Hawthorn Tram Depot
The Hawthorn Tram Depot has a museum which houses one of the world's best collection of heritage trams.
Information on this page
The museum opens on the second Saturday of every month from 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is by donation.
The Hawthorn Tram Depot is located on the corner of Power Street and Riversdale Road, Hawthorn. Melway reference Map 45, B12.
Catch tram number 70 or 75. For timetable details, use the journey planner.
The museum is home to 17 fully restored trams including:
- a 1906 'toast-rack' bodied V-class tram - one of Melbourne's first electrified trams
- several versions of the well-known W-class trams
- an experimental X-class tram - designed for lightly patronised routes
- the prototype Z-class tram - which marked the modernisation of the fleet when it was introduced in 1975.
For more information contact VicTrack on (03) 9619 8819.
History of the Hawthorn Depot
The Hawthorn Tram Depot opened on 6 April 1916 by the Hawthorn Tramways Trust, one of five municipal electric tramways authorities in the early 1900s. The trust had electrified the Hawthorn horse tramway that ran from the Yarra River at Bridge Road to Auburn Road. It had also built new electric lines from Princes Bridge to Burwood and Wattle Park.
The original American Romanesque-style brick building included offices, a substation and a four-track car shed. A second car shed was added in 1917. A workshop and store was below the second shed while a separate building housed a horse-drawn tower wagon used to maintain the overhead tram wires.
The Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board took from the trust in 1920 and in 1925 a tram driver instruction school was installed on the site. The school was superseded by a larger training facility on the site in the 1960s. From 1940 until the early 1990s, tramway uniforms were manufactured in the workroom in the eastern end of the building's top floor.
During the late 1940s, the original brick facades of the car sheds were demolished to allow access for wide-body trams and the main entrance of the office section was later removed for road widening.
The building stopped operating tram depot in February 1965. Despite this, it continued to house trams, training facilities and the uniform manufacturing workroom.
In 1996, the depot listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. A redevelopment of the depot, completed in 2002, saw the conversion of the main depot building to residential units and the construction of new residential units at the rear of the depot site. The original facades of the two sheds were rebuilt. However, all that remains of the second shed is the facade as the rest of the building was replaced by the residential development.
The first shed has been restored and was given a new lease of life and in January 2003 it was officially opened as a museum to house Melbourne's heritage tram fleet.