The St Kilda Tramway Museum is a much loved Adelaide attraction showcasing the electric vehicles in our public transport history. While mainly focused on Adelaide trams (even horse drawn trams), it also has electric trolley buses and some other buses in its collection. On October 1-2 2017 the museum invites you to celebrate Sixty Years of the Tramway Museum.
Not long after tram lines in Adelaide started closing down in the 1950's, Adelaide tram enthusiasts formed a local branch of the Australian Electric Traction Association (AETA). After approaching the Municipal Tramways Trust (MTT) who operated the tram network, the AETA was able to acquire six old trams as the nucleus for a new tram museum.
A 1920s Tram Made by Holdens at the Tramway Museum in 1976 (Image State Library SA BRG-213-1-3-16A)
It wasn't until 1967 that the Australian Electric Traction Association was able to finally open the St Kilda Tramway Museum, and some years later two kilometres of track was laid to enable travel to the St Kilda Adventure Playground on a vintage tram. Today a fleet of 19 operating trams have been restored to transport visitors between the tram museum and the playground.
On the October long weekend the Tramway Museum, St Kilda is celebrating Sixty Years of the Tramway Museum with two days of family activities and exciting things to do. One of the highlights of the weekend will be the re-commissioning of the iconic H1 type Streamliner tram - the last tram made in Adelaide in 1953. It has been carefully restored by museum volunteers, and will be giving rides to visitors throughout the weekend.
Maintaining the Tram Lines to St Kilda Adventure Playground
If the Streamliner is too popular to get aboard then don't despair, there will be a selection of other historical Adelaide trams offering rides between the playground and the tram museum too. Don't miss seeing Adelaide's very first electric tram in operation - number 1 made in 1908. There's no mention whether any horse drawn trams will be operating, so hold off on bringing your manure bags.
Apart from seeing the museum's huge collection of vintage trams and buses, you can also browse a wide variety of veteran, vintage and classic cars, and restored Adelaide buses which will be on display.
Adelaide Trams Being Restored at St Kilda Tramway Museum
Normally it can be a challenge getting to the Adelaide Tramway Museum on public transport, but on the October long weekend Buses R Us will run special services between the tram museum and Salisbury Interchange on both days.
A sausage sizzle will be operating at the museum to satisfy hungry visitors, but if you would rather eat in style there's an even better option. Come on board the 'Grand Lady' restaurant tram and you will be treated like royalty, and served a High Tea.
A Horse Drawn Tram on Unley Rd in 1906 (Image: State Library SA B72677)
Find out more about the fun things to do on their 60th anniversary weekend from the Tram Museum at St Kilda website, or head over to their Facebook event page to get the latest updates. Please note that regular admission costs will apply to the Sixty Years of the Tramway Museum event.
To learn more about SA trams and the history of Adelaide's tramway system see this article.