Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 28 January 2018
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Celebrating 130 years

The Ballarat Tramway 1887 - 2017

The Ballaarat Tramway Company opened for business on Boxing Day, 1887. The Museum will be celebrating the 130th anniversary on January 26, with the original No. 1 Horse Tram back on the tracks. This fully restored tram, and the oldest working tram in the nation, will be carrying passengers along its original track through the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Tourists have been travelling to the Gardens by tram for 130 years, so this will be your chance to step back and experience 19th century public transport. The horses this year will be coming from Sovereign Hill.

The horse tram was recovered from a Ballarat backyard, where it had been used as a sleepout for many years. Its seven year restoration and eventual return to the tracks in 1992, will be a featured story in a future edition of our magazine "Fare's Please." This magazine is sent out to members six times a year.

The photo shows the tram being delivered to the Museum prior to rebuilding.

The tram will operating from 11.00am - 3.30pm, (weather permitting). Adults $10, children $5. Members free.


It doesn't always happen, but sometimes the parents come into the Museum and the kids are happy to play on the grass outside as shown in this recent photograph.

The January holidays have been a very busy time for our Museum guides, with many days having well over 100 visitors. Our operational crews have been busy out on the tracks with the trams running every day. An extra big thank you to Geoff and Peter who opened the Museum and ran the trams on Xmas Day.

We could always use a couple of extra people, so if you have ever thought about becoming a volunteer, call into the Museum and talk to one of the crew.

New items in the shop

To celebrate the 130th anniversary of the Tramway, the Museum shop is carrying some new items featuring the Horse Tram. This include postcards, magnets and tote bags. These items will be on sale from our marquee on January 26.

Our shop manager, Juliana, will be offering regular "specials" this year, so keep your eye on future newsletters so you can snap up a bargain.

Trams in Barcelona

The Tramvia Blau in Barcelona, has features similar to the Ballarat Tramway. It is a 1.3 km long tramway linking the Barcelona Metro with the lower station of the Funicular del Tibidabo. It is not an official part of the transport network, so you can't use your metro tickets, but have to purchase a ticket in cash from the motorman. The line opened in 1901, and runs with a fleet of seven historic trams dating from between 1901 and 1906. The depot track is about 100 metres long and joins the track in the middle of the route. Their single truck cars carry 32 passengers at a maximum speed of 13kmh.

Beer Festival

The 2018 Ballarat Beer Festival gave us the chance to operate as a public transport service, picking up visitors who had come by train and delivering them to the festival entrance.  Operations Manager Neville, had the big trams, 38, 661 and 40, in place early.

Photo: Hugh McKelvey

High Tea

On the first Sunday of every month, you could join us for a High Tea. Served in the opulent surroundings of our beautifully restored vintage tram car, Cuthberts 939. 

Bright Life Catering will be presenting the High Tea from 1.00pm till 3.00pm. Try a cup of one or more delicious teas from our select range, and watch as the Botanical Gardens glide by your window. At just $65 ph this will be an afternoon to remember.

The High Tea will need to be prebooked, and bookings are now open :
One of younger members getting involved in the practical duties of an assistant conductor.

It is a sobering thought to remember that the Ballaarat Tramway Company (1887-1903) employed boys as young as eight years old to work on the horse trams. Most of the conductors were young men aged from 15 to 20 years old.
The Ballarat Tramway eNews is a free newsletter keeping you up to date with news and events from the Museum. Please feel free to share it around with anyone who maybe interested. 
Copyright © 2018 Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc., All rights reserved.

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