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Ballarat scrubber No 23


Ballarat scrubber No 23 in Sturt Street (1965). Photograph Graham Jordan collection.

Ballarat scrubber No 23 in Sturt Street, Ballarat (1965)
Photograph Graham Jordan collection.

This tramcar is the only one still in existence that was built new for the Ballarat tram system, all other Ballarat tramcars currently in preservation having been bought second hand for that system, whether by the SECV or the ESV.

It was built in 1913 by Duncan & Fraser as a single truck straight sill closed cross bench tramcar, one of three built for the ESV Ballarat system. These cars were notable in that they were convertible between summer and winter use, the centre seats being removed for use in winter to provide an aisle. During the summer, the conductors were forced to tread the footboards in order to collect fares, a fairly hazardous occupation. These tramcars were notable for their use on the long Sebastopol line, and were colloquially known by that name.

In 1934 this tramcar was withdrawn from passenger service and converted for use as a scrubber tramcar, in which capacity it remained in service until closure in 1971, when it was acquired by the TMSV.

It is planned to restore this tramcar to near original condition in its winter format with a centre aisle, and be painted in original ESV livery. This tramcar is notable in that it was never fitted with air brakes while in service, although it is planned to do this when it undergoes restoration. This will require equipment of the car with an air compressor, tank and brake cylinders sourced from a W type tramcar together with appropriate brake rigging and shoes.

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Last updated 13 May 2002.
Content copyright © Russell Jones 2001-3. Reproduced with permission.