Portland Cable Tram

Portland’s Cable Tram links the Portland Botanic Gardens, Portland Maritime Discovery Centre, Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum and WWII Memorial Lookout Tower whilst providing a scenic ride along the foreshore.

The trams run seven days a week, between 10am-4pm. Tickets can be used to travel all day, and visitors can get on and off as they please at any of the 5 stops along the way.

The track extends in two directions from the foreshore and the journey to reach one end of the line is estimated to take half an hour. The eastern leg of the tram ride runs from the foreshore along the cliff tops, through Henty’s “Ploughed Field” to the Water Tower Lookout. In the opposite direction, the tram passes adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, through Henty Park, past Fawthrop Lagoon and continues to the Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum.

Originally propelled by a gripping underground moving cable, Portland’s tramway is propelled by a concealed diesel engine in otherwise original and authentic cable trams. Period style tram depots add to authenticity.

Getting the Portland Cable Tram on Track

The Portland Cable Tram has a long and rich history. The veteran vehicle was once the popular mode of transport for Melburnians between 1880 and 1940. Now, the modified and classically restored Cable Tram provides visitors to Portland with a scenic ride along the foreshore as well as connecting many of the local attractions.

Portland resident Keith McMillan was the main person responsible for the restoration of the Cable Tram. Keith used traditional carpentry skills to complete the task and spent many years on the restoration. The tram exhibits turn of the century trade skills such as woodwork, polishing, painting and iron casting.

The Cable Tram comprises a grip car and a saloon car. The grip car is open to the air and pulls the enclosed saloon car at the rear. The Cable Tram track is 3.7 kilometres long and took 6 months to construct. Volunteers have been the backbone of the project with over 100 people dedicating over 20,000 volunteer hours to the restoration and running of the Cable Tram.

Officially opened in 2002, the Portland Cable Tram is once again a popular mode of transport and seem at home in the historic town of Portland.

The Cable Tram museum also houses an 1880 horse-drawn carriage that belonged to Portland’s first European settler Edward Henty, model railway exhibitions, classic cars and motorbikes.

Visit the Portland Cable Tram web site. »

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