Tram No. 12
No. 12 at the BTM Depot - 19/8/1995 - Photo Warren Doubleday
Interior of Tram 12
Interior Photograph of No. 12 - 23/1/2017 - Photo Warren Doubleday
Built in 1892 by Benjamin Carne as saloon cable car trailer number 18 for the New South Wales Government Tramways, North Sydney line. One of 12 similar trailers purchased by the Electric Supply Company of Victoria Ltd in 1905. Rebuilt as an electric single-truck California combination car by Duncan and Fraser Ltd. Converted to one-man operation in 1913. Withdrawn by 1935 and became a home extension. Retrieved in 1990 when the home and land were purchased in connection with constructional works for the Ballarat Bypass freeway. This car is currently under reconstruction to operating condition as one of the original Ballarat electric tramcars.
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No. 12 after fitting windscreens outside the depot c1912. Photo BTM Collection. Frame being rebuilt - 1997. Photo Warren Doubleday
Date Built 1905 Builder Duncan & Fraser of Adelaide in Ballarat
Technical Details (As Built)        
Type Single truck, straight sill, open combination
Length 28' 4" (8.65m) Width 7' 3" (1.83m)
Height TBA (m) Wheelbase 6' 0" (1.83m)
Approx. Mass 10 tons (10.1 tonnes)    
1905 Delivered to Electricity Supply Co of Victoria as Ballarat tram No. 12. Saloon portion built from North Sydney cable tram No. 18, which was built by Benjamin Carne (Sydney) in 1891.
1913 Windscreens added to each end.
1934 Ballarat tramway system formally taken over by the SEC.
1935 Sold by SEC to a local landowner and used as a house extension.
1990 Property acquired by VicRoads, body given to BTPS and transported to depot.
1994 Reconstructed to 1905 condition commenced.
Heritage Significance:      

Historic – Only surviving example of a former Sydney cable tram body converted to an electric tram.  Body shows results of modifications, alterations defects and some repairs during its nearly 30 year working life.  Electric power and the trams transformed Ballarat from the horse drawn era to that of a world city in 1905, as it enabled further economic development.

Technical – shows how an older body underwent modifications to become an electric tramcar.  Demonstrates the development at the time of an underframe that proved to be to light for use as electric tramcars.  Diminishing the technical value is the lack of any mechanical and electrical components.

Social – one of the few reminders of the era when electricity was brought to Ballarat by ESCo,  the era when electricity was privately funded and managed.  Electricity enabled Ballarat residents to improve their lifestyles.

Provenance – known in detail – see Fleet Register sheet.

Rarity – one of a few conversions from cable to electric trams that survive in the world.

Representativeness –shows the light weight construction of electric tramcars in Australia at the time by Duncan & Fraser.  Technology imported from the USA for later work showed that stronger underframes were needed.

Condition-Integrity – Reconstruction currently underway using as much of the original body as possible.  Will be retained as a hand braked vehicle.

Interpretive Potential – at this time during the reconstruction process, can show visitors the way the vehicle was converted and how it was built.
Conservation Plan:
Reconstruct to 1905 condition.
Museum Status:
Under reconstruction - body work about 50% complete 4/2008
Return to the tram fleet register page.