Auckland's Tramway Systems

Auckland's Tramway History

The original Auckland tramway system opened on November 17, 1902. Auckland boasted New Zealand’s first city to go in for a complete tramway system – one that went everywhere. Prior to the tramway system closing down in December 1956, trams ventured to and from City Depot in Gaunt Street, one of two depots that housed the city's 256 strong fleet of trams.

Gaunt Street Depot

Following the demise of the Auckland Tramway system in 1956, The Old Time Transport Preservation League successfully acquired for preservation, among other things, two ex Auckland trams known as 'Streamliners'. This group went onto become one of the founding partners of the Museum of Transport and Technology, or MOTAT.

The tramway volunteers built and commenced operating The Western Springs Tramway at the MOTAT in 1967.  Between 1980 and 2008 the line was extended several times along Great North Road to connect the two Museum sites.  


Existing Dockline Route


In 2011 trams returned to the streets of Auckland. The purpose of this heritage tramway is not really public transport but to enhance and underline the heritage and character of the Wynyard Quarter.

The operation of the Dockline Tramway has been an on and off again affair, due primarily to enabling works required in the development of the precincts infrastructure.  Like the MOTAT tram line, before it connected the two Museum sites, the Dockline Tramway is essentially a place making amusement ride. 

There is however a serious public transport opportunity in all of this – if the Dockline Tramway was linked to Britomart it would make it feasable to deploy trams or Light Rail as an alternative to buses as the primary transport link to and from Britomart.