Energy Management

Spooky (IR)

Spooky (IR)
roof mounted air conditioning units for trucks
Image by mickyj_photos
I believe the tram is a Type C. It has been in my family since the 1950’s. The saftey handles and rails are still in place. The windows still go up and down and all the signs and original varnish on the wood on the inside, are still there. The sliding doors are still in place.

Heres the restored number 186

Adelaide has only one remaining tram line, since the major routes were replaced with diesel buses over 40 years ago.
Many old trams were purchased by people for use as holiday shacks, and by now, these are slowly decaying.

It is a Straight roof combination car – nickname ‘Desert Gold’
This class of Adelaide tram included No’s 171 – 190. (This is a photo of 190)
They were introduced in: 1918
Withdrawn: 1954
Electrics: 2 x 50hp GE 202 motors, magnetic track brakes
Size: 34ft x 8ft 11in
Seating/Crush load: 40/102

These trams were very fast cars which were used to compete with unlicensed private (known as pirate) buses in the 1920s.


Originally known as ‘Desert Golds’ after a fast race horse of the time.
During the First World War (1914-18), the MTT (Municipal Tram Trust) urgently needed more tramcars because of passenger traffic generated by line extensions and the Port Adelaide system. Wartime conditions made it hard to obtain equipment, so twenty tram cars similar to the seventy type A trams were built – again by Adelaide car-building firm Duncan & Fraser. They looked very modern because of the simple arched roof, but this was simply a cost saving measure, not a design feature.

Larger motors made them faster. Like the A types they were modelled on, they seated forty passengers and carried a further sixty-two standees.

A planned purchase of large trams was delayed by World War I. Type C trams were small combination cars, built in 1918–1919 as an interim measure. They were similar in basic design to the older A type but had a more modern curved roof rather than a clerestory roof. During their construction, the old motors from the E type (General Electric 202 motors) were fitted to these new trams. Rated at 50 hp each compared to the 33 hp units fitted to the A types, these trams were considerably faster.

Due to the their consequent higher speeds they became known as Desert Gold trams, after a New Zealand racehorse that had won races in Australia at the same time. This speed became useful in competition against unlicensed buses in the 1920s, and they were used in peak service until 1952 with the last use for the royal visit of 1954. Trams 181 to 190 inclusive were allocated to the Port Adelaide system for a short period in the 1930s before closure of the system, mainly used on the Port Adelaide – Albert Park line. During the 1930s, the original Hale Kilburn seating fitted to these trams were replaced with Brill Winner seats taken out of 20 A type trams (numbers unknown).



Winner was just one of many seat manufacturers for both street car and Interurban cars. I believe that these seat came with two grab handles; one which is easily removed depending on which direction the seat faces. The grab handle would be on the aisle side of the seat only. The seat assembly also comes with two pedestals, for easy floor mounting and also features adjustable foot rests.

Introduced 1918–1919
Builder Duncan and Fraser
Weight 11.20 tons
Height 10′ 5"
Length 34′ 0"
Width 8′ 11"
Truck type Brill 21E
Traction motor type (2x) General Electric 202
HP per motor 50 hp per motor
Type of controller Westinghouse T1F


During the First World War, the MTT urgently needed more tramcars due to passenger traffic increases with the line extensions. Twenty were built by Adelaide’s Duncan & Fraser and carried 112 passengers, fifty seated and sixty-two standing and were considerably faster than the ‘A’ trams they were based on due to being fitted with a larger engine.

They became known as ‘bouncing billies’ because of their lack of air-brakes and safety concerns. It was because of this that MTT drivers went on strike.

Adelaide ‘Desert Gold’ C class 186 is on display at the Australian Electric Traction Museum at St Kilda, South Australia. Twenty cars were built to this design.

Photos taken on New Years eve 2010.
Along the coast at Pt Parham.

Canon EOS 350D, efs 18-55