Austrak donates sleepers for heritage tram track

March 5 2012

When the Sydney Tramway Museum needed to upgrade their track, Austrak stepped in to donate the sleepers required.

The museum runs trams on two lines, one of which runs for two kilometres into the Royal National Park. Formerly used by heavy rail trains, it was taken over by the museum and re-opened for trams in 1993. By last year, many of the timber sleepers in the track required renewal.

Austrak provided 800 concrete sleepers to restore the tracks to working condition, with Pandrol Australia and John Holland the other major contributors.

In February this year, Austrak General Manager David Priddle attended a special ceremony to celebrate the opening of the track upgrade.

A plaque was unveiled by former President of the Rail Track Association of Australia, Bill Killinger, who was instrumental in organising the upgrade.

Visitors and invited guests took a short ride on a tram which first ran on the Rose Bay line in 1898; then they boarded a more modern tram which will have its 100thbirthday in July this year.

Mr Priddle was pleased to have been involved in preserving history for future generations.

“Rail museums play an important role in keeping our history alive,” said David.

“Our donation of these sleepers commenced over three years ago as an initiative under our sustainability agenda. This museum is fascinating.

“With over 80 fully functional and restored trams from around the world it is a fitting tribute to days gone by, but more importantly it keeps alive the romance of tram transport for new generations. Now they can showcase the trams on their new refurbished track and give the public a fun ride to a historic location as well. I’m very pleased that Austrak was able to help preserve this particular part of history.”

The tramway museum is open on Wednesdays, Sundays and public holidays, and on extra days in school vacations and operates tram rides on the new track throughout the day. Details are at http://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/

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