Brisbane Tramway Museum Marks 60 Years Since Depot Fire - 96five Family Radio

Brisbane Tramway Museum Marks 60 Years Since Depot Fire

The museum will mark the 60th anniversary of the Paddington Depot fire that destroyed 65 trams, which would later cease to run in 1969.

By Steff WillisTuesday 20 Sep 2022NewsReading Time: 2 minutes

Trams were once the backbone of public transport in Brisbane.

Horse-drawn trams ran in Brisbane from 1885 until they were replaced by electric trams in 1898. After the closure of tramways in 1969, enthusiasts marshalled resources to help Brisbane always remember.

“The museum was started just a few months before the trams stopped running in the streets of Brisbane” said Peter Hyde, Vice President of the Brisbane Tramway Museum on a Bluey’s Brisbane episode.

“A group of people got together and decided that it was important for the history of the city that some of the trams be kept.”

“That led to a wider ambition that the trams would actually operate and people would be able to travel on them and experience what it was like to go to work or go shopping by tram”.

These tram enthusiasts were able to arrange with the Brisbane City Council to obtain at least one of each model of the trams that served Brisbane.

“We normally have 5 or 6 different types of trams running and people can experience what it was like in the 1900s, 1920s, 1930s to the very last tram that was built in Brisbane in the 1960s” Peter said.

This year marks 60 years since the Paddington Depot Fire where 65 trams, a fifth of the Brisbane Tramways Company fleet, were lost in the blaze.

The Paddington Tram depot was built in 1915 servicing western suburbs and a total of 13 roads. The depot was constructed on the side of the hill on Latrobe Terrace in Paddington and was one of the largest fires in Brisbane’s history. The site where the depot once stood is now home to the Paddington Central Shopping Centre.

Aftermath of the Paddington Tram Depot Fire

Aftermath of the Paddington Tram Depot Fire / Source: Lost Brisbane Facebook

The Brisbane Tramway Museum will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the fire on the 28th September 1962 with a special event.

The event, held on Saturday 24th September 2022, will feature unlimited tram rides on vintage trams, the annual tram pulling competition, a sausage sizzle (in Conjunction with Ashgrove the Gap Rotary Club), Donuts and Coffee Wagon.

Involved since it’s inception, Vice President Peter Hyde says it’s important to keep our tram history alive.

“People enjoy reliving the time of their parents and grandparents. They can see how these past events have led to the nature of the city at the present time and possibly give an indication of how the city will continue to develop in the future”

The Brisbane Tramway Museum at 50 Tramway Street, Ferny Grove is open on Sundays from 12.30pm to 4pm, weather permitting.

Tramway Museum

Tramway Museum in Ferny Hills