The Brisbane Tramway Museum Society was inaugurated in 1968, one year before trams ran for the last time in Brisbane.
A few far-sighted tram enthusiasts saw the need to ensure that Brisbane’s mainstay public transport vehicles were preserved for future generations to experience. By being ahead of the close-down, the museum was able to negotiate with the Brisbane City Council and thus was able to acquire over 20 trams for the museum.
At least one of each model of tram was preserved, that included two Trolley Buses along with two work vehicles which are still in use at the museum.
At present, the museum has a fleet of seven operating trams and this will soon be joined by another coming out of restoration in the early part of this year. The oldest tram was built in 1901 (in USA) and the youngest in 1964. Almost all of Brisbane’s trams were built in Brisbane at the Milton workshops.
The museum, located at Ferny Grove, is fully manned by volunteers – there are no paid staff. The museum is managed by a Board of Directors and is a Not-For-Profit organisation. It is open to the public on Sundays from noon to 4pm. Visitors can enjoy unlimited rides on the trams during their visit and can take in videos and static displays.
The museum also hosts the Ferny Grove Men’s Shed which is integral to maintaining and restoring the fleet. The Shed is open on Tuesdays and Fridays and its members also indulge in their own projects such as furniture making and repair etc. More recently, the Women’s Shed at Ferny Grove was established and its members also carry out their own projects similar to the men’s shed. The ladies are on site on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The museum is set in about five acres (hectares) of picnic grounds and facilities are there for families to enjoy a picnic lunch with drinks and memorabilia available on site.
In coming issues, we will cover each tram and vehicle with more history of this important part of Brisbane’s Public Transport, covering some 70 years.