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The Early Years

The Wellington Tramway Museum, was incorporated in 1964 as a non-profit organisation to preserve tramcars and other items of tramway interest, to establish and operate a working tramcar museum and to foster an interest in the heritage of the Trams that used to rule the streets of Wellington City.  

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The trams date from the 1900’s through to 1930’s and were used in Wellington City until closure of the last tram routes. some closing in the early 1960's, with the last closing in the mid 1960’s.

 

They are now they are lovingly cared for and operated by volunteer members of the Wellington Tramway Museum.

Seven Wellington trams were transported from the Newtown tram sheds in Wellington a few weeks after the closure of Wellington's last tram route on 2 May 1964. After a period of temporary storage all had arrived at Oueen Elizabeth Park by mid-1965.

Rails were obtained from the contractors who were taking them out of Wellington's streets as scrap.

 

They were repaired and laid by Museum members who also erected the overhead wires and installed a 500 volt direct current power supply- initially a generator in a diesel bus.

 

By February of 1965 the official opening of the tramway took place on a stretch of track no longer than about 100 Meters, and from the 19th December 1965 a total length of operable track had reached approximately 200 meters.

 

Photo: Aaron Jonassen

1965 - 1996

Over the coming years, the completion and installation of a permanent (mercury-arc) power supply (1970), the main tram barn and museum (1978) we also have large storage building at the rear of our leased property (1982), together with track extensions in 1985 and to the current Beach picnic area (1988). there have been other further improvements made with the installation of a tram maintenance pit (1993) and the large tram workshop building (1996).

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Photo: Aaron Jonassen

1997 - 2023

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Photo: Aaron Jonassen

Today, our trams run over a length of track 2 Kilometers in length, 4 Kilometers for a return journey. A return trip takes about 20-25 minutes, and you travel through the natural wetlands, and sand dunes of Queen Elizabeth Park. 

The museum is one of the main stay attractions of the park, and offers unique scenic perspective of travel, giving a glimpse into travel of days gone by when the trams used to rule the streets of Wellington City.  

Looking ahead into the future, while there are no plans to extend our track further, there is heaps of restoration projects we want to complete, ever expanding our operating fleet and expanding the story we are telling.  

Remember, Its the Journey, not the Destination.

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