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I Remember When - 16th December 1967

Above: 17 Dec 1967. Opening of Western Springs Tramway, 1967, 05-1776. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

I remember the opening of the Western Springs Tramway. It was a grey and overcast day and it turned to rain before the time came for cutting the ribbon. Everyone said it was a good omen and signalled a great future. Apparently, it had rained on the original opening day of the Auckland Tramway in 1902.


Above: Tramway tracks inside MOTAT 1, 05-1790. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).

The team of volunteers had started to build the line in 1964. Engineers from the old Auckland Tramways were sceptical that a bunch of young and inexperienced people could build a tramway and get it to operate. However, those engineers were proved wrong and the youthful volunteers, under the watchful (very watchful) eye of Ian Stewart (then an Auckland Harbour Board engineer) pulled it off.


The Western Springs Tramway opened just over 65 years after the opening of the original Auckland Tramway and eleven years after the Auckland street tramways had ceased. It has now been running for over 56 years, two years longer than the trams ran in the streets of Auckland.

Today the tramway runs seven days a week, 364 days a year, and is a vital link between MOTAT’s two main sites.

by Alan Curtis




Above: Tramway tracks inside MOTAT 1, 05-1791. Walsh Memorial Library, The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).









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