll be busier than ever," Mr Reade said.
The popular Santa Tram - which usually books out soon after tickets go on sale - will not operate this year, but Mr Reade has assured there is an alternative to be announced in the coming week.
Meanwhile, the Central Deborah Gold Mine was able to reopen for a short period between lockdowns, during the June school holidays.
Mr Reade said that proved to be a really busy time, which was "really good".
Like the tramways, the mine has still put the downtime to good use.
Mr Reade said the mine had done work on compliance and a significant number of capital works, such as repainting, upgrading equipment, and refurbishing old mining equipment.
He is hoping an expected announcement from Premier Daniel Andrews this weekend around the loosening of restrictions will bear good news for the mine.
Should the announcement mean the mine could reopen, Mr Reade said Bendigo Heritage Attractions would assess the prospect and ensure it was economically viable, before welcoming visitors in once again.
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The Joss House is another piece of Bendigo history that has been shut off to the public for much of the pandemic.
Like the mine, the temple reopened for a short period between lockdowns, but has since had to close again.
The challenge facing the Joss House, Mr Reade said, was its size - under current density requirements, few people could be within its small confines at the one time.
But he said there was a possibility it could reopen with limited hours.
In a normal period, Mr Reade said, about half of all visitation to Bendigo Heritage Attractions' sites would stem from metropolitan Melbourne residents.
But even if it is some time before our city counterparts can return to Bendigo, Mr Reade is confident there is sufficient interest from other regional residents.
"There's never been a better time to visit regional Victoria," Mr Reade said.