Jervois Quay, workmen with airdrill / Jervois Quay, workmen removing dust from under rail with compressed air

Wellington City Council
[Circa 1932]
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The Wellington tramway system operated from 1878 until 1964. Initially, Wellington's trams were steam-powered, with an engine drawing a separate carriage. The engines were widely deemed unsatisfactory. They created a great deal of soot, were heavy (increasing track maintenance costs), and often frightened horses. By 1882, a combination of public pressure and financial concerns caused the engines to be replaced by horses. In 1902, after the tramways came into public ownership (originally a private company), it was decided to electrify the system, and the first electric tram ran in 1904. They formed a major part of the city's transport system.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s it was decided to replace the trams with buses and trolleybuses, which were seen as more advanced and better suited to the city's steep hilly needs. The Hataitai tram tunnel is still in use by buses.

Wellington City Council has a large collection of archival photographs showing roadworkers and various areas of civic infrastructure under construction.
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Wellington City Council has permission from the copyright owners to use the images. You may not make copies, reproduce, sell or distribute these images. Apply to the copyright holder directly for permission.


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