Ballarat Tramway Museum opens a new ‘world-class’ facility to the public for the first time | The mail


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Ballarat’s new ‘world-class’ tram museum opened to the public for the first time this weekend after a mammoth volunteer effort and more than a decade of planning. Members of the Ballarat Tramway Museum fully funded the construction and fit-up of the new museum in South Gardens and will staff the facility during opening hours. Facilities manager Peter Waugh said the Ballarat attraction was one of Australia’s best tram museums. “We normally carry up to 30,000 passengers a year. Before, our exhibit was in a dirty old hangar with possums and other things,” he said. “It is now a world-class museum. This should mean that visitors will come to see this as part of the destination rather than just experiencing the tram when visiting the gardens.” We hope this will become a major highlight of Ballarat The museum is a large, light and airy building which features seven historic trams and other tram-related history exhibits. others have Tramway No. 32 is an eye-catching display of history, left in the same condition it was brought back to Ballarat after being taken to Maryborough in 1971 to form part of plans for a wildlife park. proposal for the park fell through and the tram was left in the bush for many years before being returned to Ballarat in the 1980s and has been in storage ever since. Mr. Waugh said. “There is no glass in the windows, rotting wood and it is very run down. We have beautifully restored trams here. It allows people to see how they were before the restoration started.” important part of the story I guess. Another tram on display which is new to the collection is a restored tram from the Melbourne Tramcar Preservation Association. Mr Waugh said the “beautifully restored” tram would be an asset to tram enthusiasts. in Australia,” he said. period, making it Ballarat’s longest-serving tram operator. Mr Waugh said museum volunteers offered tours of the workshop and tea and coffee. complementary coffee, while tram rides could not be offered due to track rep lace work.He said the group hoped to have the trams running again by June.The Ballarat Tramway Museum asked State government funding to create interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, including a model tram and offerings for children RELATED COVERAGE: Funding sought for redevelopment Tramway museum swimming Mr Waugh said the group of members were at the bottom of the barrel of their own kitty, having fully funded the construction and fit-out so far through fundraising and donations. About sixty volunteers make up the group and a committee of six people led the construction of the new museum. Mr Waugh said many members who had never played an active role before raised their hands to be trained to work in the museum. “It’s sparking interest,” he said. “A gentleman has been a member of the museum since 1971 but has never been involved in day to day operations, he has now been trained and will now start at Easter. “It has invigorated everyone and for some who have been here since 1971 they never thought they would see such a thing. “They started with a small shed and six trams in various states of disrepair and now we have this world-class facility.” The new museum will be open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and public holidays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended school holiday hours to be announced. Have you subscribed to The Courier’s variety of informational emails? You can sign up below and make sure you’re up to date with everything happening in Ballarat.



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