St Kilda Tram Museum
St Kilda Road, St Kilda
Open Times: Sundays & Public Holidays 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm
|One of the old H-Class Trams at Victoria Square|
|The extent of Adelaide’s Tram Network (minus the Port Adelaide Trams)|
It has been quite a while since I last visited the Tram Museum (I suspect I was a kid at the time), and in many ways it has become the home of many of Adelaide’s former trams. The museum itself has three pavilions, one containing trams, one containing an old horse drawn tram, and one containing trolly buses.
|Horse Drawn Tram
Mind you, a museum isn’t a museum unless you discover something new. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit because I have certainly discovered a lot of new things with the creation of Wikipedia, however with museums you are not necessarily looking at plaques and computer screens (unless, of course, it is a really boring museum) but you are also looking at the things that the museum has on display, in this case it is trams.
I’m not sure what the trams in Adelaide use as warning devices, but the Melbourne trams, including the latest models, still use bells. One of the things that I love about the Melbourne trams are the bells that seem to ring throughout the city centre. What I discovered was from where these bells originated. The old trams had a little button on the floor that the driver would press with their foot which was cause a bell in the undercarriage to ring. When we discovered that we would stand in the driver’s cabin pressing the bell to no end (and you probably would not be able to tell us apart from the children who were doing that as well). Here is a video:
Oh, and the driver’s cabins in these old trams were also really, really cramped. Here is a picture of me in one of those cabins.
|I feel sorry for the drivers stuck in here on hot days|
I was a little curious as to why they no longer use trolley poles (unless of course you are on Hong Kong island because the tram that runs through there still use trolley poles, but then again they are also using original trams, most likely as a tourist attraction as opposed to a mass transit option, though the tram can be more convenient than the MTR) so I asked the operator who told me that the problem with trolley poles is that when the tram goes in the opposite direction they have to lower one trolley pole and raise the one for the opposite direction whereas the pantograph allows to tram to go both ways without changing the facing of the pantograph.
Then there were the Trolley Buses. I never knew that Adelaide used to have Trolley Buses – the first time I ever encountered them was in Athens where they are used extensively (and despite having never seen one before for some reason I knew they were called trolley buses). Anyway, a trolley bus is a normal road bus that runs on electricity through the use of overhead wires, much in the same way that trams are powered. However I suspect that many modern trolley buses also have diesel engines for use when the power lines are not available.
It was interesting reading an old argument supporting the use of trolley buses over diesel powered buses, being that they are much quieter and also much cleaner than their diesel counterparts. These are similar arguments that are used today in support of electric powered vehicles. What I found interesting though was looking inside the trolley buses because there seemed to be a lot less controls than modern diesel buses have (though I suspect it may be because they have yet to be fully restored).
|It could also be because this is a really old bus|
The other interesting thing was seeing some of the really old advertisements on these trams for Telecom and Medibank Private (which were both owned by the government at the time).
Anyway, no blog post of the tram museum would be complete without a couple of videos of the trams in operation, so here is the Open Crossbench leaving St Kilda Playground to head back to the museum:
and here is the Bogie Saloon leaving the tram museum to travel to St Kilda:
As for the location, well, as mentioned above, it is located around the halfway point on St Kilda road between Port Wakefield Road and the St Kilda township, but anyway, here is a map:
H-Class Tram source: Simon Lieschke use permitted under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
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