Sydney Tramway Museum, Loftus

#6 of 36 in Museums in Greater Sydney
Must see · Specialty Museum · Museum
The Sydney Tramway Museum is Australia's oldest tramway museum and the largest in the southern hemisphere. It is located in Loftus in the southern suburbs of Sydney.
The museum was officially opened at its original site on the edge of the Royal National Park by NSW Deputy Premier Pat Hills in 1965. It was relocated to a larger site across the Princes Highway adjacent to Loftus railway station which opened on 19 March 1988.
On 23 October 2015 at about 11:00 to 11:30 pm a museum storage shed caught fire and was destroyed. Located off the main museum site, at its original location in the Royal National Park near Loftus Oval, the shed housed the museum's reserve collection of six trams, four buses and a double decker bus chassis dating to 1937. The shed and contents were destroyed. One tram lost, 1898 C12, was within weeks of being completely restored after months of work.
The museum has an extensive collection of trams from Sydney and cities in Australia and around the world. There are two tram lines radiating from the museum that are used to run tram rides for museum visitors.
One line runs 1.5 km north towards Sutherland railway station, paralleling Rawson Avenue in the way that parts of Sydney's tram system operated.
The second runs to the south and utilises the Royal National Park branch railway line that was constructed in 1886 and closed to trains in June 1991. In 1993 the Museum converted the line to light rail standards and connected it to the then existing Sutherland line to establish what is now a most popular means of access to the world's second oldest national park.
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Sydney Tramway Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
67 reviews
  • worth visiting, run by happy and friendly volunteers. Free tram ride included with entry cost. A must for lovers of early trams  more »
  • Nice surprise. We’ve spent a couple of hours there. The ticket includes rides on two different vintage trams, one from Sydney and the other one from Melbourne. The line to the National Park was...  more »
  • We love visiting the Tramway Museum. The kids love riding the tram to the national park and to Sutherland, and the museum is great to see a range of old trams from many countries. The volunteer staff are all friendly and knowledgeable, and it's great fun to see them operate the trams as they did back in the day. There is seating for picnics, a small canteen, and a small shop for souvenirs and gifts.
  • A wonderful volunteer-run museum filled with many artifacts from the now-extinct Sydney Tramway Network. The entry fee also includes as many rides on the operating trams that day. The trams run on a dedicated line that extends into the Royal National Park. Riders can disembark at the Royal National Park and visit the National Park if they so wish. There are a number of picnic tables (where you can enjoy your own BYO lunch) located at the Tram Museum under and around the old Railway Square Waiting Station, which was relocated from Railway Square in Sydney CBD to the Museum many years ago. A small kiosk on site sells refreshments, such as soft drinks, juice, chips and ice creams. The Display Hall houses a number of significant heritage items, including trams from overseas and from other parts of Australia. Many of the trams are kept in running condition and can be operated by the museum volunteers; indeed, on the day I visited, I was able to ride a Melbourne tram that was retired in the 1970's and a Brisbane Tram that was decommissioned in the 1960's! Be sure to look at the very unique Prison Tram in the display hall. The volunteers appear to work tirelessly to maintain and upgrade the museum. Their subject matter knowledge appears to be quite extensive, and the volunteers I encountered were eager, friendly and helpful. Children were encouraged to learn more about the trams and the history of the old tram networks that operated those trams.
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