News

Victorian transport history to go on display in Seymour

By David Rak

Kosta and Sylvia Kostoski realised a 20-year dream when a retired Victorian W-Class tram was craned on to their property last month.

The antique dealers acquired the tram through a state government initiative to preserve the historic trams and give them a new lease on life.

W-Class trams were introduced to Melbourne in 1923 as a new standard design. They had a dual bogie layout and were characterised by a substantial timber frame supplanted by a steel underframe.

The trams were the mainstay of Melbourne's tramways system for 80 years, popular for their simple rugged design and fine craftmanship.

Kosta and Sylvia own Victorian Railway Workshops, Art and Antiques and plan to use their expertise to showcase an important part of Australian history and workmanship not often seen today.

“Back in the day there was no talk of how much building one of these trams was going to cost. They went all out showing what they could do,” Kosta said.

“The workmanship is like no other. It’s not done like this anymore because they must fit within a budget.

“It would be a shame for this important piece of history to be scrapped or sitting in a storage shed wasting away.”

Kosta said he hoped to attract people to see the tram, get a photo and learn about the early days of Victorian public transport.

“I’ve already had interest from Puckapunyal Primary School to bring the children and have a look around the tram,” he said.

“I’ve got some work to do before I get people here. I want to set it up with other historical items to really paint a picture of what it was like to ride one of these.

“They are surprisingly roomy and it’s in remarkable shape for something built in 1935. It was restored in the ‘80s, which I wasn’t a big fan of.

“Regardless of that, it’s still a marvellous piece of our state’s and our country’s history.”

Kosta moved to Melbourne from Macedonia when he was 13 and said he loved preserving the history of his adopted home.

“I grew up around self-employment with my family owning cake shops in Macedonia,” he said,

“I knew I was going to work for myself and I’m pleased to have combined that with my passion for history and antiques.

“I see what we do as recycling. We’re repurposing things like the tram so we can get another 100 years of use out of them.

“We’ve always got to be looking forward, but we need to preserve as much of the past as we can.”

For more information about Victorian Railway Workshops, Art and Antiques, phone 5792 1264 or visit vrantiques.com