Monday, April 1, 2013

Sydney Tram Memories

With the proposed return of trams to the streets of Sydney (Sydney's Light Rail Future - December 2012), it is interesting to see reminders of our previous tramway history at various locations throughout Sydney. These include:

1. Several ornate tram shelters which are still standing, including the one at Balmoral Beach and another on Elizabeth Street, Sydney opposite the Great Synagogue.  

Tram shelter at Balmoral Beach - May 2012
Tram Shelter, Elizabeth St, Sydney - March 2013

2.  Ornamental rosettes located on many older buildings and rock faces where overhead wiring span wires for the trams were attached. 

Two rosettes on a building in George Street, Sydney - September 2012

Rosette on the David Jones Building a the corner of Castlereagh and
 Market Sts, Sydney - September 2012. 
Note the rounded front on the David Jones (Market Street) building. Many street corners were 'cut-back' to allow space for trams to turn. Many of the building on such corners still have rounded fronts.

Rosette on the rock face in Lawry Plunkett Reservce at Balmoral, on the route
of the  Balmoral tramline - May 2012
There are seven rosettes on the rock face near the Sydney Opera House at the site of what was the Fort Macquarie Depot.

Two of the rosettes on the rock face near the Sydney Opera House -
March 2013
View of the rock face near Sydney Opera House
 at the site of the Fort Macquarie Tram Depot - March 2013
3) Tram  tracks on Glebe Point Road at Glebe. A small section of the original tram tracks were uncovered by roadworks in 2009. The City of Sydney Council left them exposed as a historical reminder.

Tram tracks in Glebe Point Road at Glebe - 8 May 2012
4) The tunnel portals for the tram tracks running across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the underground tram terminus at Wynyard Railway Station. These can been seen from the pedestrian walkway on the eastern side of the Bridge.        

Tunnel Portals to Wynyard from the Sydney Harbour Bridge - May 2011

5) Site of McMahons Point Electric Tram Terminus 1909 - 1932. The double track along Blues Point Road formed a loop here by the Ferry Wharf providing an extra link with the city from the North Shore Suburbs. The line was not needed after the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.

Site of McMahons Point Tram Terminus - May 2012

Tram monument at McMahons Point Wharf (mid right of photo) - May 2012, 

6) Two monuments commemorating the extension of the tramway from Drummoyne to Ryde in 1910. The first which is now located at the rear of the Ryde Civic Centre was unveiled in December 1908 to mark the 'turning of the first sod' for the extension of the tramway from Drummoyne to Ryde. The actual terminus for the line was located near the intersection of Pope and Devlin Streets adjacent to the current Top Ryde Shopping Centre. 

Ryde Tramway Monument located at the rear of the Ryde Civic Centre in
 Devlin Street - August 2012

Inscription on Ryde Tramway Monument - August 2012
The second is the Sutton Memorial Tramway Monument in Ryde Road at Monash Park. This was unveiled to commemorate the opening of the new tramway on 11 June 1910, and in memory of Joseph Sutton, son of Ryde Alderman Rowland Sutton. It was originally erected at the intersection of Wharf and Victoria Roads at Gladesville.

Sutton Memorial Tramway Monument, Ryde Road ,
Monash Park - August 2012

7) Rozelle Tram Depot at Glebe which was the second largest tram depot on the Sydney network from 1904 until its closure in 1958. Today is it part of the Harold Park development by the Mirvac group. The heritage listed sheds which are on the northern edge of Harold Park will form the retail heart of the complex. 

Site of the Rozelle Tram Depot.
Heritage listed sheds in the background - May 2012

Tram Memorial Plaque in Devonshire Street Tunnel, Central Railway
- May 2011
Trams first ran in Sydney in 1867. 

History Services NSW in its Government Contracts and Contractors Database has over three hundred records relating to granting of NSW Government contracts for the Sydney tram network from that period to 1900 when most of the metropolitan network was built.

If you are interested in further information go to our website at :

All photos taken 2011-2013.

Blog prepared by Mary McGuinness