Sunday the 23rd of February 2020 saw the museum once again hold its annual Vintage Tramway Festival. This year saw a very good turnout for visitors, with many taking the opportunity to ride on the museum’s fleet of traditional Sydney trams, including our coupled O car set 805+1111. As was the case last year, the museum’s post-war AEC double decker bus No. 2619 provided shuttle trips between the museum and Sutherland, and the Sydney Bus Museum brought even more visitors to the event, in their Leyland double decker bus No. 1579.
This year’s festival also saw two notable attractions make their official public operating debuts (or re-debut in one case). Those being Scrubber Car 11 (ex-139s), fresh from it’s nearly year long overhaul. And Essanee Rail Grinder No. 3 (ex-No. 2). Both cars are unique in the museum’s collection, in that they were once based out of Sydney, and used as rail cleaning vehicles, before eventually finding a new life on Melbourne’s tramway system upon closure of the Sydney system, where they were considerably altered from their original appearance. While not carrying passengers, the two trams occasionally did trips between the museum and Sutherland and the National Park; proving to be an interesting site for visitors.
Another notable exhibit which made its debut at this year’s festival, was a model layout that’s based on the original Sydney Tramway Network. This layout, located in the Sutherland Railway Substation building, was donated to the museum last year, and much work was put into setting it up for the event as a static display. It is intended to eventually make the layout fully operational.
All in all the day’s activities went seamlessly, and many of the museum’s volunteers are to be congratulated for their efforts in making the event as successful as it was.