Flashback: SPER’s 1965 Opening at the Royal National Park

On 13th March 1965, the Sydney Tramway Museum officially opened as an operating museum at its original site, located on the edge of the Royal National Park. After 15 years of progress by volunteers to establish a heritage tourist tramway, then Deputy NSW Premier Pat Hills drove LP class tram 154 through a white ribbon stretched across the tram track, signalling the re-start of tramway operations in Sydney. Hundreds of people came from all over the city and beyond to celebrate the occasion, with every tram in the collection that was operable providing running services to visitors throughout the day.

To commemorate the opening, British Pathé made a newsreel documenting the day’s events which is included for viewing below. The footage was preceded by series of film clips showing the Sydney Tramways in action during the 1920’s. In comparison, the footage of Loftus is noticeably more quieter. Some of the trams seen in the film include F 393, K 1296, Lp 154 and R 1740; all running regular traffic operations on opening day. A brief glimpse of the Royal National Park line can also be seen, in its original function as a heavy rail branch line.