Tram [No. 47 (Double Decker)]
Maker and role
Rouse, Black and Son, Manufacturer
See full details
The General Electric Company Limited
J G Brill Company
Length: 36' 0" (11.0 m), width: 7' 0" (2.1 m)
Seating capacity: 93 originally (reduced to 74 after 1914 with 46 on top deck)
Trucks: Brill 22E 'maximum-traction' bogies.
4' 0" (1219 mm) gauge
Motors: 2 x GE67 @ 40 Hp (30 kW)
Controllers: General Electric B18 with rheostatic electric/magnetic track braking.
Originally these trams had 93 seats and contained five separate 'Palace' compartments with sliding doors and running boards on each side. The conductor had to collect the fares from the lower floor by climbing along the running boards. This led to a number of accidents and, in some instances, the death of conductors. A law was passed in 1913 which mandated trams having central aisles for the safety of conductors. In 1914 the lower decks were rebuilt to have two saloon compartments with a centre entrance and an exit at the rear for those upstairs.
After being withdrawn from service, no. 47 was due to be scrapped. However, it was realised a double decker tram was required to maintain the Hataitai tram tunnel, so the tram had its upper seats and Destination boxes removed and became a ‘works tram’ until 1962. The Hataitai tunnel rails were later paved over, allowing Trolley Bus and tyred Tower Wagons to operate through it.
In 1957 the Old Time Transport and Preservation League of Auckland requested preservation of trams 47, 135, 301 and a Fiducia example from the Wellington fleet. These were kindly kept in the back of the Newton tram sheds until closure of service in May 1964 before coming to their home in the MOTAT Collection.
ORIENTAL BAY / 6