Trams in Bendigo

Trams have operated in the city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia since 1890, and continue to operate today as a tourist attraction.


The first trams in Bendigo were battery operated, but only lasted three months before being withdrawn due to their unreliability. A steam tram system commenced operation in 1892 operated by the Bendigo Tramways Company Limited, and lasted until 1902. Electric trams commenced in 1903 operated by the Electric Supply Company of Victoria, the network eventually covering two routes, one north-south from North Bendigo through the city centre to Golden Square, and Eaglehawk through the city centre to Quarry Hill.

The Electric Supply Company of Victoria was taken over by the State Government State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) in 1934 as part of the centralisation of the supply of electricity in Victoria. The SECV was in the power generation business, and did not want to operate the loss making provincial tramways of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong but was forced to by the State Government.

In 1957-58 tram passengers were paying an average fare of 3 cents while the service cost 8.75 cents to provide, and by 1961-62 the cost was 10 cents. Between 1961 and 1969 patronage fell 46 percent, and the SECV was refused Legislative Council permission in 1968 to abandon the service. Services remained operated by the SECV until April 1972 when the Bendigo tramways were closed.

In September 1972 a two year trial of tourist tramways commenced by the Bendigo Trust, and they remain in operation today. The service operates from North Bendigo though the city centre to the Central Deborah Mine.


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