Tram Motor No 103A

About the exhibit

Operational exhibit
Sydney steam tram motor 103A, built 1891, operated at the Parramatta Park Steam Tramway until the arson attack at the museum in June 1993. The fire destroyed most stock, and 103A's wooden cab was incinerated at this time but the remainder of the loco was salvaged for restoration and moved to Valley Heights, where a new cab has been built. Restoration was completed in 2005.

The tram motor runs with trailer 93B. See the events calendar for details of when the tram and trailer are running.

Tram 103A in Parramatta Park before 1988Tram 103A under restoration at Valley Heights prior to completion in 2005Tram 103A building up steam at Valley Heights (2005-08-25)Tram 103A motor with crew (2005-11-20)Tram 103A in roundhouse (2007-12-23 Photo: Grant Robinson)Tram 103A motor with crew (2008 Photo: Peter Butler)Tram 103A motor (2008 Photo: Peter Butler)Tram 103A on run to Valley Heights signal box (2008-12-14 Photo: Grant Robinson)Tram 103A at VH Rail Museum station (2015-11-05 Photo: Grant Robinson)Tram 103A and trailer 73b adjacaent to Valley Hts signal box (2014-06-22 Photo: Grant Robinson)


Steam Tram and Railway Preservation (Co-op) Society trading as Valley Heights Steam Tramway


In 1879, steam operated tramways were introduced in Sydney, under the control of the Railway Commissioner. Similarly operated systems were later used in Newcastle, Maitland, Broken Hill and between East Maitland-Morpeth, Parramatta-Castle Hill, Campbelltown-Camden and Sutherland-Cronulla. The Sydney and Newcastle systems were eventually electrified but the others, including three isolated lines in Sydney, Sutherland-Cronulla, Arncliffe-Bexley and Kogarah-Sans Souci, were steam worked until their closure. The Campbelltown-Camden and East Maitland-Morpeth lines were eventually operated as light railways and used steam tram motors for a period of their existence.


This exhibit is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register which contains additional information about the exhibit.


The "motors" as the locomotives are called were of a standard design, introduced by the Baldwin Locomotive Works and 100 came from that firm. The remainder were built locally, either by contractors or in the Tramway Department's workshops.

Text from Century Plus of Locomotives, © Australian Railway Historical Society, 1965. Used by permission.

More information and photos

Australian Steam — Preserved Steam Locomotives Down Under — New South Wales - Private & Industrial, accessed 2020-09-13

Steam tram motor 1A Powerhouse Museum Collection, accessed 2020-09-13

Sydney Steam Motor Tram, Wikipedia, accessed 2020-09-13