Victor Harbor horse-drawn trams cancelled after pylon collapses on pier
Australia’s last horse-drawn trams, which connect to South Australia’s Granite Island, have halted services after a post on the jetty to the island collapsed.
- Australia’s only horse-drawn tram service has been cancelled
- Yesterday, a driver noticed a dip in the causeway after a pylon collapsed
- The original tram dates back to 1894
The tram which runs in Victor Harbor, south of Adelaide, was closed after a pylon on the pier broke off and fell into the water.
City of Victor Harbor chief executive Victoria MacKirdy said the council cancelled trams late yesterday afternoon after a driver noticed the broken strut had caused a dip in the causeway.
“One of the tram operators felt and heard a sound… and felt something crack,” she told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“Then when they went back over again they could feel the tilt of the tram and we were very concerned by it.
“So that’s when we had one of our staff members go out, they had a look at one of the trams going over it, could see the lean of the tram and that’s when we cancelled all the trams.”
People can still walk across the causeway, which is owned by the State Government’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).
“Because of the height and the weight of the trams with a lot of passengers on the trams, they are actually leaning to the side, which is very unsafe,” Ms MacKirdy said.
She said the causeway was “significantly old and in need of repair”.
“We are working with DPTI on a regular basis doing maintenance but it needs to have a significant overhaul,” she said.
Ms MacKirdy said three trams had been operating since December 26.
“It’s certainly not good in our peak season,” she said.
Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins has cut short a holiday to Kangaroo Island to deal with the situation.
“The tram is an iconic part of tourism in Victor Harbor,” she said.
“Once we know it’s safe, tram services can resume, but we’re not going to put anyone at risk by putting a tram across when it’s not safe.”
The Victor Harbor horse-drawn tram is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. (Supplied: Brian Walker)
The original tramway dates back to 1894 and was revived in 1986 to mark 150 years since South Australia was founded.
About 100,000 people catch the tram each year.
Victor Harbor’s population swells over summer with holiday-makers and day visitors.
DPTI has not responded to a request for comment.