Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 27 December 2017
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Santa is back

Great day for kids, both young and old

Once again Santa will be joining us for two trips on the Xmas Tram, on Saturday 9 December and Monday 11 December. Starting at 10.30am the tram will be in Wendouree Parade and you will be able to board at all the usual stops. The last tram will be leaving about 12.00, so be there early. Tram stops are marked with red and white stripes on the power poles. 

Bookings are not necessary, and tickets will be available on board from the conductor - adults $5.00 and children $2.00. Members are free, another good reason to join up - unlimited tram travel. We do not have EFTPOS facilities on the tram, so please ensure that you have cash.
Santa will meet and greet every visitor, and you are most welcome to bring your camera or phone and take as many photos as you wish. Our photographer will also be on board and provide a free photo service too. 

Santa Trams are a part of Ballarat's history, and taking part is a great way of giving your child memories that will last forever. 

Photos: Peter Waugh
Decorated Santa Trams were a familiar sight on the streets of Ballarat, delivering Santa to the Myer store in Sturt Street. Older residents remember waiting for the tram to pass their homes and catching a glimpse of the man with the beard.

Xmas gifts

Our shop carries a range of gifts suitable for both old and young tram fans. It is worth calling in and checking our range, as our items are not available anywhere else in Ballarat. Our colouring and activity book, illustrated by the late David Frost, is back in stock. It will on sale for just $5.00 up to Xmas. We also have a new range of beanies, woolen scarves and packs of genuine historic tickets.

Members also receive a 10% discount on books and DVDs.


Trams have been running in Innsbruck since July 1905, about the same time that Ballarat's electric tram service began. Innsbruck's network is 19.5kms with three routes, slight smaller than Ballarat. The tram service was nearly closed in the early 1970s but high oil prices and the 1976 Winter Olympics saw it reenergized with new tracks and trams. It shows what might have been possible in Ballarat.
Photo: Warren Doubleday.

Floral Clock installed

In our last issue, we featured the Floral Clock, originally in Sturt Street, and relocated to the Gardens in the 1980s. The clock has now been restored, the hands are working and the garden beds have been planted out. The best view of the clock is from our trams.
Photo: Roger Gosney.

Tram pulling...

Springfest 2018 featured a tram pull event hosted by CB Fitness. Teams of two, one male and one female, were challenged to see how far they could drag Tram 13 in 75 seconds. Heavy rain made it frustrating for the competitors who struggled to get traction on the wet surface, and a slight uphill slope only added to the difficulty. Some teams failed to move the tram at all, other managed between 20 and 80 millimetres, howver the winning combination achieved over 8 metres! 

...and tram pushing

While tram pulling is a traditional event at Springfest, these young men attempted a tram push last weekend. Spectators may have assumed the tram had a flat battery and needed a push start, or more knowledge people may have thought the tram couldn't get traction on the wet rails. Or maybe a wedding photographer saw a great photo opportunity.  
Photos: Peter Waugh
130 Years of trams
The BTM celebrates 130 years of trams in Ballarat on Australia Day 2018, when Horse Tram No. 1 returns to Wendouree Parade. The Ballarat Tramway Company commenced operations on Boxing Day 1887, with a horse tram service from Ballarat Railway Station to the Botanical Gardens. This will be a chance to take a ride on Australia's oldest operating tram car, and see what public transport was like "in the good old days".

Track relaying

November 13-15 saw a lot of activity at the front of the depot. A large team of BTM volunteers with help from the Goldfields Railway track gang carried out essential repairs. 
The tram tracks into Six and Seven Roads had to be dug up, the old sleepers removed and new redgum sleepers put into place. New rock ballast was laid on the tracks and with a special rail machine, the ground below was compacted to provide a stable bed for the new trackway.

There is more to getting tracks re-laid than spades and digging machines. A lot of hard work went into preparing lunches to keep everyone fed. Warren and Aaron  were kept busy for three days, and their efforts were greatly appreciated by everyone. 
Photos: Peter Waugh
COMPETITION WINNER: Congratulations to Mike Croker who has won a free Family Pass for the Ballarat Tramway Museum. Mike please email to arrange delivery of your prize.
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 © 2017 Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc., All rights reserved.

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