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The Rozelle Tram Depot – The largest remaining tram depot in Sydney will reopen as a shopping centre

David Goran

Rozelle Tram Depot in Sydney, Australia, was part of the Sydney tram network, and it was amongst the largest and most advanced tram systems in the world at the time.

The depot itself dates back to 1904. Constructed in stages from 1904 the depot was a 25 road car shed accommodating 96 carriages, this was gradually increased to 125 by 1907. Construction of the second half of the depot in that same year saw the depot cater for an additional 70 trams. From 1918 depot capacity was increased to 200 tram cars.

Main Sydney Tram System. Source

Main Sydney Tram System. Source

 

The depot contained some of the last trams to have operated on Sydney's original tram network. Source

The depot contained some of the last trams to have operated on Sydney’s original tram network. Source

The principal task of the Depot was overnight servicing and garaging of the electric tramcars. The depot was originally accessed by a reserved track from Glebe which ran along what is now known as Minogue Crescent. At its peak, the former Rozelle Tram Depot hired over 650 staff members.

By 1918, 200 tram cars called the depot home. Source

By 1918, 200 tram cars called the depot home. Source

 

The interior of tram 1995 the last tram to have operated on Sydney's original tram network. Source

The interior of tram 1995 the last tram to have operated on Sydney’s original tram network. Source

The depot at one stage contained six historic Sydney trams, some of which date back to the 1930s when they were part of a network of streetcars operating across Sydney. Today, the remains of six historic Sydney trams sit side by side in the abandoned Rozelle Tram Depot.

The last tram to leave Rozelle Depot in a regular working manner was on 22 November 1958. Source

The last tram to leave Rozelle Depot in a regular working manner was on 22 November 1958. Source

 

Inside one of the Glebe trams. Source

Inside one of the Glebe trams. Source

The depot ceased operations on 22 November 1958 upon closure of the Glebe line and it was left abandoned. On the following day, the depot was cleared of all cars and the lines connecting the system were removed.

Following the closure of the Depot, the site was leased by a number of businesses from 1960 including the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool (CHEP), which used the former depot for parking, garaging and hiring of fork lift trucks, mobile cranes and low loaders, and also undertook the repair and maintenance of this equipment. It was also leased out to several other parties, such as the Sydney City Council and the City Tram Association.

Inside a tram drivers cabin. Source

Inside a tram drivers cabin. Source

 

Heavily vandalized trams in the abandoned Rozelle tram depot. Source

Heavily vandalized trams in the abandoned Rozelle tram depot. Source

The trams that were in near mint condition prior to 2000 were vandalised, stripped and painted with graffiti. The last tram was removed in January 2015. It will be restored in Bendigo and returned for inclusion in the Tramsheds shopping centre that will open in 2016.