Restoration of Perth 15

Perth Tram 12 Barrack St
Perth B class 12 in the 1920s, heading north in Barrack Street on the Mount Lawley-North Perth service, bound for Walcott Street.

Perth [second] B-class trams were built in several batches between 1904 and 1919, with a final total of 54 of this style in the fleet. The first was #40, which was the first tram built in Western Australia, all earlier trams having been imported. The bodies of the earlier cars 1 to 30 [original A and B classes] were subsequently re-built to this type.

Perth Tram 79 Car Barn B-class 79 shown at the Car Barn sidings.

The B-class design featured:

  • A single truck ie 4 wheels, with 2 motors
  • A length of 29 feet
  • Seating for 32 passengers, and standing-room [officially] for 16: 8 inside and 8 on the rear platform
  • Removable side windows, making the car adaptable for summer or winter use
  • Weather blinds to give protection from sun or rain
  • Low side body panels, so that passenger seating was level with the bottom of the window opening
  • Braking with handbrake only

B-class trams were common on the South Perth tramways; outside peak hours they were often operated by one man, who both drove the car and collected fares. The transport provided by the tramway played a significant role in the development of the South Perth district between the wars, and this is being recognised by the restoration of a B-class tram as a static exhibit.

Perth Tram 15 Transit to Whiteman Park B-15 on its way to Whiteman Park.

The tram chosen for this project was B-class 15. Its restoration is being undertaken by PETS, in association with the South Perth City Council and the South Perth Historical Society, and on completion the tram will be prominently displayed in South Perth.

The body of #15 spent many retirement years as a play-room in Kelmscott, where it was well protected. After its retrieval by PETS a number of years ago, it was placed in under-cover storage.

The restoration team was faced with a long and painstaking task: the roof was in good condition, but some other sections had deteriorated, and many wooden parts had to be replaced, using patterns from good sections or from another B-class tram.


Work on the sides:

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
One side had to be completely removed.

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Temporary roof supports in place.

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Sides rebuilt ...

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
...and repainted.


Work on the end platforms:

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Renewing supports.

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Bumper in place.

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Renewal of floor timbers

Perth Tram 15 Restoration
Starting to replace the apron.

The superlative quality of the workmanship in the rebuilding process is evident from these images.


Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail

Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail

Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail

Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail

Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail

Perth Tram 15 Restoration Detail
PETS Contacts:
Street Address:
Whiteman Park
Western Australia
Postal Address:
PO Box 257
Mount Lawley
Western Australia
Australia . . . 6929
0432 175 093
Tram-car Hire:
0448 821 200
Workshops (Tuesday/Wednesday):
(08) 9249 2777
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