The Rise of the Phoenix

Monthly news from the Brisbane Tramway Museum and the Ferny Grove Men’s Shed

Following the disastrous fire at Paddington Depot in 1962, in which 65 trams were destroyed, the Brisbane City Council built a further eight trams. Some parts used in these trams were retrieved from the wreckage of the fire and so these trams were called Phoenix Class.

Phoenix class trams were built to the basic design of the FM class, but with significant improvements. They featured padded seats, fluorescent lighting, timber interior panelling and internal mirrors at each end to enable conductors to better monitor the doors. They also had advanced wheels, specially designed to reduce the noise whilst travelling. As with the FM’s, they carried 110 passengers and were adorned with the picture of a Phoenix bird under each driver’s window.

Of these eight trams, 554 was the last built. It was also the tram which carried out the very last tram trip in Brisbane on 13th April 1969 and is the youngest tram in the fleet at Ferny Grove.

The museums’s driver-training program has commenced under the control of Ian Martin. However, there is still room for a few more trainees so if you would like to learn to drive the fleet of trams at Brisbane Tramway Museum, please ring the museum on 3351 1776.

The interior of the Phoenix Tram at the Brisbane Tramway Museum

In the men’s shed, the tram simulator is almost complete and is awaiting placement in the shop area where it can be properly supervised. Initially, ‘drivers’ will be able to simulate working the tram on the Brisbane Tramway Museum’s own lines.

An interesting sideline to the normal activities has been the use of our grounds by State Emergency Service personnel to carry out chain saw training—well away from houses so the noise factor is not a problem.

Remember, the museum is operational on each Sunday afternoon (weather permitting) from 12.30pm until 4pm, with six trams in use—no need to book!!

However the museum does take bookings for groups wishing to visit, simply phone 3351 1776.

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