Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 31, July 2018
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Floral Tram 2019

Re-imagining the decorated trams of the 1930s

In 1938 and 1939 the SEC decorated a tram for the Ballarat Floral Festival. Now after an absence of 80 years the Floral tram will return for the 2019 Ballarat Begonia Festival. The original trams were decorated with waxed paper flowers, but next year the tram will be festooned with flowers made from recycled plastics. Tram 661, a large double bogie tram, has been selected for the honour, and it is going to need a lot of flowers. 

Plastic bags and bottles have been turned into an amazing bright selection of flowers, at workshops held at the Museum in June and July. The next workshops will be on Tuesday 7 August from 11.00-12.30 and Sunday 12 August at 1.00-3.00pm. There is no cost to getting involved, and full instructions are given. 
You can also download instruction sheets from our website to make flowers at home. We also have an online gallery on Pinterest to inspire your creativity. Donations of clean plastic bottles with lids are welcome at the Museum. At present we have already made about 20% of the flowers needed to cover the tram. Every bottle and every flower will help.
If you would like to receive copies of future Floral Tram Newsletters,
just let me know by email and I will add you to the mailing list.

70th Charter

Our function tram, Cuthberts 939, has just completed its 70th charter since being restored to service two years ago. The photo shows it arriving from Melbourne. We estimate that about 1400 people have enjoyed the unique experience of being a guest. Seating 24, the tram is an intimate and luxurious way to enjoy the Ballarat Tramway, so contact us to find out what it could offer you. 

Night Tram

The Night Tram returns on Monday 19 September 2018, marking the 47th anniversary of the closure of the Ballarat Tramway system. Tram 40, the official "last tram" will depart from the depot at 7.30pm, for at least one round trip and more if needed. The tram will stop along the line for photos, but will not pick up passengers in Wendouree Parade. Cost: Adults $5.00, children $2.00 and Members are free. Please buy your tickets from the Tram Conductor at the Tram Depot.

Photo:Terrilee Marmo

Depot Works

There have been a number of projects completed by the Tram Tuesday crew during the year. The most obvious change has been concreting the entry area to the Museum. 

Tram 18 Update

The Wednesday Workshop group led by Mick Duncan have now successfully tested Tram 18 on the depot tracks. After nearly three years on the hoist, it was great to see it back on the track. With another month's hard work it may be ready to return to service. Alan and Mick are shown in this picture installing the bearings last month. 
Chris Phillips' photos of the Ballarat tramway taken during the early 1970s have been a huge hit with our Facebook followers. A recent photo of Tram 30 in Albert Street Sebastopol had over 9,000 views, and was shared by over 60 people. 
This photo was taken by Chris outside the old SEC depot on a cold winter night.

Follow us on Instagram

The Museum has a large presence on social media, with over 2700 people following us on Facebook. We also feature regular posts on Instagram, so if you want more great tram photos and information, check us out there too. Our Instagram and Facebook pages usually feature different content.


The Kimberley tramway network in Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa has a similar history to the Ballarat tramway. Like Ballarat, Kimberley was a mining town, and its main diamond mine, the Big Hole, is one of the largest holes ever dug by hand. The trams began with a horse-drawn service, on 21 June 1887. Mules replaced the horses in the early 1890s. For a few years starting in 1900 steam trams operated on some lines. The first day of public service for electric trams was 25 April 1905. Lines were gradually electrified, with the last mule tram running in 1914. The last day of service was 30 November 1947.
Member Warren Doubleday visited Kimberley in December 1974 and took this photo of some of the old tram cars stored near the mine.
A single track heritage tram line opened in October 1985, with a 1.4-kilometre track connecting City Hall with the Open Mine Museum, passing the "Big Hole" along the way. The first tram put back into service was an open-sided, four-wheel tram built in 1905 for the Kimberley & Alexandersfontein Electric Railway by the John Stephenson Company of New York.

Visitor numbers up 70%

As our photo shows, visitors are flocking to the Museum. Numbers have increased over the last 12 months to more than 8500 people, an increase of nearly 70% on last year's figures. March is our busiest month with an average of 80 people per day. Sadly, we had a few days in the July school holidays when although the trams were running, the Museum was closed because of a shortage of volunteers. We urgently need a couple of members to become part of the Depot team and ensure that we are able to open every weekend and school holiday. If you enjoy meeting people, and able to spend a few hours every month in one of the world's most beautiful botanical gardens, please contact our Marketing Manager, Peter Waugh.
Copyright © 2018 Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc., All rights reserved.

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