In November 2014 during a visit to my family in Melbourne, Australia I planned to visit some new towns in the state of Victoria, and re-visit some I had already been to.
So my brother Adrian dropped me off at Brighton Beach Metro station to catch the train to Southern Cross station where the Regional trains departed from.
When I left Adrian’s house I had planned to go to Ballarat again, and as both Ballarat & Bendigo can be accessed using a Melbourne Myki card (similar to an Oyster card in London) I got on a train that I thought was going to Ballarat.
Unfortunately 2 hours later I found myself in Bendigo, though this was a town I had planned to visit on this trip!
So on a very hot day I would through the town to the Tourist Information to find out what was on offer of interest to a tourist, who was also a photographer.
What I found was a historic tram line, that the local town had fought to keep as a tourist attraction, after the scheduled service closed down in 1972. The line went to a Gold Mine at one end of the line and back to the Tram Depot.
The Tram depot is a working depot and is/has repaired trams from major Australian cities such as Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. It had over 20 trams in various states of readiness during my visit and Steve (one of Three) showed me around and showed me some of the special trams with their custom paintwork and updated equipment.
Then it was time for a further ride on a traditional Bendigo tram in old livery, which was driven by Steve along with the conductors Steve & Steve!
Trams have operated in the city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia since 1890. The first trams in were battery operated, but only lasted three months before being withdrawn due to their unreliability. A steam tram system commenced operation in 1892 operated by the Bendigo Tramways Company Limited, and lasted until 1902. Electric trams commenced in 1903 operated by the Electric Supply Company of Victoria, the network eventually covering two routes, one north-south from North Bendigo through the city centre to Golden Square, and Eaglehawk through the city centre to Quarry Hill.
In 1957-58 tram passengers were paying an average fare of 3 cents while the service cost 8.75 cents to provide, and by 1961-62 the cost was 10 cents. Between 1961 and 1969 patronage fell 46%, and the SECV was refused Legislative Council permission in 1968 to abandon the service. Services remained operated by the SECV until April 1972 when the Bendigo tramways were closed.Australia