Ferry Tram opens for business
A restored B class tram that operated through South Perth and Como between 1922 and 1950 is now open to the public at Windsor Park in South Perth.
The tram was officially opened at a small ceremony on Thursday 22 October at Heritage House.
Tram B15 was built in 1899 and is housed in a purpose built tram barn on Mill Point Road, close to the original tram line. The tram was found in a Kelmscott backyard before being restored by volunteers from Perth Electric Tramways Society.
The tram barn has been built from masonry and glazing, with bi-fold doors allowing people to move freely throughout the building and the tram. The roof of the Ferry Tram was in good condition, but other sections had deteriorated and many wooden parts had to be replaced.
Landscaping around the area showcases Western Australian plants featured in the iconic May Gibbs illustration, The Flower Babies Ball as well as kangaroo paws, lechenaultia and Geraldton wax.
The project is a collaboration between the City, the City of South Perth Historical Society and Perth Electric Tramways Society.
Trams began operating in South Perth in 1922. They travelled from Perth via Canning Highway around South Perth including Angelo Street and Labouchere Road to Como. In 1926, the route was expanded from Labouchere Road to Mends Street Jetty. This service was affectionately known as the Ferry Tram service. Trams stopped operating in 1950 when a bus service was introduced.
City of South Perth Historical Society President Lynn O’Hara said we are excited to see our little Ferry Tram open to the public so everyone can enjoy this amazing piece of history. Many volunteers who contributed to this restoration would have travelled on the tram when it was in service, so it is a very special moment.
City of South Perth Mayor Greg Milner said the City is passionate about conserving our local history, which has a long and interesting past.
“The Ferry Tram will provide a glimpse of life that was once commonplace in the area,” Mayor Milner said.
Providing a contrast between old and new technology, the autonomous RAC intellibus was displayed next to the tram for the official opening.
Australia’s first fully driverless and electric vehicle began on-road trials in South Perth in August 2016 in partnership with the City, RAC and the State and Federal Governments.
The RAC intellibus is leading the way in public transport innovation, just as trams did many years ago.
The winners of the Phillip Pendal Young Heritage Awards were also announced at the opening. The awards encourage young people within the local community to take part in recording our heritage, through photography and writing.
Junior award Faye Kelly, Como Primary School - The Cygnet Cinema
Senior award Olivier Marais, Wesley College - The Old Mill
The Ferry Tram is open to the public 10am-4pm every Friday and 1-4pm every Saturday and Sunday, or visit the display at Heritage House next door.
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