Steaming Down the Kingsway
A History of the Sutherland – Cronulla Tramway 1911-1932
(By Bruce S. Irwin)
In 1900 the magnificent beach setting at Cronulla was at the end of a dusty, rutted road which traversed a substantially scrub covered area from Sutherland. Realising the potential of the area, there was a big push by locals to gain a steam tramway to connect the beach to the railway at Sutherland. The tramway, opened in 1911, was an immediate success as it carried hoards of beach goers as well as freight in railway wagons supplying local industry.
It all started to unravel in the 1920’s with unregulated bus and truck competition and a line that was never duplicated to cope with the new challenges.
The fascinating story of the tramway’s coming, growth and decline together with the human dimension in its accidents and incidents, has long needed to be told in full. The void has now been filled.