Sydney O-Class Tram

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First Tram across Bridge (8368180041).jpg
O1106 at the Sydney Harbour Bridge opening in March 1932
Manufacturer Randwick Tramway Workshops
Meadowbank Manufacturing Company
Constructed 1907-14
Fleet numbers 803-947, 949-1278, 1330-1479
Capacity 80 (Seated)
48 (Standing)
Train length 13.85 metres
Width 2.74 metres
Height 3.26 metres
Maximum speed 60 km/h
Weight 17.8 t
Power output 4 x 60 hp
Electric system(s) 600 V DC catenary
Current collection method Pantograph
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

The O-class trams were a class of trams operated on the Sydney tram network.


A prototype (806) was built at Randwick Tramway Workshops in 1907, before the Meadowbank Manufacturing Company built a further 625 between 1908 and 1914. They were nicknamed Dreadnoughts, after a powerful British warship of the day, the Sydney press referred to them as Toastracks as all the seats were transverse or crossbench.[1][2]

Between 1918 and 1946, eleven (855, 935, 943, 1007, 1089, 1170, 1241, 1372, 1383 and 1451) were rebuilt to resemble the P class trams when heavy body repairs were required and reclassified as the O/P class. The last was withdrawn in 1958.[2]


The O-class tram has a combination of enclosed and open sections, ladies would generally sit in the enclosed compartments, while gentlemen sat in the open compartments. In the centre are the four closed sections accessible to the street via sliding doors and fitted with cross bench timber seats. On either side of these are the two open compartments, each fitted with two facing cross bench seats with metal armrests. These two sections have pull-down canvas blinds to protect passengers against the elements. Enclosed driver's compartments at each end are joined to the open compartments.[1]


The O-class tramcars were the backbone of the Sydney fleet for 40 years and saw service on all the Sydney electrified lines at various periods and were loved by both passengers and tram crews. They were especially suited to venues such as race meetings, sporting matches and the Royal Easter Show as they could be emptied and filled quickly by means of the numerous doorways.


Six have been preserved:


  1. ^ a b c Powerhouse Museum. "'Toastrack' O-class tram used in Sydney". Powerhouse Museum, Australia. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b MacCowan, Ian (1990). The Tramways of New South Wales. Oakleigh: Ian MacCowan. pp. 126–128. ISBN 0 949600 25 3. 
  3. ^ a b "Sydney Tramway Museum Fleet Register" (PDF). Sydney Tramway Museum. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Sydney, Australia #1187". Oregon Electric Railway Museum. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chinn, N (1975). New South Wales Tramcar Handbook 1861-1961. Vol. 1. South Pacific Electric Railway Cooperative Society. ISBN 9780959865967. 
  • McCarthy, Ken (1976). New South Wales Tramcar Handbook 1861-1961. Vol. 2. South Pacific Electric Railway Cooperative Society. ISBN 9780959865974. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Sydney O-Class Tram at Wikimedia Commons