Digitisation of Stewart Collection Continues

On the 16th of December 2017 the Western Springs Tramway (WST) at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) will celebrate its Diamond Jubilee. It is incredible to think that a group of dedicated volunteers banded together in 1964 to construct the permanent way and successfully open and operate a tramway only three years later. 

Not only did the WST volunteers construct the permanent way, they also carried out the earthworks and put in place site drainage, along with erecting all the overhead poles for the museum system. The tramway was also dual gauge to allow for the operation of both Wellington and Auckland Cars, and was truly unique in this regard.

16 December 1967
Video credit: Brian White

To commemorate this event the trust has, with the assistance of the WST Social Club, migrated around two and a half hours of 8mm film footage from the Stewart Collection. High resolution digital scans of the fragile films have been made to facilitate future image restoration and colour grading.

Once the migration  of the entire library of 8mm films to digital file has been completed, the original footage will be deposited by the AET Trust with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision in Wellington.

Car 91

On Friday the 17th of November the Auckland Electric tramways trust undertook its first project, the preservation and relocation of Auckland M class car number 91.

91 had for many years been used as a tea room next to MOTAT’s Cropper House dining rooms, however, as it was not a collection item and MOTAT already had two M Class cars in similar condition in storage, its future was uncertain.

Before demolition of 91 took place, the trust secured ownership and within 3 days of MOTAT’s agreement for the Trust to add the tram to its collection, 91 was on its way to a new temporary home in Mangere via the Waterview tunnel.

91 is now part of the Trust’s permanent collection as the board felt that this tram was both in a restorable condition and is an early example of the most common Auckland Tramcar design. 99 M Class cars were built for the Auckland System between 1907 and 1921.