Tramway Tools not for the Fainted Hearted

Heavy tools used at the museum

The Brisbane Tramway museum had intended to tell everyone about their planned Heritage Festival Event in this issue but, as part of Australian Heritage Festival, it has been cancelled this year by the National Trust. Not surprisingly, in light of the current virus. The museum was  going to integrate tram rides with rides in a 50 year old BCC bus and tours through our Restoration Workshops. Maybe another time . .

In the meantime, normal operations are still going on. Among these, maintaining the fleet of trams is paramount. Passenger (and staff) safety is always at the forefront of everything that the museum does. Keeping 60—100 year old vehicles in safe running order is no small task. Thankfully, the museum has a dedicated and knowledgeable team to carry out this important role.

To ensure that the museum complies with the highest standards, they come under the scrutiny of The Office of The National Rail Safety Regulator who sets the standards for maintenance (and other matters).

Chief Mechanic Geoff Hayes hard at work.

Headed by Chief Mechanic Geoff Hayes—seen under tram # 429 in the photo  —the team checks every tram after the Sunday running, especially any anomalies reported by crew. No matter how insignificant they may seem, they still get checked. A regular maintenance regimen has been established over the years to ensure all maintenance is carried out on time.

Many of the tools the mechanics use are original and are as old as the trams they are designed for. Some of these were hand-crafted by blacksmiths—the designers were not shy about using heavy bolts and nuts back then! Mechanics had to be strong simply  to handle the tools.

The museum can always use more Electric Fitters, Fitters and Turners and mechanics of all trades. So, if readers are looking for an interesting way to pass a few hours each week, drop them a line at

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