A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for recipeyum.com.au which is on HubGarden
Come and see vintage trams and learn about the system
About the Melbourne Tramway Melbourne trams are an icon that makes Melbourne stand out from most other capital cities of Australia. The tram actually began its life in the industry in order to transport heavy loads. This was at a time when miners realised that it was easier to move a cart mounted on rails than to try to push it over the uneven ground! Tramways then spread through the industry and they were called carts or trams in the beginning. Sometimes they were pushed or pulled by manpower, and yet at other times, they were drawn by horses.
A bit later scheduled services consisted of 11 horse-drawn buses taking passengers from two City railway stations via Bourke Street to the Birmingham Hotel on the corner of Smith and Johnson Streets in Fitzroy. The fare at the time was three-pence and was cheaper than a cab ride.
Very soon after this, they began using tram services which operated to Richmond, Carlton and North Melbourne.
Melbourne's first electric tramway opened in 1889 with a two-and-a-quarter-mile (or 3.6 km) line from Box Hill to Doncaster but this only operated only until 1896.
Victorian Railways began the serious move to trams in 1906. It was this year that they started an electric tramway from St Kilda Station to Brighton. In the same year, a private company, the North Melbourne Electric Tramway & Lighting Company Ltd, opened a line from Flemington Bridge to Essendon and Maribyrnong.
The year after this, Prahran and Malvern Councils applied to build tramways and, by 1910, the Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust had built a tramway and was ready to go into service with 13 cars on two different routes!
Over the next 10 years, the system grew to almost 100 trams and 35 route miles. This extended to St Kilda, Caulfield, Glenhuntly, Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell and Mont Albert.
And as the saying goes, and the rest is history! These distinctive trams are known throughout the world and have become a symbol of Melbourne for visitors and locals alike.
Now you can come and see the Melbourne Tram Museum at the heritage-listed Hawthorn Tram Depot! Admission is by gold coin donation.
The Melbourne Tram Museum preserves and gives you an insight into the rich tramway history of Melbourne, with something for all ages. Here, you will learn more about the people, places, and technology that made up the Melbourne tramways thereby making Melbourne such a very liveable city.
It is staffed by knowledgeable volunteers and they can answer any of your questions about Melbourne's tram history - there is not much these volunteers do not know!
It is situated at the heritage-listed Hawthorn Tram Depot, and the Museum is very close to the Yarra River. The actual address is Melbourne Tram Museum, 8 Wallen Road, Melbourne. This depot houses 20 fully-restored trams including:
A 'toast-rack' bodied V-class from 1906 – this was one of the first electric trams in Melbourne.
Several different versions of the iconic Melbourne W-class tram.
Karachi W11 - is a Z class tram which was decorated in Bollywood-style bling by Pakistani artists for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In these displays, there is also a large range of tramway artefacts and ephemera which are displayed together with a special exhibition on Melbourne's art trams from 1978 to 2018 - 'Transporting Art.'
You can support this museum and the volunteers by buying tram souvenirs from the interesting shop. There is a huge range of just about everything you can buy relating to the Melbourne trams, and their prices are very competitive.
If you intend going there by public transport - the closest tram stop is Stop 29 which is at Riversdale Junction on Yarra Trams routes 70 (Docklands – Wattle Park) and 75 (Etihad Stadium – Vermont South). Hawthorn Railway Station is also a ten-minute walk away.
If you intend going there by car - please note that car parking is very limited. There is some public parking available nearby, in the Wallen Road Reserve next door, however, time restrictions may apply.
If you intend walking or cycling - the museum is close to the main Yarra Walking and Cycling Trail - you would take the Swan Street exits.