Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 30 May 2018
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Award winners

Our Heritage work recognized.

The Ballarat Tramway Museum are the winners of the 2018 National Trust "Greg Binns Award for Outstanding Community Contribution to Heritage". 

The award, named for Greg Binns OAM, is for outstanding work in preserving Ballarat's heritage.

BTM President, Paul Mong, accepted the award on behalf of the Museum, and spoke about the amazing contribution and efforts made by our volunteers to preserve the tramway system since 1971. Other Museum representatives at the awards were Helen and Neville Britton, and Pamela and Peter Waugh.

Greg was Senior Lecturer in Art at the Ballarat College of Advanced Education (now Federation University). He served two terms as President of the Ballarat Art Gallery Association. In 1986, he helped to train the Gallery Volunteer Guides and was still their "guru" at the time of his death in 2012.
Previous winners have included the Avenue of Honour/Arch of Victory Committee, Golden City Paddle Steamer Society, the Ballarat Genealogical Society, and the Ballarat Municipal Observatory and Museum. This award is a great honour for the BTM and recognises the efforts  of all members since 1971.

3D Tram Tour

Jolt Media, using some very sophisticated camera equipment have created a 3D tour of our Tram 14. This tram was built by Meadowbank in 1915 for the Prahran and Malvern Tramway Trust as Tram 75, then became Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board Tram 75, moving to Geelong in 1928 to become Tram 29. When it arrived in Ballarat in 1936 it was renumbered as Tram 14. From the comfort of home, you can to explore the inside of this historic tram on your computer. Other views allow you to see the tram in Wendouree Parade, and enjoy 360 degree views of the tram and the Gardens. Matt Salter from Jolt Media has done an excellent job in creating this computer tour. Matt has a special affinity for the trams, as his grandfather was an employee of the SEC Tramway for many years. 

To take the tour, click on this link:

Please feel free to share this link with anyone who maybe interested in Ballarat trams.

Track repairs

The tracks south of the depot junction, leading up to Carlton Street and the Prisoner of War Memorial were laid in 1905 as part of the upgrade from the horse tram to electric tram service. When the SEC took over in the 1930s they replaced a lot of the track on the network, but not this section. About 500 metres of track needs replacing, and over the years volunteers have carried out many repairs to extend the life of the track. In May, a very short section which had already been repaired several times, was replaced with a longer three metre piece of rail and set in concrete.
Tram enthusiasts will be interested to know that replacement rail was a second hand piece from the Geelong Tramway, which closed in 1956.

The BTM is currently negotiating with the City of Ballarat about funding the track replacement. 


Tram enthusiasts with cameras have played a huge role in documenting the Ballarat Tramway's history over the years. The Museum has a huge archive of photos, which are often used by our own researchers, and also other people and organizations. For example this month we supplied photos to the Ballarat Historical Society for their publication, "Lamplight."
Every week on Facebook we feature photos from our collection, like this one by Board member Chris Phillips, of the railway crossing at Lydiard Street in 1971.
If you have some Ballarat tramway photos, we wold love to see them
and put a copy into our archive. If you can bring in original photos or slides, we can make high quality scans.
If you know the photographer and date, that is even better!

Glasgow horse tram

In our last issue (eNews 29) it was mentioned that like Ballarat, Glasgow once had a horse tram service, and that also, only one tram has survived. This led to our intrepid archivist taking a trip to Scotland and he has sent back this picture of the tram in the Riverside Museum

Vintage badges

We have on offer vintage embroidered cloth patches. These were sold at the Museum in the 1980s but have been out of stock for at least 20 years. Len Millar has donated some of these badges for sale. Cost is just $10 pickup from the Museum, or $12.00 posted and limited to one badge per member.

Email,au for more information or orders.

A tram of your own?

A press release from Victrack

Victoria’s retired trams, including the W-Class, have transported millions of Victorians, connected communities and are an integral part of our rich heritage. VicTrack is opening an Expression of Interest (EOI) process for the community to acquire one of Victoria’s retired trams.
As Melbourne’s transport system has modernised and the needs of public transport users have evolved, older trams have been progressively retired from the network. Some of these trams have been re-purposed and now provide tourist services such as the City Circle. However, most of the retired trams have been stored away at the Newport workshops and are in varying states of repair. These trams are not suitable for returning to the network as they do not meet modern safety and accessibility requirements.

The EOI is open between Monday 28 May and Friday 6 July,

For more information:

Tram 18 test

After several years of restoration Tram 18 is set to be back in service soon. The truck has been successfully tested behind Tram 661, and everything was working beautifully. On Wednesday 16 May the crew lowered  the body back onto the truck and over the next weeks will reconnect all the electrical fittings.  The project has been a great credit to the many volunteers who have been busy ensuring that the tram will be able to operate for another 100 years. that's cold!

Visitors often comment on the cold temperatures in Ballarat, but we are nowhere near as cold  as other places around the world. This photo shows horses pulling a tram through heavy snow in Canada in 1871. The Ottowa City Passenger Railway Co. began operating in July 1870, and converted to electricity in 1893. As a concession to the climate the horse trams did not have an open roof deck, and the first electric cars were heated, and some had rotating brushes to clear snow from the tracks.

Reinventing a legend

In 1938 and 1939, as part of the Ballarat Floral Festival, trams were decorated with paper flowers. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of these unique trams, we will be reinventing a decorated tram for the 2019 Begonia Festival. We will be recycling and reusing plastic packaging to make flowers to cover the tram. You can help by saving and collecting plastic bags, bottles, lids and other plastics. You can also help by making the plastic flowers, and we need thousands. You can come along to flower making workshops at the Museum, or download instructions from the BTM website. Details will available on the website shortly. Please send an email to and we will keep you informed of all the details
This is eNews Number 30, so a special thanks to Peter, Warren and now Juliana, who carefully proof read each issue, even from international locations, making sure each issue is accurate. 
Copyright © 2018 Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc., All rights reserved.

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