Trams Under the Stars

It was a rare Saturday Opening!

Whether one was enjoying the warm ambience of a brightly lit tram from the inside or watching the enticing glow of a passing tram, Sydney’s trams by night had a romance of their own.

We thank all those who attended to make this a great evening.


The afternoon saw trams running ahead of dusk. This is a rare photo of Frank McQuade driving a tram. He is more usually seen behind a camera or selling in our bookshop.

At the rear, about to signal the driver to re-start the tram is fledgling conductor Kay Graves.

Despite the rain, some hardy souls rewarded our efforts to demonstrate the beauty of trams by night and to take avantage of our offer of free tea and coffee. Our pies found ready consumers as well.

Let’s take a quick look at more of our Traffic Team who braved the cold that night.

Mitch, Ian H_rcd

Ian at the doorway is an experienced Traffic Team member and was the main organiser of this night. He organised almost everything except the weather!

But he has another job around the place. He is the leader of the Painting Team. Using genuinely specially developed heritage paints, he is able to emulate the post 1933 green and cream Sydney fleet colours or the earlier pioneer colour scheme as required. He has access to all the original tint listings passed to us by the huge Tramway Workshops at Randwick at their closure. Ian is a well respected heritage paint expert. We’re lucky to have him.

At the tram controls is one of our younger members with the nickname “Max”.

Bob Cooper

Very pleased with the evening is another of our multi skilled experts. Bob Cooper is more often seen doing all manner of tasks in our engineering workshop. But he’s also one of our Traffic Team; we have an amazing range of trams from most cities of Australia. There don’t seem to be any that Bob’s not trained for. Night driving is a novelty but trams were generously endowed for night use lighting and virtually all of us had an opportunity to experience this on the night. Nonetheless, Bob has just enjoyed his welcome coffee!

The tram appears to be one of our interstate trams, from the Victorian country city of Bendigo. It was designed in the USA to cater for towns with declining patronage – a one man tram. These days, they are no longer a novelty. But we drive them with a complete crew!

Upper photo by Peter Neve; lower photos by Frank McQuade.