Display Hall Modernisation Project

The museum has been successful in receiving funding from the 2021 Transport Heritage Grants program courtesy of Transport Heritage NSW and the Royal Australian Historical Society. The purpose of the grant is to upgrade its current displays and signage within the main display hall.

Aside from minor modifications, none of the displays have been overhauled since being first installed in 1988, and are showing signs of deterioration. This project will see new displays installed to replace the existing ones, featuring updated information and modern designs that will allow visitors to learn more about the history of the Sydney Tramway network.

January 2022

Materials for the new project have been purchased, with larger items to be stored until large scale works can get underway.

Smaller materials like perspex have been purchased to be later cut down to size for photo frames.

March 2022

A milestone has been reached with the first of the new door frames fitted across Road 4. Paneling is expected to follow soon before the rest of the doors are likewise replaced.

April 2022

Plywood roofing has been removed above the display wall along Road 8. Paving the way for future repairs to damaged support beams and the installation a new roof.
Repainting of the support columns into colours emulating the look of traditional Sydney tram stop shelters will also be carried out.

Repainting of the tramcar builders plate display board has commenced as well with the first coat of primer applied.

Several wooden panel sheets have been installed to the new Road 4 door frames.

May 2022

Painting continues on the new Road 4 door panelling after being sanded down and undercoated.

June 2022

Work on replacing the old Road 8 door frames and panelling has begun at a rapid pace with the new frames being installed in a space of a few hours, with new panelling to follow shortly.

July 2022

  • Road 8: Plywood has been installed and is waiting to be sanded and painted
  • Road 7: Frames have been installed
  • Tramcar builders plates have been reinstalled on their repainted display board.

September 2022

3rd September

Plywood panelling on the new Road 8 door display has been completely sanded, and awaits priming and painting with panelling also installed and sanded on the new Road 7 doors. Chris has also installed new door frames on Road 5 which await their set of plywood panels. Work continues in the background on display designs and perspex photo frame cutting.

10th September

Laura and Chris have applied the first layer of undercoat to the new panelling on both Road 8 and Road 7 doors.

16th September

Progress on the new Road 8 and 7 doors has seen the first layer of top coat painted on by Chris and Laura.

October 2022

8th October

Tram car timeline decals have been installed on Road 8. 

29th October

New information stands have been erected. Pre-existing signs will be placed in here until new standardised ones can be made.

November 2022

5th November

Vinyl lettering has been applied to the renewed tramcar plate board; explaining the history behind the individual plates on display.

12th November

Chris and Laura begin to remove the old photographic display along the eastern wall, in preparation for the removal of old panelling. This display has been erect since the new site opened in March 1988.

19th November

Removal of the old display and damaged structures continues. The museum’s heritage carpenter Mick Kinsella will be contracted to carry out repairs and construct new woodwork for the new display.

23rd November

The last of the vinyl lettering on the tram plate display board has been posted.

December 2022

17th December

The remaining panels of the original photographic display have been removed, with repairs and new panelling to be carried out in the next week. The previous photographic displays from the depot doors have been placed against the eastern wall in the meantime.

January 2023

14th January

Our heritage carpenter Mick Kinsella has spent a lot of time during the Christmas break rebuilding the eastern display wall structure, which had been severely damaged by termites.

Meanwhile, good progress is being made on installing photo frame panels on the new depot road doors.

20th January

Mick has started to create the new wall panelling for the eastern wall, which will contain a new display layout. Work is also complete on the depot display doors, with content to be posted shortly.

28th January

More photo frames are being installed on all depot road doors, along with the first instances of new information signage. So far, posters on the isolated Manly and Broken Hill systems have been put up with more photographs soon to follow.

February 2023

3rd February

All photo frames have been installed on all depot doors and now await content. Mick has also completed the majority construction of the new eastern wall display, which now requires painting and installation of new displays.

11th February

Updated tramcar information signage has begun to be placed in the new display stands, with a sign for N 728 one of the first examples.

The new photographic display along the depot doors is also beginning to come together. Historic Sydney tramway imagery sourced from the collections of museum members such as Vic Solomons and Ian Saxon, are now being placed in the new perspex frames. The recently completed Manly layout – as seen below – is an example of what is to follow.

15th February

The walls of the new display structure are now painted and ready for the new displays. Painting of the rest of the display will follow shortly.

25th February

The new vinyl displays along the eastern wall have been erected comprising of a map of the tramway network and a timeline of the system.

The new photographic display along the depot doors is all but complete, with only a few photos left to install.

The grant portion of the Display Hall upgrade project is now finished and ready for the 2023 Vintage Tramway Festival. There are further activities that will need to be completed which were not part of the Transport Heritage grant. These include painting of the eastern wall display structure and reinstallation of the lights. Additionally, there will be continual updates to other parts of the display hall which is currently being scoped.