Trams in Sydney

:"This is a historical article about the now closed tramways of Sydney. For the current light rail line, see Metro Light Rail."Sydney, the largest city in Australia, once had the largest tram system in Australia, the second largest in the Commonwealth (after London), and one of the largest in the world. It was extremely intensively worked, with about 1,600 cars in service at any one time at its peak during the 1930s (cf. about 500 trams in Melbourne today). Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, an average of more than one tram journey per day was made by every man and woman, infant and child in the city. Patronage peaked in 1945 at 405 million passenger journeys. The system was in place from 1861 until its winding down in the 1950s and closure in 1961. It had a maximum street mileage of 181 miles (291 km), in 1923.

In 1997, more than 30 years after trams disappeared from Sydney streets, the Metro Light Rail, a privately owned single line, opened. There have been various proposals to extend this line into the CBD and inner suburbs but none has come to fruition.


Early tramways

Sydney's first tram was horse-drawn, running from the old Sydney Railway station to Circular Quay along Pitt Street"The 1861 Pitt Street Tramway and the Contemporary Horse Drawn Railway Proposals" Wylie, R.F. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, February, 1965 pp21-32] . Built in 1861, the design was compromised by the desire to haul railway freight wagons along the line to supply city businesses, in addition to passenger traffic. This resulted in a track that protruded from the road surface and damaged the wheels of wagons trying to cross it. Hard campaigning by competing omnibus owners - as well as the fatal accident involving the leading Australian musician Isaac Nathan in 1864 - led to closure in 1866.

In 1879 a steam tramway was established ["The Inauguration of Sydney's Steam Tramways" Wylie, R.F. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March, 1969 pp49-59] . Despite several accidents, it was a great success and the system expanded rapidly through the city and inner suburbs. The trams comprised a Baldwin locomotive hauling one or more double-deck carriages. A preserved Baldwin steam tram motor is at the Powerhouse Museum. There were also two cable tram routes, to Watsons Bay and North Sydney, because of the steep terrain involved ["The Cable Trams of Sydney and the Experiments Leading to Final Electrification of the Tramways" Wylie, R.F. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, July/August, 1974 pp145-168/190-192] .

Additionally, horse trams operated between Newtown and St.Peters railway stations in the 1890s and between Manly and North Manly from 1903 to 1907. These two instances were replacements of existing steam trams during periods of low patronage.


Electrification started in 1898, and most of the system was converted by 1910 - the privately owned Parramatta to Redbank Wharf (Duck River) steam tram ["The Parramatta Wharf Tramway" Matthews, H.H. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December, 1958 pp181-199] remained until 1943. Service began with C-class saloon cars, followed by D-class combination cars. In contrast to other cities that started with combination cars and toastracks, then quickly abandoned them for drop-centre and saloon cars, Sydney started by going the other way. It was not until the 1930s with the introduction of the R-class that the drop-centre saloon tram, widely used elsewhere in Australia, came to Sydney.

Demise and closure

By the 1920s, the system had reached its maximum extent. In many ways, the Sydney tram system was a victim of its own success. The overcrowded and heaving trams running at a high frequency, in competition with growing private motor car and bus use, created congestion. Competition from the private car, private bus operators and the perception of traffic congestion led to the gradual closure of lines from the 1940s. Overseas transport experts were called upon to advise the city on its post-war transport issues and recommended closure of the system. Closure was supported by the NRMA, but generally went against public opinion. Nevertheless, closure became Labor government policy and the system was wound down in stages, with withdrawal of the last service, to La Perouse, in 1961.


Electric trams covered most parts of what is now the Inner West, North Shore, eastern suburbs and inner southern suburbs of Sydney.

City Service

Circular Quay- Railway Central Station Colonnade (via Pitt and Castlereagh Sts)

This was an extremely busy service for passengers transferring from suburban trains at Central, particularly prior to the opening of the city underground railway lines in 1926. Trams operated from Central station down Castlereagh St to Circular Quay and back up Pitt St in a large anti-clockwise loop. These tracks were also used as the city route for some eastern and southwestern routes during busy periods. The line made use of the sandstone viaduct onto the colonnade at Central station, used by the Metro Light Rail since 1997, but in the opposite direction.

Eastern Suburbs Lines

Circular Quay was the focal terminal point of most services to the eastern suburbs, and allowed easy transfer to ferries. For many years, 27 regular services operated from Circular Quay. A number of full-time services also operated from a secondary terminus at 'Railway' (Railway Square at Central Station).

Watson's Bay Line

This line started with a loop at the corner of Erskine and Day Sts near Wynyard Station then proceeded south down Day St, turning left into King St. It then proceeded down King St, crossing four other busy lines (George, Pitt, Castlereagh and Elizabeth St). It then passed through Queen's Square at St James Station, then swung right into College St, heading south past St Mary's Cathedral, then turning left into Boomerang St. The line then swung left into William St and proceeded down William St to King's Cross, before heading into Bayswater Rd. The line then ran east along Bayswater Rd, then into New South Head Rd at Rushcutters Bay. The depot serving the line was at this point, on the north side of the road. The line then followed the course of New South Head Rd through Double Bay, Rose Bay and Vaucluse. A single track then passed through narrow rock cuttings, low cliffs and rugged back-drops, twisting and turning its way down to the terminus at Watson's Bay. The line reached Edgecliff in 1894, and Watson's Bay in 1909. [ [ Drain Grate, Rose Bay] . Heritage, Roads and Traffic Authority. Accessed 22 August 2007.] In 1949, the line from Rose Bay to Watson's Bay closed, but reopened in 1950 due to public protest. In 1950, the line down King St to Erskine St closed and a new terminus constructed at Queens Square. The remainder of the line closed in 1960. This line had its own depot and city terminus and operated independently, although was connected to the main system. The tram line followed the present-day route of buses 324 and L24.

Woolloomooloo Line

This line branched off from College St and ran north along Haig Ave, St John Young Cres and Lincoln Cres to Brown's Wharf at Woolloomooloo. Through service ran from Circular Quay via Elizabeth and Park Sts. The line opened in stages between 1915 and 1918. The line was an early closure, in 1935, being replaced by a bus service from Pyrmont.

North Bondi via Bondi Junction Line

Services operated from either Circular Quay ( via Bridge and Elizabeth Sts) or Railway Square (via Elizabeth and Liverpool Sts), to Oxford St. The line then passed down Oxford St to Bondi Junction, were it branched off from Bronte services, to run down Bondi Rd to Fletcher st, Campbell Pde and then to the North Bondi tram terminus. A feature of this line was the large 3 track terminus cut into a hillside at North Bondi, which opened in 1946. The line opened in 1884 as a steam tramway to Bondi, then to Bondi Beach in 1894. Electric services commenced in 1902. The line closed in 1960. The tram line followed the current route of bus 380 as far as North Bondi.

North Bondi via Paddington and Bellevue Hill Line

Heading south down Elizabeth St from Circular Quay, the line turned left into Park St, then wound through East Sydney via a right turn into Yurong St, a left turn into Stanley St, a right turn into Bourke St, then a left turn into Burton St. A feature was the tram only viaduct over Barcom Ave and Boundary St in Darlinghurst as the line headed into MacDonald St. This viaduct is now a road bridge. The line then twisted down Glenmore, Gurner and Hargreave Sts in Paddington, then Moncur and Queen Sts in Woollahra. Here, a connection to Oxford St allowed access to the Waverley Depot. The line then travelled down Edgecliff and Victoria Rds, then wound along Birriga Rd in Bellevue Hill, finally running down Curlewis St in Bondi to join the Bondi Beach via Bondi Jct line on Campbell Pde, to the North Bondi terminus. The line was double track throughout with numerous points to allow short working. Services operated from Circular Quay via Elizabeth St and Park St. The line opened in to Bellevue Hill in 1909, and to Bondi Beach in 1914. The line was cut back to Ocean St Woollahra in 1955, remainder closed on 27 June 1959. The line follows approximately the current route of bus 389 between the city and Woollahra and route X84 between Woollahra and Bondi Beach.

Bronte Line

This line branched from the North Bondi via Bondi Jct. line at Bondi Jct, running down Bronte Rd and MacPherson St to Bronte Beach. A feature of this line was the final approach to Bronte Beach in a rock cutting parallel to the Pacific Ocean. The line opened to Waverley in 1890, then to Bronte in 1911. Electric services started to Waverley in 1902, then Bronte in 1911. Through services ran from Circular Quay or Railway Square. The line was closed in 1960 and replaced by a bus service that follows the current route of bus 378.

Clovelly Line

This line branched from Anzac Pde at Alison Rd, and ran on its own tram reservation beside Centennial Park as far as Darley Rd. Here it diverged from services to Coogee, to run north along Darley Rd, then turned right into Clovelly Rd to run down to its terminus at Clovelly Beach. The line opened from Alison Rd to the intersection of Clovelly and Carrington Rds in 1912, then to Clovelly in 1913. Though services ran from Circular Quay and from Railway Square (from 1923). The line closed in 1957. The tram line followed the current route of bus 339.

Coogee Line

The line branched from the line to Clovelly at Darley Rd in Randwick. It ran down King St beside the Randwick Tram Workshops, then ran in its own reservation to Belmore Rd. It then ran down Perouse Rd, St Pauls St, Carr St and Arden St before terminating in a balloon loop in Dolphin St at Coogee Beach. It ran through several small tram reservations on its way down from Randwick to the beach. The line from Randwick to Coogee opened in 1883, and electric services were introduced in 1902. The line closed in 1960. It follows the current route of bus 373.

La Perouse Line

This line branched from Oxford St at Taylor Square in Darlinghurst to run south along Flinders St, then into its own tram reservation along the eastern side of Anzac Pde beside Moore Park. It then proceeded down the centre of Anzac Parade through Maroubra Junction, and Malabar to its balloon loop terminus at La Perouse. At Malabar, a single line branched off to serve Long Bay Gaol. The line was double track throughout. The line reached La Perouse in stages from 1900 to 1902. It was the final line to close in 1961. The line followed the current route of bus 394.

Maroubra Line

This line branched of the line to La Perouse at the intersection of Anzac Pde and Maroubra Rd, travelling east along Maroubra Rd, Cooper St, French St and Mons Ave before terminating in a balloon loop in Marine Pde at Maroubra Bay Beach. The line was double track throughout, and passed though several tram reservations on its descent down to the beach. Direct services operated from Circular Quay and Railway Square. The line opened from Anzac Pde to Maroubra Bay in 1921, and closed in 1961. The line followed the current route of bus 397.

Cross Country Line (Bondi Jct - Coogee)

This line branched off Bronte Rd at Waverley and travelled south down Albion St and Frenchmans Rd, then via Frances and Cook Sts to join the Coogee line at Belmore Rd in Randwick. The line was single track throughout, with a passing loop on Frenchmans Rd. Initially services ran from the junction at Albion St in Wavelery to Randwick only, this was later extended to Coogee in 1907. From 1910, through services operated from Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach, and later additionally from Waverley Depot to Coogee beach. The line opened as a steam tramway in 1887, and was electrified in 1902. It closed in 1954, replaced by the 314 bus.

West Kensington via Surry Hills Line

This line branched from the tramlines in Oxford St and ran down Crown St to Cleveland St in Surry Hills, then south along Baptist St to Phillip St, where it swung left into Crescent St before running south along Dowling St. It passed the Dowling St Depot, then tuned left into Todman Ave where it terminated at West Kensington. Services operated fulltime from Circular Quay, and to Railway in peak hours. The line opened in 1881 down Crown St as far as Cleveland St as a steam tramway. It was extended to Phillip St in 1909, Todman Ave in 1912, and then to its final terminus down Todman Ave in 1937. The line down Crown St closed in 1957, the remainder stayed open until 1961 to allow access to Dowling St Depot. Sydney Buses routes 301, 302 and 303 generally follow the route down Crown and Baptist Sts as far as Phillip St.

Botany via Railway Square Line

Route: Services operated from Circular Quay initially via Elizabeth, Chalmers and Redfern Sts (from 1902), then in 1933 via Pitt and Castlereagh Sts, and Eddy Ave, Lee and Regents Sts, to Botany St in Waterloo. A single-track connection along Bourke and O'Dea Sts joined at the present day Green Square, allowing access to the Dowling St Depot. The line then passed down the entire length of Botany Rd to Botany. In Mascot, a branch led to the former Ascot Racecourse at the site of Sydney Airport. Points were provided at Bay St on Botany Rd in Botany for short working. The line was double track throughout. From Botany, a single-track line crossed the Botany Goods railway at Beauchamp Rd, then passed along Perry St and Bunnerong Rd, past the former Bunnerong Power Station to join the La Perouse line at Yarra Junction. Generally a shuttle service operated on this single track section between Botany and La Perouse. This single-track line was cut back to Military Rd in 1935. The line opened in 1882 as a steam tramway to Botany, and electric services commenced in 1903. The line from the junctions at Cleveland St to Botany closed in 1960. Sydney Buses route 309 generally follows the route.

Alexandria Line

This line branched from the Botany line at the junction of Henderson and Botany Rds in Alexandria. The line proceeded down Henderson Rd then swung left into Mitchell Rd. A Turnback was provided at Ashmore Rd (near Erskineville Oval) for short working. The line turned right into the present day Sydney Park Rd (then known as an extension of Mitchell Rd) before terminating at the junction with the Cook's River line at the Princes' Hwy near St Peters railway station. Services operated from Circular Quay in a route similar to the Botany line as far as the Henderson Rd junction. The line opened in 1902 as a single-track electric line, duplicated in 1910. It was closed in 1959. Sydney Buses route 308 generally follows the route as far as St Peters station.

Henderson Rd (Erskineville) Line

This short line branched from the Alexandria line tracks at the corner of Henderson and Mitchell Rds in Alexandria and passed along Henderson Rd to Park St in Erskineville, and later to Bridge St adjacent to Erskineville railway station. Services operated from Circular Quay. The line was an electrified single track throughout. The line opened to Park St in 1906 and to Bridge st in 1909. The line was an early closure, in 1933. It was replaced by a private bus service that no longer operates.

Rosebery Line

This line opened in 1902 initially via Chalmers and Redfern Streets and south along Elizabeth Street to Zetland via Elizabeth Street. In 1924, the line was extended to Epsom Road in Rosebery. In 1948, to facilitate construction of the Eastern Suburbs Railway, a new line was constructed down Elizabeth St between Devonshire Street and Redfern Street and the route was deviated to run down this new section. The line was electrified double track throughout. The line was closed in 1957.

Daceyville Line

This line branched from the Botany Road line at Gardners Road, and passed east along Gardners Road to join the lines at Anzac Pde at what was known as Daceyville Junction. It included a large collection of sidings at the former Rosebery Racecourse, now the site of The Lakes Golf Course. The full line opened in 1913, with services from Circular Quay via Waterloo. Some services were extended to Maroubra Beach via the Anzac Pde lines. The line closed in 1957.

outh-Western Lines

The Southwestern group of lines branched off Broadway at City Road in Camperdown, and passed along King Street through Newtown. Four lines then proceeded to Cooks River, Dulwich Hill, Canterbury and Earlwood. A short lived line also operated between Canterbury and Summer Hill.

Cooks River Line

This line ran down City Road from Broadway, then along King Street in Newtown past Newtown and St Peters railway stations to the Princes Highway. It then proceeded down the Princes Highway to its terminus at the Cooks River. At Tempe, a connection lead to the Tempe Depot. Past the terminus at the Cooks River, a single line led over the river to the Wolli Creek Perway Yard. The line reached St Peters as a steam tramway in 1891, then to Cooks River in 1900 when electric services commenced. The line closed in 1957, and bus 422 parallels the former line.

Dulwich Hill Line

This line branched from the line to Cooks River at Newtown, and travelled down Enmore Road through Enmore, then along Victoria Road to Marrickville Road before tuning right along Marrickville Road through Marrickville and Dulwich Hill to Canterbury Road. At the Canterbury Road terminus, a tram tuning loop was provided, this is currently used as a layover area for buses. Current bus route 426 follows this tramline.

Canterbury Line

This line branched from the route to Dulwich Hill at Addison Road on Enmore Road, and travelled along Addison Road to New Canterbury Road in Petersham. The line then travelled down New Canterbury Road through Dulwich Hill and Hurlstone Park to Canterbury railway station. Current bus route 428 follows the route of this line.

Earlwood Line

This line branched from the line to Dulwich Hill at Illawarra Road at Marrickville Road. It travelled down Illawarra Road and Homer Street to Earlwood, crossing the Cooks River. Current bus route 423 follows the former tram line, although his bus route now extends to Kingsgrove.

Cooks River- Dulwich Hill Line

A cross country line connected the Cooks River Line and the Dulwich Hill line via Sydenham, operating along Railway Road and Sydenham Road in Sydenham. A cross country service operated between Cooks River and Dulwich Hill.

Darling St Wharf- Canterbury Line

A cross country connection between the Canterbury Line at New Canterbury Road and the Western Suburbs lines on Parramatta Road allowed a cross country service to operate between Canterbury and Balmain.

Hurlstone Pk- Summer Hill Line

A short lived single track line operated from the Canterbury Line at Hurlstone Park along Old Canterbury Road and Prospect Road to Summer Hill railway station. Services operated between Canterbury and Summer Hill from 1915 however low patronage and competition from motor buses saw the line close in 1933. The disused track and overhead remained in place until the 1950s.

Erskineville Line

This line branched from tracks at Regent St in Chippendale, and passed west along Meagher St, then south into Abercombie St. It followed Abercrombie St south across the junction with Cleveland St through Golden Grove, before swinging south into Golden Grove St then right into Wilson St. The line then passed under the railway lines at Burren St, adjacent to the entrance to Macdonaldtown railway station. The line then became a single track loop passing up Burren St to Erskineville Rd, then west along Erskineville Rd to Septimus St, then Albert St before rejoining the tracks at Burren St. Services operated from Circular Quay using the Pitt and Castlereagh Sts lines. The line opened as an electric double track tramway in 1909. The line south of Cleveland St closed in 1940, with the northern section used by other services until its closure in 1958.

Western Lines

The majority of services operated from Fort Macquarie and Circular Quay down George St to various destinations. In the peak hours and other busy periods, supplementary services operated from Railway Square.

* Five Dock
* Abbotsford
** Closed between Fivedock and Abbotsford in 1954, closed to Haberfield in 1958.
* Leichhardt
** Closed in 1958.
* Lilyfield
* Birchgrove
* Balmain
** A feature of this line was a counterweight dummy system that controlled and assisted trams on a steep single-line section of track near the terminus at Darling Wharf, Balmain.
* Glebe Point
* Drummoyne and Ryde
* Ryde- Ryde station
* Millers Pt- Pyrmont
* Drummoyne via Forest lodge
* Balmain via Pyrmont

North Shore Lines

A feature of these lines was the underground tram terminus at Wynyard railway station (the only one in Australia), and the tracks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Trams ran over the eastern side of the harbour bridge (now road lanes) from a tram platform at Milson's Point similar to the existing railway station, and dived underground into platforms 1 and 2 of Wynyard station. These platforms were converted into a car park after the tramway's closure. Wynyard station's railway platforms are thus numbered 3-6

From Wynyard to....
* Lane Cove
* Chatswood
* Northbridge
* The Spit
* Balmoral
* Taronga Park
** A feature of this line was the steep grade down to the wharf at the terminus. Runaway trams plunged into the harbour in 1942, 1952 and 1958.

North Shore Cross Country Lines-
* Neutral Bay- Waters Rd Neutral Bay
* Cremorne Wharf- The Spit
* Mosman Wharf- Cremorne Jct
* Athol Wharf- Balmoral
* Taronga Zoo- Gore Hill and Lane Cove
* Taronga Park- Chatswood
* Balmoral- Chatswood
* Balmoral- Lane Cove

Manly Lines

* Manly- The Spit
* Manly- Harbord
* Manly- Narrabeen

Enfield Lines

The Enfield system was a separate group of lines based around a depot in Enfield, in Sydney's inner south-west. The system began as a steam tramway opening in 1891 between Ashfield Station and Enfield. In 1901, this line was extended north to Mortlake, and in 1909 a branch to Cabarita Park was opened. The system was electrified in 1912. Services operated from Ashfield Station along Liverpool Road, Georges River Road and Tangarra Street, then north along Coronation Parade back to Liverpool Road through Enfield, and then north along Burwood Road through Burwood. The line then turned into Crane Street, then Majors Bay Road and Brewer Street to Cabarita Junction. The line was double track until this point, then it split into single-track branches to Mortlake via Frederick, Vanhee and Gale Streets and Tenneyson Road, and to Cabarita via Cabarita Road. Short services were turned back at Brighton Avenue, Plymouth Street, Enfield, Burwood Station and Wellbank St. Services operated every five minutes between Ashfield and Wellbank St in peak periods, and every 15 minutes (30 minutes at off-peak times) on the two branches. A depot on Coronation Parade served the lines. The lines closed in 1948, and were replaced by buses.

outhern Suburbs Lines

The following lines were all isolated from the main system.

Rockdale to Brighton-Le-Sands Line

This line opened as a private steam tramway in 1885. It was electrified in 1900, and moved into government ownership in 1914. The line connected with the trains at Rockdale station, then passed down Bay Street to Brighton-Le-Sands. The line was single track throughout, with a passing loop at each end. The line closed in 1949 and was replaced by a bus service. A small depot in Rockdale maintained the cars.

Kogarah to Sans Souci Line

This steam tramway opened in 1887,cite web|work=Kogarah Municipal Council| title=Kogarah Council Timeline|url=| accessdate=19 July| accessyear=2007] and was replaced by an electric trolleybus service in 1937. It connected with trains at Kogarah station by way of a large balloon loop through the streets, then passed south down Rocky Point Road to Sans Souci, Sandringham and Dolls Point. Small depots at Sandringham and Kogarah serviced the line. The line was single track at each end with a double-track middle section down Rocky Point Road ["The Kogarah-Sans Souci Tramway" Eardley, G.H. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December, 1957 pp177-190] .

Arncliffe to Bexley Line

This steam tramway opened in 1909 and closed in 1926. It connected with trains at Arncliffe station, and ran down Wollongong Road, then Forest Road through Bexley before terminating at the corner of Forest and Preddys Roads, Bexley. The line was single track, with a passing loop midway. A small car shed at Arncliffe maintained the trams.

utherland to Cronulla Line

This line opened as a steam tramway between Sutherland railway station and Cronulla's Shelley Beach, in 1911. It closed to passengers and was replaced by a bus service in 1931, and closed completely in 1932. It pre-dated the Sutherland to Cronulla branch of the Illawarra line, which took over its role [Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, December, 1963 pp181-194 ] .

Castle Hill Line

Parramatta- Castle Hill

Rolling stock

Perhaps the most renowned of the electric trams that operated in Sydney were the O and P class trams, known at the time as the "footboard cars", after the surrounding footboard that conductors precariously balanced upon. These were later known as "toastrack trams" for their crossbench wooden seating layout. They had a seating capacity of 80 and a crush capacity of 150, and it was this capacity that was their selling point for Sydney's crowded system. They were commonly coupled together to run as "double trams". 626 O class and 258 P class trams were constructed from 1908, and some remained in service until 1960. The first modern "corridor" style trams, the R class, were introduced in 1933. The final order of cars was for the R1 class in the early 1950s. The R class were unable to be coupled together, but offered their passengers a more comfortable ride away from the elements. Many also featured uphostered seating. Some of these cars had not been in service long enough for a major overhaul before their withdrawal in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Upon withdrawal, most cars were stripped of their metal components and bogies, then burnt in an area of the Randwick Workshops known as 'burning hill'. But some were sold as stripped shells to private users to be used as shelters, storage shed, etc. Some were preserved, mostly at Sydney Tramway Museum at Loftus.


* In 1929, a P class tram crashed into a barber's shop on the corner of Quay and Ultimo Rds near Central Station. Almost half of the tramcar ended up in the shop.
* There were accidents at Athol Wharf, Taronga Park, when trams lost control running down the steep hill and ended up in the harbour, in 1942, 1952 and 1958.


* Dowling St Depot served the lower Eastern Suburbs (Coogee, La Perouse, Clovelly, Maroubra), and inner southern suburbs (Alexandria, Rosebery, Botany). The largest tram depot in Australia, it was the last to close in 1961. Now the site of the Moore Park Homemaker's Supacenta.
* Waverley Depot served the Bondi and Bronte routes. Closed in 1959, now the site of a bus depot.
* Rozelle Depot served the inner western suburbs routes to Leichhardt, Balmain, Birchgrove, Abbotsford and Lilyfield. Closed in 1958, now sits empty awaiting redevelopment.
* Newtown Depot served routes via King St Newtown to Summer Hill, Canterbury, Earlwood, and services to Glebe. Closed in 1957, has been deliberately neglected to the point of collapse. Recently, parts of the site have been redeveloped as housing.
* North Sydney Depot served the lines via North Sydney. Closed in 1958. Converted into North Sydney bus depot.
* Ultimo Depot served routes to Pyrmont, Ryde, and Erskineville. It was situated on the eastern side of Harris St adjacent to the Darling Harbour goods railway. It closed as a tram depot in 1953, becoming a bus depot, which later closed.
* Rushcutters Bay Depot served the Watson's Bay line. Closed in 1960.
* Fort Macquarie Depot served the Circular Quay- Railway service, and services to Woolloomooloo. Closed 1955, now the site of the Sydney Opera House. A large balloon loop encicled the depot allowing trams to turn around without changing ends.
* Manly Depot served the isolated Manly lines until closure in 1939.
* Enfield Depot served the isolated Ashfield- Mortlake/ Cabarita lines. Closed in 1948 and reused as a bus depot until it closed in 1989.
* Rockdale Depot served the isolated Rockdale- Brighton-Le-Sands line. Closed 1949.
* Tempe Depot served the Cooks River and Marrickville/Dulwich Hill lines. Closed 1954, became a bus depot now closed. Used as a storage facility for withdrawn government buses. The main shed now houses a truck and bus museum.
* Leichhardt Depot was only a storage depot for trams. It is now a bus depot.

Remains today

* A section of uncovered tramway track is on O'Dea Ave in Zetland. A single track is visible through the concrete road surface for a few hundred metres. Occasionally other buried sections of track are unsurfaced when roadworks are carried out. For example, at the intersection of Victoria Ave and Penshurst St, Chatswood, extensive tram tracks are visible whenever road resurfacing is carried out.
* There is a small fragment of tram track exposed in the Moore Park grounds near the Sydney Cricket Ground.
* Several ornate tram shelters still stand, such as at the corner of Park and Elizabeth Streets, City.
* At North Bondi and Bronte, bus shelters are built into small cuttings that were previously tram stops.
* Attachment pieces for the overhead wires can be seen on many older buildings.
* Many street corners where trams turned were 'cut-back' to allow space for trams to turn, and subsequently many buildings on such corners still have rounded fronts.
* Anzac Parade's abnormally wide median strip once accommodated tram lines.
* When walking up the steps to The Gap at Watsons Bay, there is flat ground in between two sets of steps. This continues for a fair way in both directions, and is the old tram right of way.
* The Ultimo Tram Sheds are now preserved by the Powerhouse Museum.


* The Sydney government bus network generally reflects the area and routes covered by the tram network. Many suburbs with 'Junction' in their name reflect their tramway heritage, such as Bondi Junction, Randwick Junction and Maroubra Junction.
* is a phrase still used in Sydney, meaning to depart in haste.
* The tram museum is in the suburb of Loftus, in Sydney's south.

ee also

* Public transport in Sydney
* List of light-rail transit systems
* Transportation in Australia
* Tram controls
* Metro Transport Sydney
* Trams in Australia


Further reading

* D Budd et al: "Wait Here for Trams: Sydney's Trams, the Last Decade". Nostalgia Press March 1974
* D. Keenan: "Tramways of Sydney". Transit Press 1979
* [ Railpage- Sydney Trams]
* [ Action for Public Transport- Sydney tramways]

External links

* [ Sydney's Tram History]
* [ Sydney Tramway Museum]
* [ The current Sydney light-rail line]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.