Welcome To Dunedin Trams

   A website dedicated to Don McAra's book,
   "Hold Very Tight Please"

   Dunedin Trams

   Restoring & Reinstating a Dunedin Tram.

Don's BookPaintingsHistorySupport

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Don McAra recently held a successful Exhibition of his paintings and launched his book “Hold VeryTight Please” which is about New Zealand’s Cable Trams, in the Art Station Gallery, Dunedin. This Website has been created to promote his series of paintings (some of which are still for sale) and his book. It also promotes the reintroduction of a Cable Tram in Dunedin City.


A THIRD of all proceeds from painting, book, and print sales Don is donating to cable car restoration.

Books are still available by ordering through Whitcoulls, Paper Plus, and many other bookshops throughout  the country including the University Book Shop, and the Gallery de Novo Dunedin; the Arts Centre Bookshop, Christchurch City Gallery, and Iron Horse Hobbies, Christchurch; Dymocks Bookshop Wellington. However, order soon as copies are fast running out (August 2008). 

Cable lines up either High or Rattray Streets could run to points of vantage from which tourists and others could obtain great views of Dunedin, the Otago peninsula, and harbour. At such places cafes or restaurants would cater for passengers. Moreover, carparks established at the hill terminus of each line would enable local residents to avoid parking difficulties in the central city. The cable car fare would be extendable to city bus services, or to a possible electric tram service along Princes and George Streets. As the price of petrol rises such a service would gain in attractiveness. The cable lines would be driven by modern electric motors the first one being installed at Mornington. 

The establishment of such systems as these would have Dunedin well prepared for the peak oil situation which is appearing more and more inevitable as time goes on. Not only that, but Dunedin would become the only other city outside of San Francisco to have street cable cars as a leading attraction for tourists and locals alike. 

At the present time of writing (October 2007) one heritage Dunedin grip cable car has been restored by the Tramway Historical Society based at Ferrymead in Christchurch, a cable car trailer is well under way, and another grip car is due for restoration. Restoration work is being done to running order.  The THS restoration committee members believe that the best place for the restored cars to operate would be obviously on their old home territory in Dunedin.

The THS Management Committee have agreed in principleto the possible leasing out of its restored cable cars to Dunedin’s High St Cable Car Group, or to any properly accredited Cable Car Company derived from that Group, at such time that it is able to operate a fully restored line in Dunedin. Terms and details of such an arrangement would have to be fully spelled out, but in the meantime a statement of support has been sent by the Secretary of the T.H.S. to the Dunedin High St Cable Car Action Committee headed by Mr Tony Chance.

A model of such an organisation would be the Taieri Gorge Railway who have a proven record in successfully operating tourist rail services. Coordination of tourist trains picking up sight seeing passengers from tourist ships and bringing them to Dunedin where the visitors could explore part of the city on its cable cars, unique in the Southern Hemisphere, would seem to be an idea well worth exploring.

In the meantime, what is needed is a Support Network of like minded individuals to continue promoting this cause to the Dunedin City Council, potential financial benefactors, donors, and entrepreneurs. You can register your support at 17 Dyers Pass Road, Cashmere, Christchurch, New Zealand, or contact Don McAra at d.jmcara@paradise.net.nz

Last update  Saturday, 02 August 2008 10:13 p.m.Hit Counter