A Plug for The Past

When John Atkinson drove the first electric tram in Brisbane in July 1897, little did he know that he was kick-starting a whole new revolution in public transportation for Queenslanders.

Unfortunately, the revolution was slow to catch on, it still is, and Queensland certainly wasn’t the first state to introduce EV’s despite his claim to the crown in a newspaper interview some time later. That honour went to Melbourne in 1889.

Of course, other countries flicked the EV switch much earlier. The world’s first electric tram appeared near Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1875, and Berlin delivered a similar system in 1881. 

In the same year that Queensland heralded the first electric tram, London boasted a fleet of electric taxi cabs. And we shouldn’t forget that an electric car was also the first road vehicle to exceed 100 km/h just two years later, in 1899. 

Anyway, that’s enough of the history lesson, now back to the future. 

The Brisbane Tramway Museum will hold a special EV Day in honour of Queensland’s first electric trolley bus, a Hope-bodied Sunbeam, Old Number-One. The platinum-silver people parcel is celebrating her Platinum Birthday (her 70th) this year and we’re going to make it a day to remember.

When: Sunday 22 August, from 12.30 pm to 7.30 pm. 

Where: The Brisbane Tramway Museum, Ferny Grove. 

You can ride historic trams from the museum’s own collection and vintage buses from the Queensland Omnibus and Coach Society. The latest BCC electric buses will be on show and you can also check out an electric truck. But there’s more…..

*A Cavalcade of Electric Vehicles of all types: scooters, bikes, mobility vehicles, golf carts, forklifts and of course, electric cars. 

And if that’s not enough, you can watch a tram-pulling competition with teams from local gyms flexing their muscles. There will also be a sausage sizzle, freshly ground coffee, and cold drinks / ice creams. Bridge FM Radio Station will broadcast the event live and Cr Ryan Murphy, Chair of the BCC Transport committee, will represent the Lord Mayor.

So, if you haven’t seen the light, or even if you have, make sure you add this thumping event to your must-do calendar. You can even bring your own EV, or whatever gizmo that turns people on.

For more information about the Brisbane Tramway Museum and future events visit www.brisbanetramwaymuseum.org

The Brisbane Tramway Museum is proudly sponsored by the Brisbane City Council.

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