Culture Victoria

Ballarat Tramway Museum

Wendouree Parade BALLARAT Phone: (03) 5334 1580 Visit Website

The museum is accredited under the Victorian Museum Accreditation Program. It operates along part of the original Ballarat tramway system within the Botanical Gardens Reserve. Its aims are to conserve, display and maintain the various tramway artefacts in order to create a living reminder of Ballarat's past. A display and sales area are located at the depot, which also houses the museum's archives and collection. Access to the collection can be arranged during opening hours. School visits, supported by an educational program document are available by arrangement. The tram collection consists of an 1887 horse tram (No.1) and two Electric Supply Co. of Victoria tramcars, one of which was built in 1905 and which incorporates the saloon portion of a Sydney cable tram trailer built in 1892. There are eleven trams which were operated by the State Electricity Commission, all of which commenced their lives in Melbourne between 1912 and 1920 and two Melbourne tramcars of 1930's vintage. The tramcars are presented in the various operating colour schemes. Another historic vehicle is the overhead service truck, which is built on a 1948 Bedford chassis and operated for the Sydney tramways until 1961 and then in Melbourne until 1980.

Our Collection

The collection focus is the history of Ballarat's passenger tramways, its people, equipment, development and operation in relation to the history of Ballarat and the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. The date range is 1887 to present. The collection consists of tramcars, tramway equipment and infrastructure, photographs, documentation and materials associated with the operation of the tramway, its personnel and in particular those who operated the system - the trammies.

Although the Ballarat service was relatively small compared with other world systems, it was in fact significant because of its inclusive social nature. This is something that the Ballarat Tramway Museum has tried to preserve.? ?At the time of closure of the tramway in Ballarat, that service and that of Bendigo was a gem in the tramway world. All its trams were of WW1 vintage and ran on what was considered a quaint tramway. It is a proud survivor given that other cities the world over has shut and demolished their street trams.? The existing collection of Ballarat?s tramcars is significant in that it represents an enlarged sample, generally in operable condition, of the trams that operated in Ballarat from the 1930?s with representative samples from the time the trams commenced to operate in Ballarat in 1887. The collection can be interpreted to visitors by both displays and operation on a section of original track or tram line. The large collection artefacts, photographs, oral histories, small items and parts, form a comprehensive sample of the materials needed to operate and maintain a public transport tramway system and the people who operated it or collected its history. They can be used as a research and interpretation facility for those interested in the social development of Ballarat and public transport development in conjunction with the generation of electricity in Victoria?s major provincial cities. Through the collection of contemporary materials, the Museum can continue to tell the story of the tramcars, the people and the organisation which preserved and now operate them, today?s tramline and the ongoing relationship with the community.