Tram Museum Adelaide

Tram Technology in Australia During History

Trams History

Introduction
Trams are vehicles that run on fixed rails and are designed and built to travel on streets sharing road space with pedestrians and other traffic. Most tram systems usually have some off-street running either on entirely segregated alignment or along central reserved roads. Some tram systems often run on reserved tracks with just a few stretches of on-street running.

The first railway ran using a narrow 1067 mm gauge from Ipswich inland to Grandchester

When were Melbourne trams introduced?
The first electric train in Melbourne was introduced and began its operation in October 1889 between Doncaster and Box Hill. Less than seven years later the service was abandoned and it took till October 1906 for another electric tram service to begin. During that time victoria railways opened a tramway from St Kilda Station to Brighton. In the same year, a private company called the Melbourne Electric Tramway Company L.t.d introduced a line from Flemington Bridge to Maribyrnong and Essendon. The following year Malvern and Prahran councils applied to construct electric tramways. By 1910 Malvern and Prahran Tramways Trust was ready to go into service on two routes with 13 cars.

When and where were trams first introduced in Australia?
The first tram and railway line in Australia were opened between Port Melbourne and Flinders Street Station on September 1854. It was operated initially as a 1600 mm gauge and was later converted to a 1435 mm gauge electric railway serving the entire Melbourne tram system. In Queensland, the first railway ran using a narrow 1067 mm gauge from Ipswich inland to Grandchester. The rail system extended further to Darling Downs before connecting to the capital of Brisbane in 1875.

How does the tram work?
Electric trams are powered either by four or two electric motors which sit between the wheels underneath the tram. Trams have large trolley poles joined together with overhead wires. The pole transmits electricity to the motors. If you listen carefully you will hear motors underneath the floor of the tram. The speed of the tram is governed by a handle called the controller which controls the amount of electricity to the motors. There is also an element called the key which helps in setting the direction of the tram and can be placed backwards, neutral or in a forward position. The tram vehicle also uses two systems of braking. One uses an air brake, thus braking using air pressure from the compressor. The other one uses a handbrake operated by a handle or wheel. There are also three distinct foot buttons which allow the driver to retract the lifeguard if it drops, apply sand to the rails and ring the gong.

Which city is known for its trams?
Melbourne
Melbourne is a city that is well known for its love of tramps and the city surprisingly also has tram sessions. Melbourne trams offer transport services to tourists, workers, families and shoppers making it convenient for everyone to get around this incredible city. Perth, Sydney and Canberra are projected to build and construct light railway systems in place over the coming years. Jump on the gold city circle and burgundy Tramps and explore the spectacular streets of Victoria’s capital with a path that runs along Harbour Esplanade, Flinders Street, Spring Street, La Trobe Street and Docklands Drive.