The Museum has over 20 electric trams from the era 1909 to 1958, many of which have been fully restored, two horse trams from the 1880s, four electric trolleybuses and a diesel bus which replaced the trams in the 1950s. Exhibits include Adelaide’s first electric tram from 1909, an open crossbench ‘toastrack’ tram, the popular dropcentre tram, a 1929 style Glenelg tram, the 1953 streamliner tram. There’s even a Melbourne tram which was built at Holden’s at Woodville.
The Tram Museum group was formed in 1957 just before Adelaide’s then large street tramway system closed at the end of 1958 (excepting the Glenelg line) and the first 4 trams arrived on site in August 1958. By 1967 the original tram depot had been erected by volunteers and car No. 1 had been restored enabling the Museum to open as a static exhibition. A workshop was added by 1968. In 1973 the Museum received Federal funding in association with the City of Salisbury, enabling the construction of the 2 km museum tramway to the beach front. The Museum tramway was officially opened on 23 March 1974.
Additional tram display buildings have been constructed over the years enabling visitors to mingle among the trams and other exhibits. Interpretive displays have also been added, all being updated in the last few years. A visitor centre houses an interpretive display gallery and bookshop. The museum has a purpose built archives area (not available to the public).