A Brief History
The Sydney Tramway Museum began life in 1950, with the preservation of Lp class tram 154 by four young tram enthusiasts Norm Chinn, Robert Young, Ken McCarthy and Ben Parle. From 1957, the Museum was able to establish a site on the edge of the Royal National Park, next to what is now today the “Parklink” tramline. This location had had its share of history already; during the latter years of World War II, this had been an Army camp site, and from December 1946 to January 1947, it was the site of the first post-war Boy Scouts’ Corroboree organised at a state level. From 1965, the museum operated trams to the public from this site, based out of a large corrugated iron shed constructed by the volunteers of the museum. In 1988, the Museum moved to its current premises next to Loftus railway station and has continued to grow its collection and facilities ever since.
To this day, the Museum remains a non-profit community organisation run entirely by volunteers. Find out more about supporting the Museum here.
Around the Museum
Along with rides towards Sutherland or the Royal National Park, you can check out the many instances of street furniture and artefacts from the era of the original Sydney tramway network along our main street, including a vintage telephone box, police box and overhead poles dating from 1899; all helping to recreate the atmosphere of bygone Sydney.
Some of our historic items of note include:
- Railway Square waiting shed. This historic structure, which stood in the middle of Railway Square (near Sydney’s Central Station) from 1907 to 1973, has been painstakingly re-erected at the Museum and is the starting point for many of our tram services.
- Liverpool St tramway signal box. This elevated signal box stood at the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets in Sydney, was used to control tram movements and switch trams to the correct line at this busy junction.
- Miranda waiting shed. Located at the front entrance to the Museum, this waiting was previously used by passengers waiting for the steam trams to Sutherland and Cronulla.
- YMCA Sandstone Facade. Serving as part of the facade to the former YMCA premises on Bathurst St, this example of Victorian Gothic architecture was dismantled and rebuilt at the museum in 2000 as part of a new structure. Completion and fit out of this building is ongoing which will enhance a number of the museum’s functions including a new bookshop and kiosk, extra display facilities, relocated archives and a new head office.
Available for Film and TV Hire
Looking for an ideal location for photography or filming. Contact us for a great setting. Check out our museum and trams used in films such as ‘Ladies In Black’, or ‘Harp In The South’, both filmed on location at the museum.
Something a bit different for your wedding; why not get photos with our trams? The perfect backdrop for your special day. We can arrange a time for you and your wedding party to get those memorable shots with our vintage trams. Email us today to sort out a time and day at firstname.lastname@example.org