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Monday, March 4, 2024

Teenage LEGO master brings Glenelg tram back to life

A teenage LEGO enthusiast has brought Tram 361 back to Glenelg – in model form.

And his creation now has a permanent home at Glenelg’s Bay Discovery Centre.

Jackson Hefford (pictured) has been passionate about trams and everything transport since he was three years old – and a Holdfast Bay Community Grant allowed him to bring his vision to life.

The build took about 12 hours to complete, but the whole process took around nine months from the initial idea to the finished product.

Tram 361.

Tram 361 was decommissioned in 2006 and later offered to the public via an Expression of Interest (EOI) process in late 2022, providing opportunities for the community to preserve the heritage value of the tram, optimise its tourism potential, and achieve community benefits through its reuse.

As a result, the tram found a new home in Mist on Bridgewater in the Adelaide Hills in late April this year.

Jackson says he’s thrilled, albeit in a bit of disbelief, to see his creation on public display inside the Bay Discovery Centre. It sits among the interactive display on the first floor of the museum, next to the front façade of H Type Tram 351.

“It’s pretty cool just to walk in and see it there, in a museum case, knowing that heaps of people are going to come through…it’s incredible,” he said.

Jackson designed the model on his computer and then went to BrickLink website to source the 1,700 LEGO bricks for the build – some of which came from overseas.

The majority of bricks are in the tram, which includes interior details including seats, and the exterior is almost the exact colour of the old red rattler trams.

“It’s bit of a rare colour and is really expensive as well,” Jackson said.

Jackson said the tram looked even better in real life than he could have imagined.

“There were no instructions, so I was just doing it off the computer,” he said.

“And then we had it on the TV unit for a while, and I kept looking at it and thought to myself, ‘how perfect is that’… it just looks so perfect compared to the original.”

Next on Jackson’s list could be a model replica of the Africaine, the first passenger ship to anchor in Holdfast Bay in 1836.

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