Enfield to Mortlake and Cabarita Tramway

Enfield Tram Symbols

By Cathy Jones

A tram service once operated from Enfield to Mortlake/Cabarita via Burwood.

The Enfield Tramway system was first established in 1891, between Ashfield and Enfield.  Originally steam operated and single tracked, eight years later, a short extension to provide direct access to Ashfield Station was added.  The major part of the route was opened in 1901 and extended the original line from Enfield through Burwood and Concord to Mortlake on the banks of the Parramatta River.  A branch line to Cabarita completed this system in 1907[1].

The tram ran down Coronation Parade, from Liverpool Rd to the depot terminus in Tangarra St, through Coronation Reserve.  The tramway was electrified in 1912 and a double track added in 1915.  Competition from local buses forced the closure of the tram service in 1948, though the tracks were not removed until 1951. The old tramway was located on the eastern side of the Reserve and the small brick hut near Dean St was built adjacent to the tram stop as a waiting room[2].  After the tracks were removed, Coronation Reserve was substantially altered in layout and the former tramway incorporated into the Reserve.

The Enfield terminus was located in Tangarra Street Enfield, which was later used as a bus depot.  It is now residential housing.


[1]Kennan, David ‘The Rockdale & Enfield Lines of the Sydney Tramway System’, 1994

[2] Enfield Municipal Council Annual Report 1936

4 comments on “Enfield to Mortlake and Cabarita Tramway

  1. Topcrumpet

    Does anybody know/remember the colours of the symbols used for the destinations Mortlake and Cabarita?

  2. Michael

    They were red and white

  3. Dave Patrick

    The Mortlake/Cabarita Steam Trams ran past Concord Public School and a major accident on November 11th 1907. Two trams while passing each other on a short section of double rails and the boiler of one exploded, destroying the tram and damaging the one next to it. Several deaths occurred. I was told this story when young attending the Concord School in the early 60’s by an elderly teacher after I found a twisted bit of metal half buried in the playground. Later I found photos of the damaged trams. Apparently the explosion was so severe that twisted metal was hurled for several hundred metres all through the schoolyard and the light from the exploding tram was launched clean over the school and into the far backstreet. The old photos clearly show that the tram exploded with tremendous force. After an enquiry, the steam trams were limited to operating on less boiler pressure and were checked more regularly for cracks and faults.

    PS Hi Cathy
    Dave

    • Hi Dave. I hadn’t heard of this accident. Thanks for contribution. Lots of people are interested in the old tram systems.

      Cathy

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