Statement regarding tram tracks at Bridge Mall

Sleepers at the Bridge Mall

Statement attributable to Director Development and Growth Natalie Robertson:


As expected, and planned for, remnant sections of tram track dating back to 1905 have been uncovered in the first section of the Bridge Mall redevelopment.  

The tram track is located within one of two known areas of archaeological significance within the mall, both of which are included on the Victorian Heritage Inventory.  

The City of Ballarat has obtained the appropriate consent from Heritage Victoria, and is working with the project archaeologist to oversee the recording and removal of any archaeological finds.

The track sections are in poor condition and discontinuous, with most of the track having been removed after the decommissioning of the tram network during the 1970s.  

Contractor 2Construct has undergone an induction with the project’s archaeologist. The archaeologist has visited the site, photographed and taken measurements of the tracks and sleepers.



A horse-drawn tram network first began in Ballarat in 1887.  

In 1905, Ballarat East Council constructed tram lines when electrification of the tram network became available. These lines ran along Bridge Street and Victoria Street to Stawell Street, then along Main Road and Barkly Street, arriving at Cobden Street in Golden Point.

Bottlenecks and accidents between cars, trams and pedestrians often occurred in Bridge Street due to the narrowness of the street.  

The tram network closed in the early 1970s due to reduced patronage, leaving the Lake Wendouree tourist line remaining.