Electric Tramways in Western Australia

Also Trolleybuses [in Perth]

Electric trams, also known as streetcars or trolleys, became a reliable and economical form of public transport from 1887. They were adopted throughout the world from about the beginning of the twentieth century in expanding towns and cities where workers required transport to and from their jobs. Often the tramway company generated its own electric power, and became involved in supplying power to houses and businesses.

Trams dominated the streets for years, but later began to face competition from other forms of transport, both public and private, and also suffered due to increasing road congestion. From the middle of the twentieth century tramways either survived and became a vital part of public transport systems, as in much of Europe, or declined and were abandoned, as in the United Kingdom and the USA. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, new systems are being introduced, sometimes replacing those abandoned earlier.

In Australia, the Melbourne tramways survived and are expanding. The one line which survived in Adelaide has recently been extended to pass once again through the city centre, and further extensions are under way. Sydney re-introduced trams in 1997, with one light rail line.

Western Australia Tramway Mapwwww

In Western Australia, electric tramways operated in four places:

  • Perth, the State capital
  • Fremantle, a port city at the mouth of the Swan River
  • Kalgoorlie, a mining town founded in the gold-rush of the 1890s
  • Leonora, a small mining town with a single track and a single electric car.

Perth also operated a fleet of trolley buses [known elsewhere as trolley coaches or trackless trolleys].

The tramways in Western Australia all operated on the 3'6" gauge, with a variety of operators - state government, local government, and private companies.

Click on the map or follow the links at left to learn about tramway systems in Western Australia...

HISTORY BOOK Tracks By The Swan Cover The story of Perth and its trams and trolley buses - 312 pages, richly illustrated ...
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PETS Contacts:
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