Sydney Architecture Images- Glebe Harold Park

Rozelle Tram Depot

  See also
Harold Park history
Harold Park Redevelopment
Harold Park history from the air
Glebe early maps
Harold Park historical images
Rozelle Tram Depot
Rozelle Tram Depot historical images
Rozelle Tram Depot historical from the air
Sydney Tramsheds Gallery
Former Tram Depots of Sydney
  See also page on Light Rail  Site currently being redeveloped as part of Mirvac Harold Park residential redevelopment.


George McRae


south of Harold Park Raceway, next to Jubilee Oval, Glebe Point.




Federation Warehouse


brick walls, steel and glass sawtooth roof. Heritage listed (see below).


  Rozelle Tram Depot is a large tram depot in Glebe that has stood effectively empty sine the 1960s.
It is currently being redeveloped as part of Mirvac Harold Park residential redevelopment and will be developed as a retail area.
The vandalised trams within will be retained on site and restored.
  See Sydney Tramsheds Gallery
  A tram departs the Rozelle Depot (adjacent to Harold Park) bound for Sydney University and the city (c. 1955).   
  An R1 class tram at Stop 30 in Glebe Point Road opposite Palmerstone Avenue (January 1958).
  Circa 1919.
  Above- the depot in 2008.
  Above- the trams inside the depot in around 2000. They were still in very good condition then. The following pictures were taken in 2008 and show how brutally they've been vandalised..
Sydney, the largest city in Australia, once had the largest tram system in Australia, the second largest in the Commonwealth (after London), and one of the largest in the world. It was extremely intensively worked, with about 1,600 cars in service at any one time at its peak during the 1930s (cf. about 500 trams in Melbourne today). Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, an average of more than one tram journey per day was made by every man and woman, infant and child in the city. Patronage peaked in 1945 at 405 million passenger journeys. The system was in place from 1861 until its winding down in the 1950s and closure in 1961. It had a maximum street mileage of 181 miles (291 km), in 1923.

In 1997, more than 30 years after trams disappeared from Sydney streets, the Metro Light Rail, a privately owned single line, opened. There have been various proposals to extend this line into the CBD and inner suburbs but none has come to fruition.
Former Rozelle Tram Depot
The former Rozelle Tram Depot opened on 17 April 1904. It was constructed to service the
trams on the newly electrified tramway to Balmain, which had been operated by steam trams
since 1882. As the network expanded the Depot also served the lines to other areas such as
Leichhardt and Drummoyne. The last tram to leave Rozelle Depot in a regular working
manner was on 22 November 1958.
The Depot is located within an area reclaimed from Rozelle Bay. The Depot was under
construction by mid 1903 and originally comprised the southern most shed with the northern
shed being constructed in 1909. The principal task of the Depot was overnight servicing and
garaging of the electric tramcars.
Following closure of the Depot, the site was leased by a number of businesses from 1960
including the Commonwealth Handling Equipment Pool (CHEP), which used the former depot
for parking, garaging and hiring of fork lift trucks, mobile cranes and low loaders, and also
undertook the repair and maintenance of this equipment. CHEP seem to have vacated the
site in the 1980s and for a time the City Council used the sheds for storage.

By the mid 1990s there were four R/R1 class tramcar bodies (built from the 1930s) in storage
in one of the sheds. By 1997 another R1 class tramcar body and a bus had come to be in the
sheds,1 which were being restored by a tram restoration group named the City Tram
The collection includes the tram R1 19915 that the Association claims to be the most historic
of Sydney trams. This tram was the last to run in Sydney (in February 1961 on the La
Perouse service). For a time the tram was located in a Newcastle tramway museum, from
where it was stolen. On being recovered, it was used in Hay Street by the City Council to
promote the new light railway.2
In March 1997 the trams were claimed by City of Sydney Council and a deal was finalised to
distribute the tramcars to the Sydney Tramway Museum with the bus going to the Tempe Bus
and Truck Museum. The Council’s intention was to restore the trams to operable condition
and run them on one of the numerous, and never realised, Sydney light rail proposals.

Reference- Harold Park Heritage Study, Paul Davies & Associates.
The route

As per request, a bit of info about trams in the Sydney suburb of Annadale. A tram turned off Parramatta Road into Ross Street and travelled along Ross Street, Minogue Crescent, the Crescent and then along Victoria Road and across the Iron Cove Bridge and onto Ryde I think.

There wasn't a Minogue Crescent then. There was a Crescent Street and it ended about about half way along Harold Park race track. The tram went through what was probably parkland or open land or bush and The Crescent started at Rose Street and Nelson Street but did not actually run along The Crescent, but just to the west of it. It joined The Crescent at View Street.

Clearly a road was built that followed the tram track, probably when the tram line closed. The tram line perhaps closed in 1953. It was never a dead halt. Bits were closed progressively.

A short line ran behind the Harold Park race track, north side to the Rozelle tram Depot, almost to Maxwell Road. By a current map, the depot looks to be in Forest Lodge.

The Lilyfield tram turned off Crescent Street at its end, now seemingly also called Minogue Crescent and travelled through open land and across a bridge over Johnston's Creek., now referred to as a stormwater channel. There seems to be a walking trail there now that follows the tram route and the footbridge across the creek may well be the original tram bridge.

The tram went down Taylor Street and turned right into Booth Street which changes to Moore Street. It then turned into Catherine Street and the Lilyfield terminus was at Lilyfield Road, back then called Abattoir Road.

A tram line continued along Moore Street and again slightly north and overland next to Moore Street West. The Leichhardt Bus Depot was the Leichhardt Tram Depot. The line ran along William Street to Norton Street and I expect this was only for working operations. A tram ran along Norton Street from Parramatta Road on its way to what seems to be a Balmain connection, via Perry Street, Balmain Road and Darling Street.

Trams came down Parramatta Road as far as Crystal Street and after turning into Crystal Street, they went on to terminate at Canterbury.

Getting a bit far away now from Annadale, but a tram also ran along Glebe Point Road to terminate at Cook Street.

Hmm, I quite enjoyed that. Hope it is of interest. All info is as I can see it, not necessarily correct.

Thanks to
Former Sydney electric tram depots

The main system...

Rozelle - as mentioned above. At Harold Park racecourse. Used for truck storage IIRC for some years. In the 70s or 80s, some pointwork was recovered from the forecourt. I believe that the scissors crossover at Loftus is ex-Rozelle. The corridor cars there were collected by a group with a name like the city tram association. Legal issues have arisen, but I think some or all of these trams have a claim on them by the SPER.

Dowling St - Cnr of Dowling St and Dacey Ave Moore Park. Now site of the Supa Centre. The largest depot in Australia, with 345 cars on 27 roads. Was used for storage until being deolished in the 80s.

Waverley - Cnr of York Rd and Oxford St, probably truer to place it in Bondi Junction. Oppostie Centennial Park. Re-opened in 1960 after conversion for use by buses. A large part of the shed survives, along York Rd.

Tempe - Cnr of Gannon St and Princes Hwy, Tempe. The home of the Bus and Truck museum (  ). The most intact of the former depots. Currently under threat of sale or demolition.

Newtown - next to Newtown station. Not sure of its current status. According to 'Trolley Wire' magaine, the Sydney Tram Museum have been involved in heritage discussions with the architects preparing reports for redevelopment of the building (along with Rozelle)

Ultimo - off Harris St, trams entered by Mary-Ann st. Now part of the Powehouse Museum complex, although not open to the public. The building is substantially intact.

Rushcutters Bay - on New South Head Rd. I have no idea of the fate of this building, although it was a small structure in a high-value real-estate area. I doubt it is still there, although I'd have to check when I'm in Sydney next.

Fort Macquarie - blah blah blah, now the site of the Opera House...

Leichardt - William St. Never opened as a tramway running shed, but converted to bus use, and is in use as such today.

Randwick Workshops - not technically a depot, some of the site was reused for the UNSW, some of the buildings are still intact as part of the bus depot.

Depots on the isolated systems outside the main Sydney system

North Sydney - Where the Big Bear shopping complex now stands on Military Rd. Part of the facade was incorporated into the shopping centre in the 80s, although I don't know what is there now.

Manly - I haven't seen it although I know it still stands. Last saw trams in 1939 when the Manly system closed.

Enfield - A small 5-road depot, in (I think) Tangarra Rd. Served the isolated Burwood-Ashfield-Cabarita-Mortlake system, which closed in 1948 or 1949. The building is still there IIC, having been converted for bus use.

Rockdale - off Bay St. A 3-road tin shed serving the Rockdale-Brighton le Sands line which closed in 1949, this depot is long gone. There is a vacant block where it once stood.

That's about it for the electric tram depots.

Parramatta steam tram depot demolished late 1990's, and is now the site of Burger King. 


Sydney's Tram History
Sydney Tramway Museum
The current Sydney light-rail line
  Rozelle Depot

Some links to do with the Rozelle Tram Depot-

Sydney Tramsheds Gallery-

Former Tram Depots of Sydney-

Rozelle Tram Depot-

Rozelle Tram Depot historical images-