Meet Wynyard’s New 105 yr old Tram


One of Auckland’s oldest trams - over 100 years ago-  has a new life back on the streets on the 1.6km Wynyard Quarter loop.

It was in fact the first electric tram built in Auckland according to research by David Cawood.

After service it ended up as a garden shed in Royal Oak (where McDonalds is) complete with pot belly stove until rescued by MOTAT in 1963.

44 was stored at MOTAT but people couldn't touch it. They can now.

Tram No 44 was constructed using mostly Kauri during 1906 in the Auckland Electric Tramway Company Limited’s barn and workshops located in Jervious Road, formerly the Herne Bay horse tram sheds.

It was built while the Auckland Tramway system and the population of Auckland were growing rapidly, using running gear previously used by the freight tram of the same number.

The tram was on Auckland streets until 1931.

Here it is in Queen Street in 1908.

Tram in Queen St - now back in action in Wynyard

It has a seating capacity of 30 and standing room for 10.


The green tram has joined the two 1920’s trams – a W2 Class Tram and X-1 Class Tram – leased from Victoria.

The 17 tonne, 48 feet long W2 tram has a seating capacity of 52 and a 2-person tram (driver and conductor). The 9 tonne, 31 feet long X-1 tram has a seating capacity of 32 and requires one person – the driver.

Aucklanders crowd the trams especially at the weekends


More of David’s research:
This new tram was built to match the second hand running gear, to the similar length as the 1902 English built Dinghy four wheel trams. Incorporating design features of the H class trams being built at the time, which were almost double the length.
Hence the pillar spacing allowing for five windows down either side differing from all the other Dinghies, which had six windows. As new, No 44 was the first tram in the Auckland fleet to be painted Brunswick green and cream colour scheme with India red windows. Braking relied on the strength of the Motorman using a gooseneck brake handle. Design characteristics inherited from the horse tram era, including an open front with the motorman exposed to the elements.

A modernisation programme was introduced with motorman’s windscreens installed and canopies rebuilt 25th November 1910. Pneumatic “air” brakes and sanding gear later fitted 20th April 1912.

The Dinghies were all coupled in pairs in 1918, becoming known as Twins.
No 44 being coupled with No 49, December 5 1918. These two trams were odd sods, later both being rebuilt in February 1921 to match each other with six windows down either side. A smoking partition was added but physical and documented evidence differs as to when.

The Twins were uneconomic to operate requiring a motorman and two conductors. During 1931, they were retired from service as fleet numbers of higher capacity trams allowed. Upon being retired 8th June 1931, No’s 44 and 49 were stripped of mechanical and electrical equipment and sold.

Rescued in 1963, No 44 was one of the first artefacts collected by MOTAT and stored for future restoration. Some disassembly work occurred in the 1960s.

Former Brussels’ running gear purchased, imported and shortened and the framework renovated in the 1980s. It became the full time restoration project between 2002 and 2006 to externally appear as she would have in 1906 with an open front.

Many fittings and details were recreated from a combination of photographs and physical evidence; with help as far a field as the UK. The interior remains in its final 1921 – 1931 configuration, rich with materials and fittings installed during it’s last rebuild.

CREDIT: Thanks Luke at Auckland Waterfront and David’s research for assistance with this report.



  1. greenwelly says:

    Shame they couldn’t get the advertisers to create something a bit more historic, rather than just plastering a couple of cans on the front.

    I mean, would it have really hurt to use a a label like this,

  2. Geoff Houtman says:

    That is a beautiful tram, and great research!

  3. Carl says:

    awesome story AKT and wicked pictures. I hope when I get back in Oct I can go for a ride on all three of these trams.

    Now I guess the next question is, are they doing up / going to fix up anymore and put them in service?

  4. Kegan says:


    Know anything about ex Invercargill #15? Auckland Dockline Tram’s website lists it as their third tram. Is #44 filling in for it on a short term basis? (It doesn’t appear to have gained the modern light clusters that the other trams have.)

  5. David Cawood says:

    Tram 44 is on loan from MOTAT for summer.

    Contrary to the caption above, people could touch tram 44 when it was in service regularly at weekends at MOTAT.

    Unfortunately tens of thousands of hands and rings on hands has a scratching and acidic fingers have a corrosive effect on century old trams and paintwork, so no apologise for asking people to respect our taonga or precious things.

  6. Carl says:

    that billboard on the tram in the foreground is bloody awesome.

    for both the beer and the tram haha! nice work whoever thought that one up.


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