Bondi Tram

Bondi Tram

In its heyday,The Bondi Tram Sydney and the tramway network served the inner suburbs of Sydney, Australia from 1879 until 1961. In it’s heyday it was the largest in Australia, the second largest in the Commonwealth of Nations (after London), and one of the largest in the world. The network was heavily worked, with about 1,600 cars in service at any one time at its peak during the 1930s (cf. about 500 trams in Melbourne today). Patronage peaked in 1945 at 405 million passenger journeys. It had a maximum street mileage of 181 miles (291 km), in 1923.

Services operated from either Circular Quay (via Bridge and Elizabeth Streets) or Railway Square (via Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets), to Oxford Street. The line then passed down Oxford Street to Bondi Junction, were it branched off from Bronte services, to run down Bondi Road to Fletcher Street, Campbell Parade and then to the North Bondi tram terminus. A feature of this line was the large three track terminus cut into a hillside at North Bondi, which opened in 1946. The line opened in 1884 as a steam tramway to Bondi, then to Bondi Beach in 1894. Electric services commenced in 1902. The line closed in 1960. The tram line followed the current route ofSydney Buses’ route 380 as far as North Bondi.

Heading south down Elizabeth Street from Circular Quay, the line turned left into Park Street, then wound through East Sydney via a right turn into Yurong Street, a left turn into Stanley Street, a right turn into Bourke Street, then a left turn into Burton Street. According to plans held in the archives of the City of Sydney a spur line existed linking Burton Street to the prisoners entrance on Forbes Street at the rear of the Darlinghurst Courthouse. This may have allowed prisoners from Long Bay Gaol or elsewhere to be transported by tram to Darlinghurst Courthouse