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Horse Tram No. 1

Horse Tram running in Wendouree Parade 9/5/2010.  Photo Peter Winspur.

Horse Tram running in Wendouree Parade 9/5/2010. Photo Peter Winspur.

For a detailed article on the history of this tram and many other photographs, see the Feb. 2018 issue of Fares Please! commencing on page 5.

See an On-Line Photo Exhibition of the Tram at Work>

Built in 1887 by Duncan and Fraser for the Ballaarat Tramway Company Ltd. as a double-decked horse tramcar. One of eight cars which ran as trailers behind electric trams at times of heavy patronage, after takeover and conversion of the horse lines by the Electric Supply Company of Victoria Ltd. in 1905. Withdrawn in the late 1920's when the body shell became a residential outbuilding locally, until retrieved in 1985. Fully reconstructed to its original form and placed on a modified Melbourne saloon cable car truck.

Duncan and Fraser's Builders Photo of No. 1 Ballarat Tram Depot - Photo Richards & Co 1887

Duncan and Fraser's Builders Photo of No. 1 Ballarat Tram Depot - Photo Richards & Co 1887

Being delivered to the depot - 12/12/1985 - Photo Dave Macartney.

Being delivered to the depot - 12/12/1985 - Photo Dave Macartney


Technical Details

Four wheel horse tram, double deck, saloon with drop ends and end stairs.
Obtained by the Museum from a Melbourne cable tram trailer.
Wheel size
Nominally 27" (685mm)
19'10" (6.04m)
7'1" (2.16m)
10'10" (3.29m)
5'2" (1.58m)
Approx Mass
To be advised.
Two Horse Power, normally draught horses.



Body built by Duncan and Fraser of Adelaide, assembled in Ballarat and delivered to Ballaarat Tramway Co. as tram No. 1.
Horse tram Company taken over by the Electricity Supply Co. of Victoria for electrification of the horse tram system.
Used as a trailer to electric trams in Ballarat & or as a horse tram to Sebastopol until its conversion in 1913.
Withdrawn from service and sold to a local house owner for use as a sleepout.
Acquired by the BTM and transported to the depot.
Reconstruction to 1887 condition commenced by BTM.
Work completed and formally launched by Weston Bate on 7/11/1992.
Visited Melbourne and appeared in the March 2002 Moomba Parade.
Placed on display at the corner of Sturt and Lydiard St during Ballarat Heritage Weekend May.


Heritage Significance

Historic – Historic – Only Ballarat horse tram that has survived, though heavily reconstructed. One of the few remnants of the Ballarat horse tram era left. Horse trams enabled Ballarat residents to travel to the Lake quickly and easily, for shopping and business. Assisted in the economic development of Ballarat from 1887 to 1903. Constructed in Adelaide by Duncan and Fraser, assembled in Ballarat.
Technical – shows the method of constructing tramcar bodies in the horse tram era of street tramway transport. These were light weight, similar technology to other horse drawn vehicles at the time.
Provenance – known in detail.
Social – Enabled Ballarat residents to travel for work, shopping and leisure activities particularly at Lake Wendouree.
Rarity – only Ballarat Horse Tram and one of a few operable double deck horse trams in Australia of an original form.
Representativeness - Although the only Ballarat horse tram, technology is representative of other horse drawn trams in the USA at the time. Followed USA designs of John Stephenson of New York.
Condition-Integrity – Reconstruction follows the original form of the body. The wheel set is from a Melbourne Cable tram dummy (trailer) – different in style, more springing.
Interpretive Potential – able to take people for a journey to experience what it was like in many aspects of the 1890’s to ride in a horse drawn vehicle..
Conservation Plan: - Retain as reconstructed.
Museum Status:Though an operational vehicle, use to be limited.


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Ballarat Tramway Museum Inc. - PO Box 632 Ballarat Vic 3353 Australia - - phone +61 3 5334 1580. A0031819K

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