Celebrating South Australia


9 March 1909 Municipal Tramways Trust

 9 March 1909   Municipal Tramways Trust

The first electric tram to run in Adelaide made its debut on 9 March 1909. The General Manager of the Municipal Tramways Trust, William Goodman (later Sir) accompanied by Mrs Tom Price, the wife of the Premier, took the controls of the flower bedecked tram for the official inauguration of the route between Adelaide and Kensington. The report said that 'the car looked symmetrical and handsome' and the test was successful.

The MTT was formed when an Act of Parliament was passed in December 1906 which authorised the Trust to provide an electric tramway system for Adelaide. William Goodman, from New Zealand, was appointed Engineer and General Manager in May 1907. The first sod for the new system was turned by Theodore Bruce on Hackney Road, on 17 May 1908, for the route which was to take the cars along Hackney Road to North Terrace, King William Street, through North Adelaide to Avenue Road, Melbourne Street and Walkerville Road. Other routes soon followed to Marryatville, Payneham and Kensington, and west to Hindmarsh, Thebarton and Henley Beach. The electric cars replaced the horse trams which had operated on these routes since 1878. There were two types of car: the metropolitan half open and the closed, which were built by Pengelleys at Edwardstown. The capital outlay for the new system was £951,800.

Trams were phased out of service in the 1950s and since 1958 only the Glenelg tram has remained.

Colin and Margaret Kerr, The Vital Spark, Unpublished MS, ETSA,
p. 45.
The Tramways of Adelaide ,1909.