Sydney R1-Class Tram

The R1-class trams were a class of trams operated on the Sydney tram network. Their design was a development of the R class.

NSWDRTT R1-class Tram.jpg
R1 class at Sydney Showground
ManufacturerClyde Engineering
Commonwealth Engineering
Constructed1935 and 1950-1953
Number built155
Fleet numbers1933-2087
Capacity56 (Seated)
Train length14.35 metres
Width2.74 metres
Height3.26 metres
Maximum speed60 km/h
Weight17.9 t
Power output4 x 40 hp
Electric system(s)600 V DC catenary
Current collection methodTrolley pole
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)


When Clyde Engineering were delivering the last of the R class in 1935, it was decided to modify the final five to a design with a reduced drop-centre, eight more seats, no internal partitions, and one less door each side. These modified trams were classified as R1 class, and a further 50 were ordered from Clyde. In the late 1940s, a further 250 were ordered from Commonwealth Engineering. Steel shortages delayed their construction, with the first not delivered until September 1950. During construction the order was reduced to 100, with the last delivered to North Sydney depot on 17 September 1953.[1]

The original five tramcars modified in 1935 (numbers 1933 to 1937) could be distinguished from later production runs by their side windows (which indicated the original door spacing for the R class) and the underframe which was built to accommodate a larger drop-centre.

One (2018) was written off after a single day in a traffic accident at Petersham. Most remained in service until the end of tram operations in 1961.[1]

When the Sydney tramway system closed, some of the class were disposed of by burning at Randwick Workshops, despite some being less than 8 years old at time of being burnt.


Ten have been preserved:


  1. ^ a b MacCowan, Ian (1990). The Tramways of New South Wales. Oakleigh: Ian MacCowan. pp. 135–138. ISBN 0 949600 25 3.
  2. ^ a b "Sydney Tramway Museum Fleet Register" (PDF). Sydney Tramway Museum. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  3. ^ Bought for a bargain $50, Sydney’s last tram on track for a makeover Inner West Courier 5 February 2015

Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit

  Media related to Sydney R1-Class Tram at Wikimedia Commons