Ballarat Tramway eNews
No. 43, January 2022.
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Our new building

Opening soon

Our new museum building is being prepared for opening, although a date has not yet been finalised. Since October the volunteers have been busy moving trams, setting up displays, and relocating the archives. Members had the opportunity to explore the new building in November during the Annual General Meeting. We have been working with specialist museum designer John Challis to create the displays for the new spaces.  Once the the displays are in place, and several more trams moved across to the new building, we will be able to open to the public.

Closed by COVID

The resurgence of COVID-19 has once again meant we have been unable to operate the trams during January. Normally the Museum would be open everyday in January, however the buildings were closed as the relocation to the new space meant our displays and trams were not available to the public. We operated a limited street tram service from Xmas until early January, but this was cancelled when rising COVID cases impacted the number of volunteers available. The trams will operate on weekends commencing 22 January operations on weekends subject to crews being available. Details of our operating services will be kept up to date on our website and our Facebook pages. 

New tracks

Last year the State Government provided us with a $1.2 million grant to replace part of our track in Wendouree Parade. In December we were told that the City of Ballarat had been granted another $1.2 million from the Federal Government which means the rest of the track can be renewed. City of Ballarat CEO Evan King and Senator Sarah Henderson met with BTM President to announce the extra funding.
The track replacement is currently planned for April 2022. This will mean that the tramway will be closed for at least one month. With 300 meters of track replaced in 2019 (see photo), this means that our entire 1.3km track will be new. Some sections of the track date back to 1905, and the rough ride causes increased wear and tear on the vintage tram cars. An access track to the new building will be laid at the same time. 

Launch of Geelong No. 2 - Sunday 6 February

Tram No. 2 was built in 1912 for the new Geelong Tramway, and ran in service until the system closed in 1956. The tram was sold and used as for feed storage on a farm. Recovered in the 1991, it has been a 20 year restoration project for Warrington Cameron.

The tram will be officially handed over to the BTM by Warrington at a special event on Sunday 6 February. The event will start with  with speeches at 12.30, and then the tram will be used to transport invited guests and members. At 2.00pm the tram will be available for the public to ride on, a 110 year old vehicle back in service after a break of 66 years.

Lend a hand - join the team

With our new museum preparing to open, we will need extra volunteers to work in the shop, selling tickets, greeting visitors and providing information about trams and displays. We also need people to train as tram conductors and drivers, work in our archives, or get their hands dirty in the workshop maintaining a fleet of historic vehicles. Join our team of over 60 volunteers who keep the Museum functioning. There is a range of activities in which you could be involved. Full training is provided.

If you are interested, or just curious, we will be holding a Volunteer Information Session on Saturday 12 February at 10.00am. Come along and find out about us.

50 + 1

We are pleased to announce that 2021's postponed Tramway Celebration Day has been rescheduled for Sunday 2 October 2022. We invite you to celebrate the 50 + 1, the formal opening of the New Museum and the formal launch of the relaid track in Wendouree Parade. Highlights of the day will be the Grand Vintage Transport Cavalcade, featuring several of the museum's trams and vintage cars, buses and trucks. There will also be a reenactment of the final run in Ballarat 51 years before with Tram 40, steam traction engine rides, miniature railway rides, model railway displays and more. We hope to see you there!
This photo was taken in Portugal in 1975 by Warren Doubleday.
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