Transport Heritage sector Christmas Party at Loftus

On Saturday the 8th of December 2018, Transport Heritage held it’s ‘Sector Volunteers Christmas party’ at Loftus. The museum usually has a Saturday afternoon ‘members day’ around this time, so this was combined with THNSW – so we had guests from multiple transport museums from around the region.

As there were no trains on the Illawarra line that weekend, THNSW organised a vintage double decker to bring guests from Central.

The tramway museum had two ‘new’ things to show off. The first was Variotram 2107, which was bought down to Lakewood Park and put on display. The last few weeks a small number of members had put a large amount of work into cleaning the graffiti of the exterior and cleaning the interior.

The other was the first public showing of the Sutherland Railway Substation. While work by Sydney Trains had been completed a year ago, and a formal opening held, paperwork issues had prevented the building being opened to the public. The paperwork came through the previous week.

Rides were also provided for our members and guests using R1740 and P1497 on a half-hour schedule of departures allowing people to spend 30 minutes at the Sutherland railway substation display before getting the other tram back to the museum or through to the Royal National Park.

2107 on display

2107 arriving at Lakewood Park
Michael Hatton

Sutherland railway substation

We were finally able to open the Sutherland Railway substation to the public. This was restored by Sydney Trains during 2017. It was essentially complete 12 months ago, but there were ‘paperwork delays’.

This space is now available for inspection, but due to staffing, the building will not be regularly open, inspection is by arrangement at this time.

The display also includes the Kogarah rotary converter, a similar type of machine to the railway converters that once graced this building. and part of an original escalator from Town Hall, along with it’s control board and orginal motor.

At various times during the day, people did try to get photos of our ‘old and new’ together.

At the end of the day when the two trams that were used to provide afternoon rides for our members and guests were being put away, an opportunity for a couple of photos of the old and new were obtained with ‘classic’ Sydney Trams alongside the ‘modern’. All of these trams were an ‘innovation’ in their day, with the P containing advanced multiple unit and automatic acceleration controls, and the corridor R car, a large step up in comfort for the time and the Variotram being the first fully low floor tram in Australia.

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