Tram in Harris Street 1950s

Between 1879 and the 1950s, trams carried most Sydney travellers. The first (1861-1866) was horse-drawn. In 1879 a steam tramway was initiated: electrification started in 1898. By the 1920s, the system had to compete with motor cars and buses, leading to the gradual closure of lines. The last tram ran in 1961. Most services began at Fort Macquarie (the site of the Opera House) and Circular Quay down George Street, supplemented by services from Railway Square. Western routes ran along Broadway and Parramatta Road, veering off to Forest Lodge, Rozelle and Ryde.
The service from Railway Square along Harris Street to Pyrmont was connected in 1898 and came into operation the next year, powered by the Ultimo power station. From 1910, a branch turned left into Miller Street, right into Bank Street and crossed Glebe Island Bridge to Balmain.
In 1917 the full-time service to Pyrmont was withdrawn, and in 1953 the last regular tram completed its journey and buses took over many routes pioneered by trams.

For more information, visit the Pyrmont History website.