The problems trammies had

Photo of a damaged car by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, in the BTM Collection.
Photo of a damaged car by the State Electricity
Commission of Victoria, in the BTM Collection.

"Ballarat crews learned to improvise, especially during the later ESCo days when the poor condition of trams and tracks led to derailments, broken lifeguards and other mishaps. This improvisation had its humorous side - one day a tram lost its earth return and stopped due to the dirty condition of the rails. Motorman Robert Haines poured the contents of his tea bottle over the wheel and rails, and the tram started again. An impressed female passenger said: "I never knew you kept electricity in a bottle driver!"

Tramcar No. 2 passes the coal fired power station that supplied the Direct Current supply for the tramways. This photo was taken around the time of the First World War when ESCo’s tramcars were in good condition.
Tramcar No. 2 passes the coal fired power station that supplied the Direct Current supply for the tramways.
This photo was taken around the time of the First World War when ESCo’s tramcars were in good condition.

By 1935, the tramcars of 1905 were tired and falling apart. The central saloons of these tramcars began their lives in Sydney in 1892 as cable tramcar trailers. Tramcar No. 1 in the image below shows the results of about 30 years work.  The roof had broken under the loads imposed by the trolley pole. these older roofs were not designed to take the load and stresses of the trolley pole and consequently damaged occurred.

 

 

 

 

BTM Collection

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