This pile of drivel provides a detailed account of
the establishment and development of
tramway system, with the various items listed chronologically. The original
intention of these notes was just that - notes to record a basic history of
Melbourne's tramways. It has since grown into this expanded and perhaps prosaic
pile of hard-core gunzel gibberish. This is not a literary record of the
definitive history of Melbourne's tramways; rather, it is an attempt to provide
information enough to give a good understanding of the development of the
system. The dynamics behind the management, and sometimes mismanagement, that
shaped the system is not delved into in any great detail - simply, developments
are listed as they happened. It is hoped that this information will fill a gap,
and perhaps provide a starting point for an exhaustive history to be chronicled
in the future.
Opening and closing dates of the horse
and cable tramways are included to provide an overview of tramway development.
Information on the Box Hill - Doncaster electric tramway is not included, other
than opening and closing dates, as this line had no bearing on the development
of the tramway system, and the subject is already well covered in Robert Green's
book ‘The First Electric Road’. Details of timetables, uniforms, tickets and
fares, and other minutia has been considered best left for other suitably
inclined gunzels to write about.
Rolling stock details are included, however for an in-depth treatment readers
are referred to ‘Destination City’ by Norm Cross and Keith Kings. Trams that
have been disposed of are noted as such or as scrapped, even though some may
still exist, complete or incomplete. A number of trams have been preserved by
various gunzel groups for historical or commercial reasons - some are
operational, others are not; some are faithfully restored, others are modified
and/or painted in silly colours. Tram preservation, or what happens to any tram
after disposal, is beyond the scope of this work, therefore mention is made only
of those preserved trams that have been stored and/or operated on the system.
For ease of reference, the various Trusts, the North Melbourne Electric Tramway
& Lighting Company and the Victorian Railways trams have their own headings
throughout the text.
Track maps are included, which show all major changes to the tram network. They
should be referred to in conjunction with the text to clarify any points, and to
provide an overview of the tramway system.
Some of the preliminary research herein was utilised in a volume entitled
‘Time-Line History Of Melbourne’s Government Cable And Electric Trams And
Buses’, compiled by Barry George. However, this is a completely different work
and no direct comparison should be made between the two.
As with any work of this nature, there is always a possibility of errors and
omissions. The information presented herein is not complete - some installation
dates for special work, etc, have proved difficult to ascertain. What is
presented here are the fruits of research to date, in 'vanilla' form as I don't
have the time to design a proper web page at this juncture. The splitting of the
tramways into two separate groups on October 1, 1997 is taken as a convenient
point to end this waffle.
This work would not have been possible
without the assistance of Anthony Sell, Jeff Bounds and Norm Cross who provided
access to much archival material; and Dean Filgate, Clive Gibson, Geoff
Warburton and Michael Norbury who shared some of the fruits of their own
Many sources were utilised to compile
the information herein, however, as the original intention was to make notes and
not to 'write a book', no detailed reference to individual sources was noted.
Information came mostly from MMTB / PTC records, but also from contemporary news
reports in gunzel magazines (Electric Traction, Trolley Wire and Running
Journal), an unpublished expanded manuscript of 'The Brighton Electric Line' by
Leon Marshall-Wood, 'Destination City' by Norm Cross and Keith Kings, and from
There are two main sections - the tram timeline
and various appendices. The timeline has details of the development of the
Melbourne tramway system arranged in chronological order, and the appendices
hard-core gunzel stuff:
§ Appendix 1 -
1928, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1954, 1961, 1977, 1991.
Trams sold for operation in provincial cities
MMTB passenger tram numerical roster
1907, 1911, 1914, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1928, 1931, 1939, 1948, 1956,
1967, 1980, 1996.
DEC 20 Fairfield horse tramway opened, running from
Fairfield Station via Station Street to Mansfield Street, Thornbury. The line
was operated by a land development company. (Some sources give the opening date
as Jan 10, 1885).
NOV 11 The Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company
(MT&OCo) opened the first cable car line from the City to Richmond. Commencing
at Bourke Street, the
line ran via Spencer Street,
Flinders Street, Wellington Parade and Bridge Road, terminating at Hawthorn Bridge. (The MT&OCo operated all
subsequent cable lines except the Northcote line, as noted in the text).
OCT 2 The North Fitzroy cable line was
opened, running from a City terminus at
via Collins Street
and Brunswick Street
to Barkly Street.
NOV 22 The Victoria Street (North
Richmond) cable line was opened, branching from the
line at Brunswick Street
and running via Victoria Parade and
Victoria Street to Victoria Bridge.
AUG 10 Opening of the Clifton Hill cable line,
running from the City terminus at Spencer Street via Bourke Street, Nicholson
Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Queens Parade.
AUG 30 The Nicholson Street cable line was opened,
branching from the Clifton Hill line at
Gertrude Street and running via Nicholson Street to Park Street, North Fitzroy.
OCT 1 The Brunswick cable line was
opened, running from a City terminus at
via Elizabeth Street,
Royal Parade and Sydney Road
to Moreland Road.
DEC 21 The Collingwood cable line was opened,
running from Swanston Street
along Lonsdale Street,
Lygon Street, Elgin Street and Johnston Street.
DEC 28 The Kew horse tramway was opened, running
from the Victoria Bridge cable car terminus via Barkers Road and
High Street to Kew
Cemetery. It was operated
by the MT&OCo.
MAY 17 The Sandringham to Cheltenham
via Beaumaris horse tramway was opened, operated by the Beaumaris Tramway
Company. Commencing from Sandringham Station, the line ran via Beach Road, Tramway
Parade, Balcombe Road
and Charman Road
to a terminus at Cheltenham Station. (Some sources state the opening date as
OCT 11 The Brighton Road cable line was opened,
running from a City terminus at Flinders Street via St Kilda Road, High Street
and Brighton Road to Brunning Street (between Chapel and Milton Streets). Three
months later, on January 20, 1889, the City end of the line was extended to
Queensberry Street via Swanston Street.
OCT 26 The Prahran cable line was opened, branching
from the Brighton Road line
at St Kilda Road
and running via Domain Road,
and Chapel Street,
terminating at Carlisle Street.
FEB 9 The North Carlton cable line was
opened, branching from the Collingwood line at
and running via Rathdowne Street
to Park Street.
FEB 14 Opening of the Coburg
horse tramway, commencing from the
cable car terminus at Moreland Road
and running via Sydney Road to Gaffney Street. It was initially operated
by the Northern Tramway Company then by various other operators before being
acquired by the Coburg City Council in 1911.
FEB 15 The Toorak cable line was opened, branching
from the Prahran line at Chapel
and running via Toorak Road
to Irving Street.
APRIL Horse tramways were opened from
Elsternwick Station via Glenhuntly Road to Glenhuntly Station and via Hawthorn
and Balaclava Roads to Caulfield Station, operated by the Caulfield Tramway
Company. The line to Caulfield Station was closed after a few months.
OCT 14 The first electric tramway in Australia - and the Southern
Hemisphere - was opened from Box Hill via (present day) Station Street and Tram Road to
Doncaster. It was operated by the Box Hill & Doncaster Tramway
JAN 27 The Hawthorn horse tramway was opened from
the cable car terminus at Hawthorn
Bridge via Burwood Road, Power Street and Riversdale Road to Auburn Road. It was
operated by the MT&OCo.
FEB 18 The Northcote cable line was opened, from the
Clifton Hill cable terminus via High Street to
Dundas Street. This line was operated by the Clifton
Hill, Northcote and Preston Tramway Company, and it was the only cable line not
run by the MT&OCo. It was later taken over by the Northcote City Council.
MAR 3 The North Melbourne cable line was
opened, branching from the Brunswick line at Elizabeth Street
and running via Victoria Street,
and Flemington Road
to terminate at Flemington
MAR 10 The Zoo horse tramway was opened, running via Royal
Park from the cable car line at Royal Parade to the Zoo entrance. It was
operated by the MT&OCo.
APR 18 The West Melbourne cable line was opened,
running from Elizabeth Street
via Lonsdale Street,
and Abbotsford Street
to a junction with the North Melbourne line at
JUNE 17 The South Melbourne cable line was opened, running from
the Collins Street line
via Market Street,
and Victoria Avenue
to the terminus at Beaconsfield Parade.
JUNE 20 The Port Melbourne cable line was opened, branching from
the South Melbourne line at City Road and running via Bay Street and
Beaconsfield Parade to the terminus near Port Melbourne Station.
OCT 27 The Windsor to St Kilda Beach cable line was
opened, running from Chapel Street
via Wellington Street,
Esplanade and Acland Street
to the terminus at Barkly Street.
This was the last new cable route constructed.
horse tramway was closed. (It possibly could have closed in 1890 or 1892 - no
precise date has been found).
~~~ Operation of the Box Hill
tramway was taken over by the Doncaster & Box Hill Electric Road Company.
~~~ The Elsternwick -
Glenhuntly horse tramway was closed.
JAN 6 The Box Hill to
electric tramway was closed.
The Elsternwick - Glenhuntly horse tramway was re-opened.
The Elsternwick - Glenhuntly horse tramway was again closed.
~~~ NMETL Plans to provide transport to the Essendon district were thwarted
by the MT&OCo, which had refused to extend the Flemington Bridge cable car due
to the spasmodic traffic they considered would be generated. This led to a
proposal by private enterprise to construct electric tramways and also supply
electricity as a sideline (the electricity generation required by trams at night
would be reduced due to less frequent services, therefore the excess capacity
could be utilised to supply domestic electric lighting, thus providing a good
return upon the investment).
This proposal was vigorously opposed by the Victorian Railways (VR) and the
Metropolitan Gas Company; the former feared the tramway would compete with the
railway, and the latter were concerned about the effects of electrolysis and
loss of revenue as people switched from gas to electric lighting. Following a
change of government and a referendum of ratepayers showing majority support for
the tramway, a franchise was granted to a private concern, the North Melbourne
Electric Tramway & Lighting Company (NMETL), to construct tramways and supply
electricity in the Essendon district.
MAY 24 NMETL Construction of the Essendon electric tramways by the North
Melbourne Electric Tramway & Lighting Company commenced.
SEPT VR A final Act of Parliament authorised the Victorian Railways to
construct a tramway from St Kilda Station to Brighton. The original Act of
Parliament on Sept 30, 1904
approved a standard gauge line running from the cable tram terminus at the
'Village Belle' (Acland Street).
The later Act amended the line to commence from St Kilda Station, and be built
to the railway broad gauge (1600mm [5'3"]), to allow for the possibility of
running to Melbourne via the St Kilda railway. (All other electric tramways in
have been built to standard gauge 1435mm [4'8½"]).
The Premier, Thomas Bent, who happened to have real estate and electoral
interests in the area, guided the Act through Parliament - he was Member for
Brighton. When plans for an extension of the St Kilda railway
failed, Bent found that by proposing a tramway he could bypass the Parliamentary
Standing Committee because the cost was less than £25,000.
MAY 5 VR The Victorian Railways St Kilda - Brighton 'electric street
railway' was opened. It ran from St Kilda Railway Station via Grey Street, Barkly Street, Mitford Street,
Broadway, Ormond Road,
St Kilda Street
and Esplanade to Park Street,
A three-road depot and power house was built at the corner of St Kilda Street and
and was named Elwood Depot. The line was single track with four passing loops (Acland Street, Shelley Street, Head Street and Bay Street), and a
terminating loop just before the single track terminus. There was a double track
dead-end terminal at St Kilda Station.
Trams were painted Tuscan red and white, with gold lining, yellow trucks and
'Victorian Railways' in ornate lettering along the sides. Five trams were
available at the opening:
1 - 5 Five single-truck California
combination trams built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled at the
Victorian Railways Newport Workshops.
JUNE VR The Acland Street loop on
the St Kilda - Brighton line was relocated to Carlisle Street to improve
OCT 11 NMETL The North Melbourne Electric
Tramways and Lighting Company opened lines from Flemington Bridge to Keilor Road
and Saltwater River.
The Keilor Road line ran from the Flemington Bridge terminus (on the north side
of the Moonee Ponds Creek, a short distance from the cable car terminus) via
Mount Alexander Road, Pascoe Vale Road, Fletcher Street and Mount Alexander Road
North to terminate in Essendon at the Keilor Road / Lincoln Road intersection. A
branch line was built along Puckle Street from Mount Alexander Road to the
Moonee Ponds Railway Station.
The Saltwater River line left Mount Alexander Road and ran via Victoria Street,
Racecourse Road, Epsom Road, Union Road and Maribyrnong Road to terminate on the
west side of Saltwater River (renamed Maribyrnong River in 1913).
The Keilor Road line was double track to Moonee Ponds Junction (Puckle Street),
then single track to the terminus with five passing loops (just north of Moonee
Ponds Junction, Bent Street, Fletcher Street, Napier Street and Brewster
Street). Mount Alexander Road North was a divided road with a central
plantation, and the track was laid along the western carriageway. A double track
terminal was provided at Keilor Road.
The Puckle Street branch was single track with
a double track terminal and a triangular junction at Mount Alexander Road. Services on the Puckle Street
branch operated on race days, connecting the racecourse with the railway
The Saltwater River line was double track to the corner of Union and Maribyrnong
Roads, with three crossovers provided in the vicinity of the Showgrounds. The
line was then single track to the terminus with one passing loop and a double
track terminal. It crossed the railway at the Showgrounds on the level.
A mixture of span wires and centre poles were used for the overhead - centre
poles were used in parts of Union Road, Racecourse Road and Mount Alexander
Road, and possibly other locations, all being later removed (dates unknown).
A six-road depot was built in Mount Alexander Road (which later became roads 13
to 18 of present day Essendon Depot). The depot was accessed by a single turnout
to the north connecting with the inbound track, a crossover providing access to
the out-bound track.
The depot was always called Essendon Depot, so named as the whole NMETL
operation was generally known as the 'Essendon Tramways'. The name has been
retained to the present day, even though the depot is actually located in Ascot
Vale, several kilometres from the suburb of Essendon.
Trams were painted Indian red and cream, with yellow lining and
white roofs, with 'NMET&LCo' lettering on the sides of saloon cars. Fifteen
trams and ten trailers were built for the system:
1 - 10 Ten single-truck saloon trams
built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled by Duncan and Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB U
class 202 - 211).
11 - 15 Five single-truck open crossbench (‘toastrack’) trams built by J. G.
Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled by Duncan and Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB V class 212 - 216).
51 - 60 Ten single-truck open crossbench (‘toastrack’) trailer cars built by Duncan and Fraser, Adelaide.
DEC 22 VR An extension from Middle
Brighton via the Esplanade to Brighton Beach Station was opened, built as single
track. The Park Street
loop was relocated to Wellington
Street, and a loop was installed at the terminus. 'Brighton' was retained as the destination sign.
FEB 9 VR By this time twelve
additional trams were in service, making a total of 17:
6, 7 Two single-truck California combination trams, the same as
Nos. 1 - 5.
8, 10 Two single-truck saloon trams
built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled at the VR Newport Workshops.
A single-truck saloon trailer car built
by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled at the VR Newport Workshops.
11 - 17 Seven single-truck open
crossbench (‘toastrack’) trailer cars built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and
assembled at the VR Newport Workshops. Three further trailers, intended to be
numbered 18 - 20, were still under construction.
MAR 7 VR Elwood Depot and the entire
tram fleet was completely destroyed by fire, the cause of which was never proven
conclusively. An emergency bus service was implemented pending rebuilding of the
depot and acquisition of new rolling stock.
MAR 17 VR The St Kilda - Brighton Beach tram service was reinstated after
the VR hurriedly acquired some trams.
Seven second-hand trams purchased from Sydney, plus the three trailers under
construction at Newport Workshops, enabled resumption of the tram service. To
allow the service to be reinstated in the shortest possible time, the ex-Sydney
trams ran for several months carrying Sydney numbers and livery before being
15 - 17 Three ex-Sydney D class
single-truck California combination straight-sill trams (Nos. 98, 101, 110 not
respectively) built 1899 by Ritchie Bros. (98, 101) and Clyde Engineering (110)
for the New South Wales Government Tramways. They were mounted on broad gauge
trucks salvaged from the fire.
18 - 21 Four ex-Sydney C class
single-truck saloon trams (Nos. 23, 25, 38, 39) built 1899 by Hudson Bros. for
the New South Wales Government Tramways. They were also mounted on broad gauge
trucks salvaged from the fire.
8 - 10 Three trailer cars under
construction at Newport Workshops at the time of the fire. They entered service
at the end of March.
JUNE 20 VR The rebuilding of Elwood
Depot was completed. The tram shed, power house and offices were separated from
each other, and the tram shed was reduced from three roads to two. Designated as
No. 1 shed, 'escape tracks' were provided by extending the tram lines out the
rear of the building. An additional second shed was still under construction.
JULY VR Eleven new trams were
ordered, entering service in June and July:
1 - 7 Seven single-truck California
combination trams built by VR Newport Workshops. To enable these trams to be
available for service as soon as possible, they were temporarily fitted with
electrical equipment acquired from Sydney pending arrival of new equipment from
11 - 14 Four more single-truck open
crossbench (‘toastrack’) trailer cars built by VR Newport Workshops.
As these cars entered service, the ex-Sydney C class trams (Nos. 18 - 21) were
converted to trailers. Use of these and the other ex-Sydney trams was kept to a
minimum due to their low carrying capacity and high steps.
AUG 1 VR The additional shed was
completed at Elwood Depot, designated No. 2 shed. It consisted of three roads,
all of which had 'escape tracks' extending out the back of the building. A
turntable was provided on the centre road at the rear of the shed for turning
trams with uneven flange and/or weather wear. This new shed was used primarily
for operations, No. 1 shed being mainly devoted to maintenance work.
JULY 6 PMTT Following failed ttempts to
obtain cable car extensions to their suburbs, application was made by the
Prahran and Malvern Councils for authority to construct tramways in their
district. The Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT) was constituted to build
and operate electric tramways in their area. It was later re-constituted to
include neighbouring councils as lines expanded. Construction of the tramway
commenced on October 20,
MAY 30 PMTT The Prahran & Malvern
Tramways Trust opened lines from Charles Street Prahran via High Street to Tooronga Road, and
from High Street via Glenferrie and Wattletree Roads to Burke Road. Services from Charles Street
operated to both branches. The lines were double track with centre poles from
Charles Street to Glenferrie and Wattletree Roads, and single track with a
passing loop on each line from Glenferrie Road to the terminus. Crossovers were
provided at Chapel Street,
and west of Glenferrie Road.
A six-road depot and workshop was constructed off
on the south side of Coldblo Road.
There was a single track entrance to the depot from a triangular junction at
Glenferrie Road, and it was named Malvern Depot (although it was actually in
Armadale - Glenferrie Road formed the boundary between the two suburbs).
Trams were painted chocolate and cream, with 'Municipal Tramways' lettering on
the sides. Thirteen trams were available for the opening:
1 - 13 Thirteen single-truck California combination trams built by Duncan &
Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB A class 1 – 13).
MAR 12 PMTT The Wattletree Road line was
duplicated from Glenferrie Road to Burke Road, with a crossover installed on the
east side of Glenferrie Road.
MAR 14 PMTT The High Street line was
extended west from Charles Street
to Punt Road.
It was built as double track, the points at Charles Street being removed.
MAY PMTT A second order of trams, identical to the first thirteen, entered
service between January and May:
14 - 20 Seven single-truck California
combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB A class 14 – 20).
DEC 16 PMTT A new line was opened from Wattletree Road via Glenferrie and
Dandenong Roads to the railway bridge at
Windsor. It was built as double track with crossovers at Orrong Road and south of the railway level
crossing in Glenferrie Road.
The Dandenong Road
track was open ballast construction in a central reservation. Services were
provided from the Wattletree Road
JAN PMTT New trams:
21 - 24 Four maximum-traction, bogie,
straight-sill combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB O
class 127 - 130). They were referred to by the PMTT as 'Metropolitan' cars.
MAR 31 PMTT The Dandenong Road line was
extended a short distance west from the railway bridge to Chapel Street,
providing a connection with the Windsor and Prahran cable cars. The extension
was double track and the points at the railway bridge were removed.
SEP 14 PMTT The High Street line was
extended west from Punt Road to St Kilda Road, connecting with cable cars to the
City. It was built as double track and the points at Punt Road were removed.
~~~ The Cheltenham - Beaumaris section
of the Beaumaris horse tramway was closed.
pmtt Malvern Depot was expanded:
the roads were lengthened, a car repair shop was built on the north side of
Coldblo Road, and a truck shop was erected at the western end of the depot. An
access track to both workshops was built along Coldblo Road.
pmtt New trams:
36 - 37 Two single-truck
straight-sill centre-aisle 'summer' trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB F class 46 - 47). (The
numbers 25 - 35 were reserved for trams on order, which were delivered the
of the four ex-Sydney C class trailer cars, Nos. 19, 20 and 21 were scrapped.
These cars had seen very little use since 1908.
APR 12 PMTT A double track line was
opened from Dandenong Road
via Hawthorn Road,
and Carlisle Street
to St Kilda Beach, crossing the VR Brighton line at Barkly Street and terminating in a single
track on the side of the road at the Esplanade. An interim service was provided
pending completion of a new line north along Glenferrie Road in May.
MAY 7 VR The St Kilda - Brighton line was duplicated from Elwood Depot to St Kilda
Railway Station, with a connecting track to the railway provided to facilitate
tram movements to and from the Newport Railway Workshops. A crossover was
installed at Dickens Street,
and one trailing and two facing crossovers were provided at the St Kilda Station
The entrances to Elwood Depot were rearranged to connect with the new 'up' line,
with slip points provided for access to the 'down' track. Semi-circle curves
connected the two southern roads from the rear of No. 2 shed to both roads from
the rear of No. 1 shed; however they saw very little use. A crossover was
installed behind No. 2 shed.
By December three passing loops were added on the single track section between
Elwood Depot and Brighton Beach (North Road, Normanby Street and Gould street),
to enable a more frequent service to be run in response to increasing demand.
MAY 30 PMTT New lines were opened from
Malvern Town Hall (High Street) north along Glenferrie Road to Cotham Road, Kew,
where the line branched into two. One line turned left into Cotham Road to
terminate at the Kew Post Office (High Street), the other turned right along Cotham Road to
terminate at Burke Road,
The lines were built as double track throughout, with level crossings over the
railways at Kooyong and Glenferrie. Crossovers were installed in
at Malvern Town Hall, Riversdale Road, Glenferrie Railway
Station and Cotham Road.
A triangular double track junction was provided at Cotham Road, and connecting
curves were installed at Malvern Town Hall on the north-west corner (double
track) and the south-east corner (single track), in addition to the existing
curves on the south-west corner.
Services were provided through to St Kilda Beach (via the new
Balaclava Road line) from both the Kew Post Office
and Deepdene termini.
JULY VR New trams:
19 - 27 Nine single-truck closed
crossbench ‘toastrack’ trams, the first of which entered service in May. The VR
Newport Workshops built the first tram, the remainder were built by Pengelley &
These trams were based on the Sydney J class design, and caused considerable
public criticism. As a result of the introduction of these trams, the seven
‘toastrack’ trailer cars, Nos. 8 - 14, saw very little further use, and were
stored out the back of the depot on the connecting curves between Nos. 1 & 2
AUG 27 NMETL Following improvement works
to the bridge over the Moonee Ponds Creek, the Flemington Bridge terminus of the
Essendon lines was extended a short distance further south to provide a more
convenient interchange with the cable trams. The new terminus was double track
with two crossovers.
NOV 13 PMTT Three new lines were opened,
running over part of the routes of the former Caulfield Tramway Company horse
car lines which had closed many years previously.
The first line was from Balaclava Junction (corner of Hawthorn and Balaclava
Roads) running east via Balaclava Road, Normanby Road, Railway Avenue, Derby
Road and Waverley Road to Darling Road. It was built as double track to
Finch Street (just past Caulfield Station) and single
track to the terminus with a passing loop at Tennyson Street.
The second line was from Balaclava Junction running south via Hawthorn Road and
west via Glenhuntly Road to Brighton Road, Elsternwick. It was built as single
track with passing loops at Glen Eira Road, west
of Hawthorn Road
and at Orrong Road.
The third line ran east from South Caulfield Junction (Hawthorn Road) via
Glenhuntly Road to Grange Road, built as single track with a passing loop at
The railways at Elsternwick and Glenhuntly were crossed on the level, and a
'grand union' was installed at Balaclava Junction. (A 'grand union' junction
features two tracks crossing at right angles with connecting curves on all four
corners). Services were provided from Elsternwick to both
Darling Road and
Grange Road. The Orrong Road loop was relocated after
several months to the Elsternwick railway crossing.
~~~ PMTT The railway level crossing
in Glenferrie Road at Malvern Station was replaced by grade separation.
pmtt New trams:
25 - 35 Eleven maximum-traction,
bogie, drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB C
class 25 - 35).
48 - 53 Six single-truck
straight-sill, centre-aisle 'summer' trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB G class 48 - 53).
54 - 63 Ten single-truck California combination
trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
(later MMTB H class 54 - 63).
pmtt ‘Summer’ trams 36 and 37
(later MMTB F class) were renumbered 46 and 47, allowing block grouping of
numbers for both the ‘summer’ cars (46 - 53) and maximum-traction bogie cars (25
- 45). (The numbers 36 - 45 were reserved for trams on order).
VR Due to the widespread
unpopularity of the new crossbench trams (Nos. 19 - 27, which were based on the
Sydney J class), an inquiry was held into the operation of the St Kilda -
Brighton line. This resulted in a change of management and a rehabilitation plan
that proposed a new power supply, track duplication and the construction of
'modern and commodious' trams.
NMETL The Saltwater River destination was altered to Maribyrnong River,
in keeping with the renaming of the waterway.
FEB 17 MBCTT The Brunswick & Coburg
Tramways Trust was constituted to construct and operate an electric tramway from
the North Carlton cable car terminus to Brunswick and Coburg, including
replacement of the Council operated horse tramway in Sydney Road.
MAR 25 PMTT The High Street line was
extended from Tooronga Road to Glen Iris, terminating at Malvern Road. It was
built as single track with a passing loop at Burke Road. The existing line was
duplicated from Malvern Town Hall to Tooronga Road.
JUNE 14 HTT The Hawthorn Tramways Trust
(HTT) was constituted to construct an electric tramway from Melbourne to
JUNE 20 PMTT A double track loop line was
opened on the Darling Road route near Caulfield Station, via Waverley Road from
Railway Avenue to Derby Road, to facilitate handling of racecourse traffic. A
triangular junction was provided at Derby Road, allowing Darling Road trams to
proceed direct along Waverly Road or travel via Railway Avenue. Trams from the
west terminating at Caulfield were able to proceed around the loop in either
direction without shunting. Trams could also be laid up on either track while
regular services used the other route. Normal services would operate via Railway
Avenue and Derby Street so as to provide convenient interchange with Caulfield
JUNE The remaining section of
the Beaumaris horse tramway to Sandringham was closed.
AUG 1 PMTT A crossover was installed on
the St Kilda Beach line in
Balaclava Road at Balaclava Railway Station.
OCT 26 MBCTT The Brunswick & Coburg
Tramways Trust was reconstituted as the Melbourne, Brunswick & Coburg Tramways
Trust (MBCTT). This followed authorisation being granted to extend the tramline
to the City terminus of the
Swanston Street cable cars at Queensberry Street, in lieu of connecting
with the North Carlton cable cars at Rathdowne Street.
NOV 1 The Kew horse tram was closed to permit construction of an electric
line by the PMTT.
~~~ PMTT New trams:
36 - 45 Ten maximum-traction, bogie,
drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB D
class 36 and E class 37 - 45). The PMTT fleet now comprised 63 trams, consisting
of 25 maximum-traction bogie cars and 38 single-truck trams.
JAN 18 PMTT The Hawthorn Road line was
duplicated from Balaclava Junction to
Glenhuntly Road, with a crossover installed south of Balaclava Road.
FEB 24 PMTT A double track extension was
opened from Kew Post Office to the eastern side of Victoria Bridge, via High
Street and Barkers Road (along the former horse tram route). A crossover was
installed at Kew Post Office. The service from St Kilda Beach to Kew Post Office
was extended to Victoria
Bridge, and another
service was provided from Deepdene to Victoria Bridge,
in addition to the existing Deepdene to St Kilda Beach service.
FEB 28 PMTT The Glenhuntly Road line was
duplicated from Hawthorn Road to Elsternwick Station, with crossovers installed
west of Hawthorn Road and on the east side of the Elsternwick railway crossing.
APR 8 PMTT A new line was opened along
Commercial and Malvern Roads from St Kilda Road to Burke Road, Gardiner. It was
built as double track throughout, with crossovers provided at Chapel Street, Orrong Road and on
the west side of Glenferrie Road.
Double track connecting curves were provided on both the north-west and
south-west corners of Glenferrie
MAY 8 PMTT Kew Depot opened. This
six-road depot was built on the corner of Barkers Road and High Street, Kew,
mainly to accommodate trams operating on routes from Victoria Bridge. Two access
tracks were provided, each connecting three roads, with both joining the
in-bound line in Barkers Road.
A crossover was provided in Barkers
Road for access to the out-bound track. The PMTT was
the only electric tram operator with two depots before the formation of the
MMTB. (The VR later had two depots, but they were on two physically isolated
A new line was opened from Kew Post Office via High Street to Kew Cemetery (Park
Hill Road), built as double track over the former horse tram route. Services ran
through to Victoria Bridge,
operated from the new Kew Depot.
JUNE 4 PMTT The Elsternwick line was
extended to Point Ormond via
Glenhuntly Road. Built as double track, it crossed
the VR St Kilda - Brighton line at Ormond Road. The work also included
duplicating the existing line between Elsternwick Station and Brighton Road,
with an additional crossover being provided on the west side of the railway
crossing. The terminus at Point Ormond was double track with a facing crossover,
constructed in open ballast and located in a short reservation. Services to
Point Ormond were run from Darling
Road, while most
trams continued to terminate at Elsternwick Station.
JUNE 13 VR The St Kilda - Brighton line was duplicated from Elwood Depot to Bay Street, Brighton.
JUNE 15 HTT After fully considering the
option of delegating operation of their tramway to the PMTT, the Hawthorn
Tramways Trust board decided in favour of operating their system themselves.
JULY 4 PMTT Tracks were extended from
the east side of Victoria
Bridge to the cable car
terminus on the west side to provide a more convenient connection with the Victoria Street
AUG 3 FNPTT The Fitzroy, Northcote &
Preston Tramways Trust (FNPTT) was constituted. This followed the formation in
1912 of the Northern Extension Tramway League to obtain a tram service along St
Georges Road to Preston. As the MTOCo were not interested in extending the cable
tramway, the local councils considered that building an electric tramway was a
viable option. This decision was inspired by the profits generated by the
Northcote cable tramway, the positive impact the cable tramway had on the
district, and the operational success of the PMTT.
SEP 14 VR The St Kilda - Brighton line
was duplicated from Bay Street to the Brighton Beach terminus. Crossovers were
provided at Normanby Street
and Wellington Street.
Duplication of the entire route was now complete.
NOV 26 PMTT The Kew Cemetery line was
extended along High Street to
Strathalbyn Street, Kew,
built as double track with a crossover installed at the former terminus.
DEC 5 The Coburg horse tramway was closed to permit construction of an
electric line in Sydney Road
by the MBCTT.
DEC 30 FTT The Footscray Tramways Trust
(FTT) was constituted. This followed lengthy representations by residents to the
Footscray City Council to provide tram services in their area, and the ruling
out of constructing a line from the Showgrounds operated by the NMETL as part of
their 'Essendon' system.
~~~ PMTT The centre poles in High
Street and Glenferrie Road
PMTT New trams:
64 - 83 Twenty single-truck California combination
trams built by Meadowbank Manufacturing Co., Sydney (later MMTB J class 64 -
A single-truck track cleaner tram built
by the PMTT (later MMTB No. 3A, later No. [1st] 6).
pmtt The drop-centre of
maximum-traction bogie car No. 36 was modified, in preparation for the proposed
use of conductresses during World War 1, by enclosing some doorways and altering
the seating layout. This modification later caused the MMTB to classify this car
as D class (the other unmodified trams of this type were designated E class by
the MMTB). The use of conductresses did not eventuate at this time, and women
were not employed as platform staff on trams until 1941.
VR Trailer car 14 was
~~~ The Holden Street Workshops, located near the North Fitzroy cable
car depot, was established by converting a former timber store into a new
electric tram construction facility. This was an interim measure pending
establishment of a central tramway workshop.
VR New 'railway' trams built:
38, 39, 48 - 51 Six bogie,
drop-centre combination trams built by VR Newport Workshops, bringing the total
number of bogie trams to 16. Nos. 38 and 39 entered service at Elwood, while
Nos. 48 - 51 were built to standard gauge for the
line. (The gap in numbers allowed for future broad gauge trams to be built for
the St Kilda - Brighton line).
All the remaining trailer cars at Sandringham,
Nos. 8 - 13, were scrapped. No. 14 from Elwood (the trailer that was motorised)
was also scrapped.
JUNE 16 New tram:
171 S1 class
combination tram built by the MMTB at Coburg Depot. The last of six trams
ordered by the MBCTT, this car was originally planned to be numbered 24P in the
Northern System roster, but as it entered service after the fleet consolidation
it was given number 171. Shortly afterwards, all S1 class trams were
reclassified and grouped with the S class.
AUG 1 After negotiations, the ‘Essendon’ lines and rolling stock of the
NMETL Company were purchased by the MMTB. (The electricity supply side of the
undertaking was acquired by the recently formed State Electricity Commision of
The ‘Essendon’ trams were allocated the next batch of numbers, 202 - 216 (The
highest numbered tram at that point was 189. Nos. 190 - 201 were reserved for a
second order of Q class trams under construction). Thus the oldest trams taken
over by the MMTB received the highest numbers. NMETL 1 - 10 (saloon cars) became
U class 202 - 211, and NMETL 11 - 15 (toastracks) became V class 212 - 216. The
trailer cars 51 - 60 retained their numbers in a separate roster. (To avoid
confusion with A class 1 - 15, the trams were given an E suffix [denoting
Essendon] for administrative purposes until repainted.)
~~~ A scissors crossover was installed at the Batman Avenue terminus.
139 - 150 Twelve single-truck
straight-sill combination trams built by the MMTB, some at Malvern Depot and
some at the Holden Street Workshops. Initially Nos. 139 - 141 were classified as
Q class, and Nos. 142 - 150 were classified as Q1 class; shortly afterwards they
were all grouped together as Q class. These trams were built to acquire new
trams quickly (pending design of a standard tram) to cope with expanding
traffic. The design was almost identical to PMTT 92 - 100 (later K class) and
FNPTT 1 - 8 (later R class), which were the latest single-truck trams
VR A crossover was installed on
the St Kilda - Brighton line at Vautier Street,
Elwood, and the Middle Brighton crossover at Normanby Street was relocated to Park Street.
VR The new bogie trams allowed the last of the ex-Sydney D class
trams, Nos. 15 and 17, to be scrapped.
FEB 14 The Mont Albert line was duplicated from the Deepdene railway
crossing to the passing loop at
Talbot Avenue. A crossover was installed at Balwyn Road.
FEB 25 The Williamstown Road line was duplicated from Footscray Depot to
the corner of Gamon Street
and Somerville Road.
A crossover was provided outside the depot for access to the 'up' track.
MAR 17 VR The final batch of the VR
drop-centre trams enter service:
40 - 43 Four bogie, drop-centre
combination trams built by VR Newport Workshops, entering service at Elwood
Depot. No. 43 was specially fitted to run with trucks of either broad or
standard gauge, and operated at Sandringham on
several occasions. The total number of bogie 'railway' trams was now 20, of
which 16 were at Elwood and 4 were at Sandringham.
These were to be the last new trams built by the VR for 19 years. A further four
trams, to be numbered 44 - 47, were never completed - the partially built trams
were offered to the MMTB, but, as they did not want another non-standard tram
type in their fleet, the offer was declined.
MAR 23 The Darling Road line was duplicated from Tennyson Street to the terminus.
MAR 29 The Glenhuntly Road track was duplicated from
Hawthorn Road to Laura Street, Glenhuntly.
JULY 7 The Essendon line was extended via Keilor Road to Gillies Street,
built as single track with a passing loop at the former Bulla Road terminus. The
destination was altered to 'Essendon'.
A new line was opened in Church Street, Hawthorn, from Barkers Road to Hawthorn Bridge. It was built as double track, and
linked the Kew lines with the Hawthorn line.
Services were provided by diverting Strathalbyn Street (Kew)
trams via the new line to the Richmond
cable car terminus at Hawthorn
Bridge. Mont Albert and St
Kilda Beach trams continued operating to Victoria Bridge.
AUG 23 Glenhuntly Depot was opened. Located in Glenhuntly Road a short distance east from
South Caulfield Junction, the depot was built with nine roads, six of which were
under cover. A single track provided access to Glenhuntly Road, and a crossover was
installed outside the depot. Intended to relieve congestion at Malvern Depot,
provision was made for expansion to a large regional depot to cater for the
possibility of new lines and increasing traffic in the area. Operation of the
Point Ormond to Darling Road
and Elsternwick to Grange Road
routes was transferred to Glenhuntly Depot from Malvern Depot.
AUG 27 A single track siding was constructed in Napier Street, Essendon, for football and
SEP 15 As a result of a serious accident in Mount Alexander Road near
Victoria Street, Flemington, in which V class tram 214 towing a trailer crashed
into the rear of another tram, all of the ex-NMETL trailer cars, Nos. 51 - 60,
were withdrawn from service and stored. Trailer 58, which was involved in the
collision, was scrapped.
Following withdrawal of the trailers, M class trams 183 - 189 were transferred
from Footscray Depot to the Essendon lines, being replaced by 14 A class trams
from Malvern Depot, which in turn were replaced by new Q class trams. This
transfer was completed by February 1924.
NOV 5 The Zoo horse tram depot and all rolling stock were destroyed by
fire during a police strike. The line was subsequently abandoned. This was the
last horse tramway to operate in
DEC 12 The first MMTB designed standard tram entered service, followed by
the second tram three days later:
219, 220 Two bogie, drop-centre
combination trams built by the MMTB at Holden Street Workshops. Classified W,
these equal wheel four-motor trams were the forerunners of an eventual fleet of
410 W2/SW2 class trams that were the backbone of the system for many years.
The need for a standard tram design had been obvious to the MMTB from the
outset. Cable car conversions and construction of new tram lines, together with
eventual replacement of obsolete and/or non-standard trams inherited from the
Trusts and NMETL, would require a large number of new vehicles. Maintenance,
training and operational requirements all dictated that these new trams should
be of a standard design. The basic W class concept proved very succesful - the
last W2 class tram was withdrawn from routine service in 1992, however some of
the derivative classes (SW5, SW6, W6 & W7) were still in regular traffic at the
time of writing.
~~~ Other new trams:
190 - 201 Twelve Q1 class
single-truck straight-sill combination trams built by the MMTB. This was the
second batch of Q1 class trams, and were shortly afterwards reclassified as Q
A workshop locomotive built by the MMTB
for towing incomplete trams to and from various depots pending establishment of
a central workshop. (It was later numbered 18).
The solitary D class tram, No. 36, was re-converted to the standard E class
G class trams Nos. 50 - 53 were converted from summer trams to combination trams
by closing in the centre door and creating a saloon with longitudinal seating.
(Nos. 48 and 49 had been converted previously).
JAN 12 The Puckle Street line from Moonee Ponds Junction to the railway
station was closed. Under NMETL ownership the line saw service only on race
days, providing a connection between the station and the racecourse. The line
saw little use since being acquired by the MMTB, their preference being to
convey race patrons to and from the City direct on their own service, rather
than deliver the business to the railways.
FEB 11 The last new cable car track was constructed in Lonsdale Street between Swanston Street and
Cable car services were diverted via the new track to enable the cable line in Swanston Street north
to Queensberry Street
to be converted to electric operation. The new cable line was built to electric
tram standards, but was never used as such. (After closure of the cable car
system, this track remained in situ until January 1962).
APR 13 North Coburg and Coburg Cemetery electric trams were brought into
the City by converting the cable line in Swanston Street from Queensberry Street
to a new terminus at Lonsdale Street. The line was double track, and centre
poles were used between Franklin and Lonsdale Streets. The new city terminus was a
single track asymmetric shunt with a second crossover. Another crossover was
installed just north of Victoria Street, and the points at the former
Queensberry Street terminus were removed. As an interim measure, trams had been
operating to the new Victoria Street crossover from February.
JUNE 10 Two new trams entered traffic at Hawthorn Depot, operating the
shuttle service from Power Street to Bridge Road:
217, 218 X class single-truck saloon
Birney safety trams imported from the U.S.A., built by J.G. Brill & Co.
(No. 217) and St Louis Car Co. (No. 218). Initially equipped with double trolley
poles, a bow collector was fitted to each tram in September, being replaced by a
single trolley pole in 1927.
The Birney car was designed as a lightweight, driver-only operated vehicle for
economic operation of routes with light loading. They were designated 'safety
cars' as they could not have their doors open while the tram was in motion, and
they were fitted with 'deadman' safety equipment which would bring the tram to a
halt if the driver let go of the controls.
217 ran a demonstration trip for the press on June 5 and entered service on June
10, with 218 entering service probably the next day. Use of the Birney trams on
the Hawthorn shuttle was the first instance of driver-only electric tram
operation on the Melbourne system (with the exception of the
closed Box Hill - Doncaster pioneer line).
Over 5,000 of these trams were built for use in the
USA. Six other Birney trams were imported into Australia, four for the Adelaide tramways, and two
for the Geelong
tramways, all of which eventually ended up in service in Geelong and later Bendigo.
JUNE Essendon Depot was expanded. A second six-road shed (present-day
roads 7-12), plus one open road, were added to the south (or City) side of the
original shed. Trackwork was altered extensively, the direction of the depot fan
being reversed so the tracks ran out towards the City. The original northern
single track facing entrance from the 'up' track was retained, together with the
crossover. A second northern entrance was provided nearby with a trailing
connection to the 'down' track, and a third entrance was installed at the
southern end of the depot in the opposite direction, with a trailing connection
to the 'up' track.
JULY 8 The first section of the new Chapel Street line was opened, from Swan
and Church Streets, Richmond
to Toorak Road, South
Yarra. This line crossed the new
over the Yarra River, to which the Tramways Board
contributed part of the cost, and was built as double track. Services were
provided from Toorak Road
to the City terminus at Princes
Bridge, operated from
Hawthorn Depot. A connecting track was provided at the Toorak Road terminus to allow Prahran and
Toorak cable cars access to their depot, which was located at the corner.
AUG 29 The Essendon line was duplicated in Pascoe Vale Road, from Moonee Ponds
Junction to Buckley Street.
Two crossovers were installed, one at Moonee Ponds Junction, the other further
north at Thomas Street
to facilitate racecourse traffic.
OCT 20 The second stage of the
Chapel Street line was opened, from Swan and Church
to Victoria Street, North
Richmond. Built as double track, a
service was provided from Toorak
Victoria Street, in addition to the existing Toorak Road - Princes Bridge service, both operated from
Hawthorn Depot. The destination 'Victoria
St' was later altered to 'North
Richmond'. Double track connecting curves were provided at Swan and
Church Streets on both the south-west and north-west corners. The Victoria Street
terminus was double track with a crossover.
OCT 10 Construction of a tramway workshop commenced on a large 17 acre
site at Preston, bounded by St Georges Road, Miller Street, Oakover Road and the
Whittlesea railway line, opposite Preston Depot. At this point, various tram
maintenance and construction works were being carried out at a number of cable
and electric tram depots and the temporary Holden Street Workshop. With the
expansion of the electric tramways the need for a central workshop had become
DEC 15 The Maribyrnong River line was duplicated in Maribyrnong Road, Ascot Vale, from Bowen Street to Hotham Street, in
effect being an extension of the
Bowen Street passing loop. The double track terminus
was replaced by single track around this time, the double track being required
only for shunting trailers, the use of which had been discontinued.
DEC Coburg Depot was expanded. An additional five-road shed was
constructed on the east side of the existing shed, making a total of 10 roads.
~~~ New trams:
221 - 236, 239, 249 - 260, 265,
279 - 308 60 W class trams built by
the MMTB at Holden Street Workshops (221 - 236, 239), James Moore, Melbourne (249 - 260,
265), and Holdens Body Builders,
(279 - 308). (The gaps in numbering are due to varying delivery dates of
simultaneous orders placed with different contractors). The W class commenced
service at Essendon Depot, due to the requirement for extra capacity following
withdrawal of the trailer cars. Shortly afterwards as their numbers grew the W
class were also allocated to other depots.
F class 46 & 47 were converted from 'summer' trams to combination trams by
closing in the centre door and creating a saloon with longitudinal seating
(similar to the G class).
Between 1924 and 1926 the C, E, N and P class maximum-traction bogie trams were
modified by cutting an aisle through the crossbench seats in the drop-centre.
JAN 11 An extension from
Strathalbyn Street, Kew,
via High Street to Burke Road, East
Kew was opened. It was built as double track to
and single track from that point to the terminus. Services continued to operate
from Hawthorn Bridge, and trams displayed the
destination sign 'High St
- East Kew'.
FEB 1 Double track connecting curves were installed on the south-west
corner of Riversdale and Glenferrie Roads, Hawthorn.
FEB 7 The Russell Street route was duplicated from Droop Street to Summerhill Road, West Footscray.
FEB 20 The Burwood route was duplicated from Bowen Street to Smith Road,
Hartwell. A passing loop was installed at the corner of Toorak and Camberwell
Roads pending duplication of the remainder of the line.
MAR 1 The Brighton Cemetery line was opened from Glenhuntly Road via Hawthorn Road to North Road, South Caulfield, being double
track as far as Saturn Street,
and single track the short distance to the terminus. Services were provided to Windsor via Dandenong Road,
operated from Glenhuntly Depot, although it was originally proposed to run the
service to Elsternwick via
Glenhuntly Road. A crossover was installed in
Hawthorn Road north of Glenhuntly Road.
Trackwork provided at South Caulfield Junction included double track connecting
curves on the north-west corner for the Darling Road - Point Ormond service, and
a single-track connecting curve on the south-west corner, from the ‘down’
Glenhuntly Road track to the ‘down’ Hawthorn Road track, to facilitate traffic
from Glenhuntly Depot to Brighton Cemetery.
This track arrangement meant that trams returning to Glenhuntly Depot from
Brighton Cemetery had to perform a tedious double shunt, first on the north side
of the junction in Hawthorn Road, then around the corner on the west side of the
junction in Glenhuntly Road.
MAR 24 A connecting line was opened from Lygon Street via Brunswick Road, Holden Street, Pilkington Street and Barkly Street to St Georges Road. It was built as double
track from Lygon Street
to Nicholson Street,
and single track from Nicholson
Street to St Georges Road. Services from East and
West Preston were altered to reach the City by running via Lygon Street and
Swanston Street to the Lonsdale Street terminus.
MARCH The Northcote cable line was connected to the
Clifton Hill - City line and a through cable car service operated from the City
APRIL The Showgrounds level crossing on the Maribyrnong River
line was replaced by grade separation. The crossover on the south side of the
railway was removed and replaced by a second crossover on the north side.
JUNE The paint shop and body shop were both completed at the new Preston
Workshops. The body shop had fourteen roads, and the paint shop had eight roads,
and they were connected by a traverser. On the western side of the paint shop,
four tracks fanned out to the access line along the western boundary. This track
was connected to the St Georges Road line by a single track junction. The access
track continued along the western and northern boundaries to provide a test
JULY 17 The Holden Street line was duplicated from Nicholson Street to Rae Street.
JULY 19 The West Brunswick line was opened, commencing from a City terminus
in William Street at Collins Street, and running via William Street, Peel
Street, Flemington Road, a private right of way on open ballast track through
Royal Park, Grantham Street and Dawson Street to Daly Street, West Brunswick. It
was built as double track throughout, with centre poles in William Street and Peel Street. The Peel Street track between Victoria Street and
the Haymarket was laid in open ballast in a central reservation. Crossovers were
provided at Lonsdale Street,
Haymarket, Abbotsford Street
(two), and Royal Park Station. The City terminus was a single track asymmetric
shunt with a second crossover, similar to the Swanston Street terminus at Lonsdale Street.
The North Melbourne cable car was cut back to Abbotsford Street, and the line via Flemington Road to Flemington Bridge was replaced by electric trams.
This allowed the Essendon and
River services to reach
the City via the new line to
William Street, and also provided access from the West Brunswick line to Essendon Depot which operated the
service. The points at the former
Bridge terminus were
removed, and a new crossover was installed in Mount Alexander Road at Victoria Street to
reduce dead mileage for trams running to and from Maribyrnong River
and Essendon Depot.
JULY 31 The 'Burke Road'
destination (for the Wattletree
Road line terminus) was altered to 'East Malvern'. (Not
to be confused with the latter day 'East Malvern
- Darling Road').
AUG 29 The Windsor - St Kilda cable line was closed, this being the first
step in the conversion of the St
Kilda Road and Swanston Street lines to electric
OCT 10 The West Brunswick line was extended from Daly Street via Melville Road to Albion Street, built as double track as
far as Hunter Street
and single track from there to the terminus.
OCT 24 A crossover was installed on the Maribyrnong River
line at the corner of Racecourse and Epsom Roads, which provided extra
flexibility in the vicinity of the Show Grounds and Flemington Racecourse for
OCT 31 The St Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne line was opened, built
entirely as double track. It commenced from a City terminus at City Road and St Kilda Road, and
squiggled along Sturt Street,
reserved track next to Albert Road,
Canterbury Road, Mills Street, Danks Street, Patterson Street, Park Street, Mary Street and
Beaconsfield Parade to terminate at
Fitzroy Street, St Kilda.
The City Road and St Kilda termini were both
double track with a crossover, in readiness for connection to the Swanston Street and
Esplanade lines respectively upon electrification. Two sidings were provided;
one was a 'third road' siding in the
Albert Road reserved track outside the South
Melbourne Football Ground, and the other was a double track siding with an
asymmetric terminus in Mills Street
at Albert Park Beach.
The service was operated from the new Hanna Street Depot (renamed South
Melbourne Depot in 1960) which was opened on the same day. This depot was
located in Hanna Street (later Kingsway) between Dorcas Street and Bank Street, and had
a nine-road shed with two yard tracks. A single track entrance connected to
double tracks in Hanna Street,
which in turn connected to the tracks in Sturt Street. Provision was made for an
18-road shed with two double track entrances, but this never came to fruition
and the area to be occupied by the second shed was later used as a per-way yard.
The St Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne line was originally proposed before the
formation of the MMTB, and serious consideration was given by local councils to
construct and operate the line. When the MMTB built the line it was envisaged it
could be used temporarily to bring the St Kilda trams into the City (and
possibly other south-eastern suburbs trams via
Balaclava Road) before it was decided that conversion
St Kilda Road
cable routes should be a priority.
DEC 26 The Brighton Road to Swanston Street cable line was closed for
conversion to electric traction. Toorak and Prahran cable cars continued to
operate until Jan 12, 1926 to a temporary terminus at Princes Bridge.
DEC 27 The St Kilda Beach -
line was opened, on the route of the former cable tramway. The line ran from Barkly Street, St
Kilda, via Acland Street,
Esplanade, Fitzroy Street
and Wellington Street,
joining the existing electric line in
Dandenong Road at
Windsor. It was built as double track throughout, with
double track connections provided to the existing (ex-PMTT) line at
Carlisle Street, and to the new St Kilda Beach Via
South Melbourne line at Beaconsfield Parade. A crossover was installed on each
side of St Kilda Junction, and a crossover was also provided at the former Windsor terminus in Dandenong Road at Chapel Street. The
VR Brighton line was crossed at St Kilda Station. Services from Wattletree Road
Corner and Brighton
Cemetery that had
previously terminated at Windsor
were extended through to St Kilda Beach.
New double track was also constructed from Hanna Street Depot via
Hanna Street and Park Street to Domain Road, the track in Hanna Street being
open ballast in a central reservation. Temporary double track was laid alongside
the cable line in St Kilda Road
between Domain Road and St Kilda Junction. This
allowed a tram service operated by Hanna Street Depot to run from St Kilda Beach
via St Kilda Road, Hanna Street and Sturt Street to City Road, pending
conversion of the cable tram track. The MMTB had wanted to lay permanent
reserved tracks in St Kilda Road next to the median strip alongside the cable
lines, but the Melbourne City Council vetoed the proposal.
~~~ New trams:
237, 238, 240 - 248, 261 - 264,
266 - 276, 278, 309 - 329, 336, 339 - 342, 346, 348 - 350, 369 - 386, 388 - 392
80 W class trams built by the MMTB at
Holden Street Workshops (237, 238, 240 - 248), MMTB at Holden Street and Preston
Workshops (339 - 342, 346, 348 - 350), James Moore, Melbourne (261 - 264, 266 -
276, 278, 369 - 386, 388 - 392), and Holdens Body Builders, Adelaide (309 - 329,
W1 class bogie drop-centre combination
tram built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. This was the first of thirty such
trams, and featured an open drop-centre section with longitudinal seats which
were later modified so they could face outwards in fine weather, or inwards
(with blinds drawn) in inclement weather. It was otherwise similar to the W
class. 364 was renumbered 422 in 1927 to fit in numerically with later W1 class
trams, and No. 422 was completed as a standard W class tram and renumbered 364.
The body of A class 17 was dismantled, and the truck, controllers and other
equipment were placed in Hawthorn Depot for use in driver instruction.
Five of the stored ex-NMETL trailer cars were converted to ballast trailers for
use during construction of the reserved track in Royal Park on the West
Brunswick line. One ex-NMETL trailer was sold to the Melbourne Electric Supply
Co. and converted to a Scrubber Car at Geelong (utilising electrical equipment
from scrapped Geelong No. 11). Unofficially numbered 13, it ran on the Geelong
tramways until the system closed in 1956. The six trailers concerned were from
the group 51, 52, 56, 57, 59, 60, but which particular car was sold to Geelong
and which were converted to ballast trailers is not known.
All V class 'toastrack' trams (Nos. 212 - 216) were withdrawn from service and
used as per-way locomotives for towing ballast trailers.
VR The two-road No. 1
(southern) shed at Elwood Depot was converted to a workshop, after plans to
build a separate workshop on the site were dropped.
JAN 12 The Prahran and Toorak cable trams were truncated to Domain Road
due to the ongoing conversion work in St Kilda Road.
JAN 24 The Swanston Street track was opened from Lonsdale Street to City
Road, replacing the cable car line. It was built as double track with a
crossover at Flinders Street, and the two crossovers at the former Lonsdale
Street terminus were retained.
Services terminating at each end of Swanston Street were now able to be brought
right into the City. East and West Preston trams were through-routed to St Kilda Beach
Via South Melbourne, operated jointly by Hanna Street Depot and Preston Depot.
North Coburg trams were through-routed to St Kilda Beach via St Kilda Road, while Coburg Cemetery
trams terminated in the City. Both these routes were jointly operated by Hanna
Street Depot and Coburg Depot.
MAR 28 The St Kilda Road track between City Road and Domain Road was opened, replacing the
cable line. It was built as double track with two crossovers south of City Road. St Kilda
Beach trams now ran direct via the full length of St Kilda Road, the diversion via Hanna Street and Sturt Street no
longer being necessary. The track from Hanna Street Depot to Domain Road was now used only for depot
MAY 9 Permanent double tracks were completed in St Kilda Road
between Domain Road
and St Kilda Junction, replacing the temporary tracks. A crossover was installed
on the south side of Domain Road.
One week later, on May 16, the Camberwell (via Gardiner), Glen Iris and
(both via High Street) routes were extended from their St Kilda Road termini to the City via Swanston Street.
MAY 31 A siding in Swanston Street from Franklin Street turning into
Victoria Street was opened, allowing services terminating in the City to shunt
clear of through trams on the Preston and Coburg routes. The siding was double
track with a crossover north of Franklin Street.
JULY 5 The Wattle Park line was duplicated from Camberwell Junction to Wattle Valley Road.
A crossover was installed east of Camberwell Junction.
JULY 10 The East Preston line was duplicated from Bell Street to Gower Street.
AUG 28 The Prahran cable line in Chapel Street was closed from Toorak Road
in preparation for conversion to electric traction.
AUG 29 The Elsternwick - St Kilda Junction line was opened, replacing the
Brighton Road cable line together with an extension to Glenhuntly Road, and was
built as double track. A crossover was installed at Milton Street (destination
‘Ripponlea’), and a double track connection turning east was provided to the
Glenhuntly Road line. Two sets of double track connecting curves were installed
at Carlisle Street,
on the north-east and south-west corners. The St Kilda Junction trackwork
consisted of an ‘H’ crossing plus double track connecting curves on both
northern corners. Services were provided from Elsternwick Station, on the
existing Glenhuntly Road track, to the City via St Kilda Road and Swanston
Street, operated from Glenhuntly Depot with some trips provided by Hanna Street
SEPT 1 VR An extension of the Sandringham tramway from Black Rock to Beaumaris was
opened. It was built entirely as single track with two passing loops, plus a
passing loop at the terminus. Like the existing Black Rock section, the new
extension wound its way on an inland route via Balcombe Road, Ebden Avenue, Fourth Street, Haydens Road, Pacific Boulevard, Reserve Road and Martin Street to reach the terminus at
Construction of the Beaumaris extension had been proposed even before the Black
Rock section was opened, and Parliamentary approval was given as it was expected
much development of the area would follow. The line ran through a very sparsely
populated area, and because of this it was referred to by locals as the 'bush
OCT 1 The Toorak cable line was closed in preparation for conversion to
OCT 18 The remaining portion of the line from Holden Street to Barkly Street, North Fitzroy was
duplicated. A crossover was installed in Barkly Street at St Georges Road.
OCT 31 The Chapel Street line was extended south from Toorak Road to Windsor Railway Station,
built as double track along the former cable route. Crossovers were installed on
the north side of both High Street and Toorak Road. The connection to the cable
car depot at Toorak Road
was removed, it no longer being required following closure of the Prahran and
Toorak cable routes.
NOV 29 Part-time driver-only operation was introduced on the Point Ormond
line at slack times. When the service was driver-only operated it ran as a
shuttle to Elsternwick Station; at other times two-person trams continued to
operate through to Darling Road.
The Point Ormond driver-only service was operated using some new X1 class trams,
three of which were allocated to Glenhuntly Depot:
461 - 466 Six X1
class single-truck saloon 'safety' trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
These trams were a local adaptation of the ‘Birney’ design, retaining the
'deadman' safety equipment but featuring two doors per side. Although often
stated as being the first trams painted in the new green and cream livery,
research suggests that most of the class (i.e. those built before November 1927)
probably entered service in the chocolate and cream colour scheme.
DEC 1 The Glenhuntly Road line was duplicated from Laura Street to the west side of the
Glenhuntly railway crossing.
DEC 19 The Chapel Street line was extended south from Windsor Station to
Brighton Road. It was built as double track, with crossovers on the south side
of Dandenong Road,
on the north side of Carlisle
Street and at Brighton Road. The points at Windsor
Station were removed. Double track connecting curves were provided at Carlisle Street on
the north-west corner and at the
Brighton Road terminus.
Trams showed the destination 'Prahran' (somewhat misleading as that suburb was a
few miles further north). Services to Prahran were provided from both Princes Bridge and North
Richmond. Operation of the Princes Bridge
route was transferred from Hawthorn Depot to Glenhuntly Depot, while Hawthorn
Depot continued to operate the North Richmond
The Glenhuntly Road
line was extended from Grange Road to Murrumbeena, via Glenhuntly
and Truganini Roads, terminating at Koornang Road. It was built as single
track with passing loops on the east side of the Glenhuntly railway crossing and
at Yendon Road.
Services were provided to Elsternwick operated from Glenhuntly Depot.
~~~ The engineering shop, equipment store and foundry were completed at
Preston Workshops. The temporary Holden Street Workshops were closed, and all
equipment was transferred to the new Preston Workshops. The engineering shop had
14 roads, connected to the body shop by a traverser. A separate track, south of
the body and paint shops, was provided to the equipment store for future use by
a freight car to distribute various materials to depots.
277, 330 - 335, 337, 338, 343 - 345, 347, 351 - 363, 365 - 368, 393 - 410, 412 49 W class trams built by the MMTB at Holden
Street and Preston Workshops (343 - 345, 347, 351 - 363, 365 - 368), MMTB at
Preston Workshops (399 - 410, 412), James Moore, Melbourne (277, 387, 393 - 398)
and Holdens Body Builders, Adelaide (330 - 335, 337, 338).
419, 426, 429 Three W1 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
A class 7 was converted to a Scraper Car, retaining the same number. What
'Scraper Car' means is uncertain, as details of the conversion are unavailable.
General consensus amongst gunzels is that the tram was used to clean rail
JAN All four O class trams, Nos. 127 - 130, were sold to the Municipal
Tramways Trust, Adelaide, becoming their D class Nos. 191 - 194. The O class
were almost identical to the MTT’s fleet of 50 D class trams (Nos. 121 - 170).
They ran in Adelaide
until closure of the street system in 1958.
FEB 2 A single track connecting line was built between Haymarket and the
terminus of the Swanston Street
lines, connecting the isolated Essendon Depot routes to the main system. Track
was laid in the western carriageway of Elizabeth Street, as cable lines occupied
the centre road. No services were provided over the connection, the track being
used solely for rolling stock transfer. This connection was intended as an
interim measure pending conversion of the Elizabeth Street cable line, and left the
Footscray routes as the only isolated tracks on the MMTB system.
APR 17 The Toorak line was opened from St Kilda Road via Domain Road, Park
Street and Toorak Road to Orrong Road. The line replaced the cable tram route,
with an extension from the former cable terminus at Irving Street to Orrong Road. Built as double track,
crossovers were installed in Domain
St Kilda Road, in Toorak Road east of Chapel Street and at the Orrong Road
terminus. Services were provided to the City via Swanston Street utilising the existing St Kilda Road
track, and operated by Hanna Street Depot. The destination used was ‘Orrong Rd -
Toorak’, which was later altered to ‘Toorak - Orrong Rd’.
The Elsternwick - City via Swanston Street service was through-routed
to East Coburg, operated jointly by Coburg
Depot, Hanna Street Depot and Glenhuntly Depot. About this time the ‘Coburg Cem’
destination was renamed ‘East Coburg’.
APRIL Rolling stock classification had been
simplified: Single-truck drop-end combination trams of the A, B, H, J, M and S
classes were grouped together as A class, single-truck straight-sill trams of
the F, G, K, Q and R classes were grouped together as G class, and
maximum-traction bogie trams of the C, D, E, N and P classes were grouped
together as C class. (As an aid to identifying tram types, and in
accordance with common gunzel practice, this work will continue to distinguish
the trams by their original class).
MAY 2 The East Coburg line was duplicated from Moreland Road to Crozier Street, with a crossover provided
outside Coburg Depot. This enabled trams running out of the depot to gain access
to the 'up' (or City-bound) track, as the depot track was only connected to the
MAY 8 The Toorak line was extended from Orrong Road via Toorak Road to Glenferrie Road. It was built as double
track with a crossover at the terminus and double track connecting curves
turning south onto the Glenferrie
MAY 12 After only a few months operation of the Glenhuntly Road extension, the
‘Murrumbeena’ destination was renamed ‘Carnegie’.
MAY 15 The West Brunswick line was extended from Albion Street via Melville Road to Moreland Road, built as double track with
a crossover at the terminus. (The existing section of track between Hunter Street and Albion Street was
The city end of the Richmond cable line in Flinders Street was truncated to
Swanston Street, and the section from that point to Spencer Street was closed in
preparation for conversion to electric traction.
JUNE 26 The West Brunswick line was extended from Moreland Road via Melville Road to West
Coburg, terminating at
Bell Street. It was built as double track to Reynard Street, and
single track with a passing loop to the terminus.
JUNE 28 The West Preston line was duplicated along Miller Street from St Georges Road to Gilbert Road. A facing crossover was
installed in St Georges Road
for East Preston trams to access the single
track over the 'Hump' bridge.
JUNE 29 The Richmond cable line was closed entirely, pending conversion to
JUNE New tram:
Y class tram built by the MMTB at Preston
Workshops. A bogie, front and centre door saloon tram, the design saw wide use
overseas (known as ‘Peter Witt’ cars), but this was the first of its type in
Australia. Intended as a tourist tram, it
commenced service as such on September 16 on a route covering the eastern and
southern suburbs. It operated from Hawthorn Depot, with an X1 class tram being
used as a spare. The tourist tram service lasted only a few years, being
discontinued as a result of the economic depression. In addition to its tourist
tram role, 469 had always been available for normal passenger duties, and,
following the demise of the tourist service, operated from Hawthorn Depot and
later Camberwell Depot mainly on the Batman Avenue
JULY 14 The first stage of the
cable line conversion was opened, from Swanston Street via Flinders Street and Spencer Street to Lonsdale Street, including a short
extension from the former cable car terminus at Bourke Street. It was built as double
track with crossovers west of
Swanston Street, south of Bourke Street and south of Lonsdale Street. A
single track connecting curve was installed at Swanston Street on the south-west corner,
providing access to and from Hanna Street Depot. This enabled an interim shuttle
service to be operated pending conversion of the remainder of the Richmond cable line.
JULY 25 The Mont Albert line was duplicated from Wharton Street to the terminus.
AUG 7 The short remaining single track section of the
West Coburg line, from
Hunter Street to Albion Street in West
Brunswick, was duplicated.
AUG 22 The West Preston line was duplicated in Gilbert Road from Miller Street to Bell Street.
SEP 9 A crossover was installed at Kew Depot in High Street, north of Barkers Road.
SEP 17 The next stage of the
cable line conversion was opened, from Swanston Street via Flinders Street and Wellington Parade to Simpson Street, East Melbourne. It was built as double track with
a crossover east of Swanston Street
and at Simpson Street. At this stage trams only
ran for football and racecourse traffic, operated from Hanna Street Depot. (A
temporary bus service was still operating over the Richmond cable line while the remainder of the
conversion work was still in progress).
OCT 13 The railway crossing in
Nicholson Street, Footscray, on the Williamstown Road route, was replaced by
OCT 14 On the High Street East Kew line, the ‘Strathalbyn St’ destination was altered to
OCT 20 The Glen Iris line was duplicated from Tooronga Road to the terminus, with a
crossover being provided at
The Burwood line was duplicated from Smith Road to
Through Road, a crossover being provided at Smith Road (destination 'Hartwell').
OCT 28 The entrance to Glenhuntly Depot was duplicated.
NOV 3 The East Preston line was duplicated from the east side of the
‘hump’ bridge to the existing double track at Bell Street. A passing loop was installed
on the west side of the ‘Hump’ bridge, and a crossover was installed at Bell Street.
NOV W2 453 was the last new tram routinely painted chocolate and cream.
From this point on, a new green and cream livery became standard.
DEC 4 The final stage of the
cable line conversion was opened, from Simpson Street via Bridge Road to Hawthorn Bridge.
The line was built as double track with a crossover on the west side of Hawthorn Bridge. The High Street East Kew service
was extended via the new line into the City via Flinders Street and Spencer Street to the Lonsdale Street terminus, operated from
Kew Depot. The Power Street
to Bridge Road
shuttle service was discontinued and replaced by a through service from Hawthorn
to Spencer Street,
operated from Hawthorn Depot.
The two Birney trams (X class 217 & 218) which had operated the Hawthorn shuttle
service were transferred to Hanna Street Depot.
DEC 23 The Wattle Park line was duplicated from Wattle Valley Road to Middlesex Road, a crossover being provided
at Wattle Valley Road
DEC 24 The East Preston line was duplicated from Gower Street to Wood Street.
DEC 26 A summer service commenced operation by extending the North
Richmond - Prahran route to Point Ormond, using newly installed curves at the
corner of Glenhuntly and Brighton Roads, Elsternwick, which formed a triangular
junction. Intended to cater for projected beach traffic to Point Ormond, this
service operated on Sundays and public holidays only until April 8, 1928.
Also about this time, a Sunday summer service was provided by extending the St
Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne route from its terminus at
Fitzroy Street via the Esplanade to Luna Park.
It too was discontinued on
April 8, 1928.
~~~ Preston Workshops was completed with the opening of the truck shop,
machine shop, blacksmith shop and an administration block. A branch from the
access track to the store reached around the eastern boundary to the foundry and
blacksmith shop. Various other storage and shunting tracks were added to the
yard in ensuing years.
The proposed conversion of the Collins Street cable line to electric
traction was postponed due to a lack of finance, as the work would have involved
four routes. A plan for quick conversion of the Victoria Street cable line was devised
which envisaged running Mont Albert trams via that line and into the City via Bourke Street. This
would have required diverting the Clifton Hill cable line at Gertrude and
Brunswick Streets corner and running it into the City via Collins Street, and truncating the Nicholson Street
cable line at Victoria Parade. Nothing eventuated of this proposal.
411, 413 - 418, 422 Eight W class
trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. 422 was renumbered 364, and the
original 364 (W1 class) was renumbered 422.
420, 421, 423 - 425, 427, 428,
430 - 438 16 W1 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
439 - 458 20 W2 class bogie
drop-centre combination trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. These
trams featured a revised drop-centre section with one narrow and two wide
doorways, and back to back seating. They were an improvement on the W design,
which was found to have circulation and loading problems caused by the equal
width doorways and seating layout, which encouraged standing passengers to block
the doorways by leaning against the bulkheads and seat backs.
467, 468 Two X1 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
A class No. 8 was converted to a Scrubber Car (later re-numbered 3).
Un-numbered works trams were re-numbered in a separate roster with an 'A' suffix
after the number. Trams affected were:
- Ex MBCTT Flusher car (later No. 5)
3A - Ex PMTT Track Cleaner (later No. 6)
8A - Workshops Loco (later No. 18)
Per-way Locomotives 214 and 216 (former V class passenger trams) were converted
to Freight Car 2A and Ballast Motor 4A respectively (later re-numbered 17 & 11).
The Freight Car was used for transporting materials between the Preston
Workshops and the various depots (except Footscray).
MAR 28 The West Preston line was duplicated from Bell Street to Jacka Street, with a crossover provided at
APR 8 The summer service on Sundays and public holidays from North Richmond to Point Ormond and St Kilda Beach Via
South Melbourne to Luna
Park was discontinued.
APR 13 Kew Depot was enlarged: an additional six-road shed was constructed
on the north side of the existing shed. An outside road was also provided, which
was connected to the 'down' track in High Street as a second depot exit.
MAY 25 The Maribyrnong River line was duplicated from Union Road to Hotham Street, Ascot Vale (at the
commencement of the long passing loop). The corner of Maribyrnong and Union
Roads remained single track due to inadequate clearance with a corner building.
JUNE 11 The crossover in City Road at St Kilda Road was relocated around the corner into Sturt Street.
JUNE 24 A connecting line was opened in Wattletree Road from Dandenong Road to Glenferrie Road, built as double track
with the existing curves at
Glenferrie Road retained. East Malvern trams were
diverted to operate via the new line in lieu of High Street, which provided a
City service in Dandenong Road.
The Wattletree Road
Corner - St Kilda Beach via
Dandenong Road service was discontinued, while the Brighton Cemetery - St Kilda Beach via Dandenong Road
service continued to operate as before.
JUNE 30 On the Footscray system, the Ballarat Road line was duplicated for
nearly its entire length from
Barkly Street to May Street. This was a prerequisite
for increased headways due to driver-only operation of the route, which
commenced the following day. The service frequency was almost doubled, and the
through-routing altered so that
Williamstown Road trams ran to Russell Street, and Ballarat Road trams terminated at
Footscray Railway Station.
Six of the new X1 class 'safety’ trams, Nos. 461 - 466, were sent to Footscray
Depot for use on the route, replacing A class trams 2, 4, 18 & 20 which were
subsequently scrapped. (Prior to this X1 class trams were allocated to
Glenhuntly Depot for use on the Point Ormond line and various other
cross-suburban routes, and to Hawthorn Depot for use on the since discontinued
Power Street - Bridge Road shuttle and as relief tourist trams for Y class 469).
JULY 1 The Wattle Park line was extended from Boundary (later Warrigal)
Road via Riversdale Road
to Elgar Road.
It was built as single track with a passing loop about halfway along, plus a
passing loop at the former Boundary
JULY 3 A passing loop was installed at Edna Grove near the East Coburg terminus.
JULY 19 The two crossovers in
Swanston Street north of Lonsdale Street (a remnant of the former
terminus) were replaced by a single crossover in Swanston Street south of La Trobe Street.
Trams continued to show ‘Lonsdale
St’ destination signs, a practice that continued into
the late 1990's on some trams.
JULY 28 A double track siding was installed in Wellington Parade at Simpson Street, East Melbourne, to cater for sporting traffic.
AUG 8 The crossover in Swanston Street north of Victoria Street was
relocated a short distance to the south side of Queensberry Street.
AUG W class tram 284 was converted to the W2 design. The W2 class
drop-centre layout was considered a success, and a decision was made to convert
every W class tram to the improved W2 design, all being converted by 1933.
NOV 30 The Essendon line was duplicated in Fletcher Street from Pascoe Vale Road to the Essendon Railway
NOV Thee three remaining ex-NMETL trailer cars, Nos 53 - 55, were
DEC 19 Route numbers were introduced. Initially some W class trams had
route numbers mounted on the roof in the centre over the leading entrance, and
operated on the Elsternwick - East Coburg line
as a trial. These were replaced by route number boxes of an improved design on
the tram ends from March 1929, which subsequently became standard.
Previously, route numbers were used on the ex-PMTT and ex-HTT lines but were
since discontinued. Route numbers were gradually allocated and altered over the
years, full details of which can be found in Appendix 1.
DEC 23 A revised summer service was introduced: North
Richmond - Prahran trams were diverted via Carlisle Street to St Kilda Beach at night
and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. This service was operated until the
following April and was considered to be a success (unlike the Point Ormond
trial the previous summer). It was planned to resume the service every summer,
and over the years the North Richmond service was altered to operate to St Kilda
Beach at night and weekends and to Prahran at other times.
~~~ New trams:
470 - 479 Ten W1 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
480 - 544, 546 - 547 67 W2 class
trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops (480 - 494, 525 - 544, 546, 547),
and James Moore, Melbourne
(495 - 524).
459, 460 Two X1 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops, bringing the total number of X1 class trams to
Rail Grinder built by Austral Otis (later
No. 1). This vehicle was fitted with a power plant and grinding mechanism for
removing corrugations and irregularities from trackwork. It usually operated at
night after the last trams had run so as to allow total track occupation.
Seven J class trams, Nos. 64 - 68, 71 and 75 were sold to the Melbourne Electric
Supply Company for use on the Geelong tramways, being re-numbered as
64 - Geelong 26
65 - Geelong
28 (later Ballarat 11)
66 - Geelong
25 (later re-numbered 28)
67 - Geelong
68 - Geelong
30 (later Ballarat 13)
71 - Geelong
27 (later Ballarat 12)
75 - Geelong
29 (later Ballarat 14)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
A class 13 was scrapped (in addition to the four ex-Footscray A class trams in
H class 56 was modified for towing a trailer fitted with rail hardening
equipment, and re-classified as a Rail Hardener Loco (later No. 16).
J class 70 was scrapped.
The remaining Per-way Locomotives 212, 213 and 215 (former V class passenger
trams) were scrapped.
X class ‘Birney’ trams 217 & 218 were transferred from Hanna Street Depot to
Glenhuntly Depot for operation on the Point Ormond - Elsternwick shuttle
service. This freed some X1 class trams to be available for use at Footscray.
Three W class trams were converted to W2 class: 256, 293, and 377 (in addition
to 284 converted in August).
All T class trams (177 - 182) had bulkheads fitted to provide enclosed drivers
cabins, thus separating the drivers area from the passenger seats on the end
VR Repainting of trams in a new
green and cream livery commenced. Initially the trams featured cream rocker
panels, but this was later altered to all green below the windows. All bogie
trams were repainted by 1930, and the remaining single-truck trams were
completed by 1938, except No. 20 which was converted to a breakdown tram in 1929
and retained the old colour scheme.
jan 1 The southernmost of the two
crossovers in St Kilda Road
at City Road
JAN 16 New works tram:
5A Bogie Track Cleaner tram,
built by the MMTB (later No. 7, and later No. 7W). Construction of this tram
enabled the Scraper Car (ex-A class No. 7) to be withdrawn and stored.
JAN 29 The Gaffney Street loop on the North Coburg
line was extended to the last curve before the terminus, north of Charles Street.
MAR 23 Preston Depot was enlarged with the addition of a five-road shed on
the east side of the existing shed.
MAR 31 The Essendon line was duplicated in Mount Alexander Road North from
Shamrock Street to Bulla Road. The track was relocated from the western roadway
to a central reservation and laid in open ballast with centre poles.
APR 13 The East Preston line was duplicated from St Georges Road to the west side of the
‘Hump’ bridge, including a new junction arrangement at Thornbury.
MAY 16 On the Footscray system, the Williamstown Road line was duplicated from
to the terminus, to allow a more frequent service to operate upon introduction
of driver-only operation.
MAY 29 A signal box was commissioned at Franklin Street to facilitate shunting of
trams at the City terminus of the
Swanston Street routes.
JUNE 9 Driver-only operation was introduced on the Williamstown Road line. This service
reverted to running through to
Ballarat Road (already driver-only since July 1928).
Russell Street trams once again terminated at Footscray Railway Station, this
now being the sole two-person operated route on the Footscray system. The 'Pay
as You Enter' fare system was altered to 'Pay As You Enter' on trips to
Footscray Station, and 'Pay As You Leave' on trips from Footscray to expedite
Four extra X1 class 'safety' trams were allocated to Footscray Depot for the
service (Nos. 459, 460, 467 and 468). A class trams 11 and 14 were withdrawn and
JUNE 30 Mont Albert trams were diverted from Victoria Bridge
to operate to the City via Bridge
Flinders Street and Spencer Street, sharing the route of the
High Street East Kew service, as an interim measure pending conversion of the Victoria Street
cable line. St Kilda Beach trams from
Glenferrie Road continued to terminate at Victoria Bridge.
JUNE K class 96 was converted to Scrubber Car 9A (later No. 4).
JULY 13 The Victoria Bridge to
Brunswick Street cable line was closed for conversion
to electric traction.
AUG 1 Tram tracks were installed on the rebuilt Spencer Street
Bridge over the Yarra
River, in preparation for the planned
line (eventually opened in 1937).
AUG 4 Maribyrnong River trams were re-routed via a new direct double track line along Racecourse Road
from Victoria Street
to Flemington Road.
The Victoria Street
line from Racecourse Road
to Mount Alexander Road
was closed, and the crossover in
Mount Alexander Road at Victoria Street was removed and relocated
to Flemington Road
at Racecourse Road.
SEP 14 The Collins Street cable line was closed, in preparation for
conversion to electric traction. The
Brunswick Street cable line was truncated at Victoria
Parade, and the Port Melbourne and South Melbourne
cable lines terminated in Market
SEP 15 An electric line was opened from Victoria Bridge via Victoria
Street and Victoria Parade to Brunswick Street, replacing the cable tram route.
It was built as double track, and crossovers were installed at Victoria Bridge and Brunswick Street. The track in Victoria
Parade was open ballast in a central reservation, the cable line having run
along the northern roadway.
Pending conversion of the Collins Street
track, an interim service was provided by extending St Kilda Beach - Victoria Bridge trams to Brunswick Street. Crews were instructed to
show 'Victoria Bge' destinations from St Kilda, and alter them to 'Brunswick St'
on arrival at Kew. On return trips, 'St Kilda
Bch Via Balaclava Road' (which had replaced the 'Esplanade' destination sign)
was to be shown upon leaving
SEP 24 A single track connecting curve was installed from the North Richmond terminus in Church Street turning east into Victoria Street,
together with a facing crossover in
DEC 8 The Collins Street line was opened, replacing the cable tram line.
It was built as double track, with crossovers at Gisborne Street and Elizabeth Street, and two crossovers at
the dead-end Spencer Street
terminus. Mont Albert trams were diverted to run via Victoria Street and into the City via Collins Street. The
St Kilda Beach service from
Glenferrie Road was truncated to the Cotham Road corner.
Camberwell Depot was opened. It was built to cater for expanding traffic in the
eastern suburbs, and to relieve pressure on Hawthorn Depot, Malvern Depot and
Glenhuntly Depot. Located off Riversdale Road west
of Camberwell Junction, it consisted of nine roads, all under cover. The depot
had double track access to
Riversdale Road by a triangular junction that
connected both access tracks by trailing points to only one track in each
direction. This avoided use of facing points in
Riversdale Road, however trams running in from either
direction had to shunt before entering the depot.
Provision was made for expansion of the depot by another nine roads, and, if a
proposed line from Camberwell Junction to
Bridge via Burwood Road was
built, a northern entrance would be provided to Camberwell Road. This never occurred.
Services were re-organised so that Camberwell Depot, rather than Hawthorn Depot,
now operated the majority of runs on the
Wattle Park and Burwood routes. As a
consequence, operation of the Prahran -
Bridge route was
transferred back to Hawthorn Depot from Glenhuntly Depot. Also, operation of the
Camberwell (via Gardiner) to City via Swanston Street route was transferred from
Malvern Depot to Camberwell Depot.
~~~ A new nine-road running shed was constructed at Malvern Depot, on
the north side of Coldblo Road
on the site of the former workshop. Also, a double track triangular junction to
Glenferrie Road was installed with the same curious arrangement as that just
provided at Camberwell Depot.
545, 548 - 596 50 W2 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
A second Rail Grinder built by Austral
Otis (later No. 2). A small two-road shed was built in the Hanna Street Depot
per-way yard to house the two Rail Grinders.
The ten U class trams were receiving modifications during the 1920's. All were
fitted with windshields and destination boxes (some standard, others 'Malvern'
type as used by the PMTT). Five trams were fitted with platform doors (Nos. 202,
205, 206, 209 & 211). This modernisation program was halted when construction of
new X2 class 'safety' trams was planned. Up until this point the entire U class
had been allocated to Essendon Depot. The five trams not fitted with platform
doors, Nos. 203, 204, 207, 208 and 210, were scrapped, however No. 208 remained
on site in a derelict state 'off-register' until 1945.
19 other single-truck trams were scrapped:
A class 10 and 12;
Both F class trams Nos. 46
G class 49 and 51;
H class 54, 55, 57 and 58;
J class 69, 72, 77, 78, 80
B class 21 and 23;
K class 100.
37 W class trams were converted to W2 class: 225, 227, 228, 233, 240, 244, 247,
248, 261, 275, 276, 306, 309, 312, 321 - 324, 329 - 336, 340, 341, 344, 345,
370, 376, 380, 387 and 395 - 397.
VR Two of the three Elwood
crossbench trams were withdrawn. No. 19 was scrapped, and No. 20 was converted
to a Breakdown Car. Externally the appearance of No. 20 did not change, and it
was the only tram to retain the old Tuscan red colour scheme, all other VR trams
being repainted green by 1938.
JAN Scraper Car 7
(former A class car) was scrapped. Its function had been taken over by new Track
Cleaner 5A in January 1929.
JUNE 30 A single track connecting curve was installed from Batman Avenue
terminus into Swanston Street.
JULY 12 The Fitzroy cable line along Brunswick Street was closed in preparation
for conversion to electric traction.
JLY-AUG All Footscray system trams were fitted with graphite lubricated
trolley shoes. These were removed in 1940.
AUG 29 Driver-only operation on the Footscray lines had proved successful,
and it was therefore decided that the remaining route to Russell Street
should be converted. In preparation for the more frequent service, the track was
duplicated from Summerhill Road
to Clarke Street.
AUG The Malvern Depot fan on roads 3 - 6 in the old shed was altered to
provide improved clearance for bogie trams.
SEP 6 A crossover was installed in Brunswick Road at Lygon Street.
SEP 13 Driver-only operation was introduced to the Russell Street route. Fare boxes were
fitted to all Footscray trams at this time, but were removed in 1936.
Six new trams were built, five being allocated to Footscray Depot to cater for
the expanded driver-only operation:
674 - 679 X2 class single-truck
saloon 'safety' trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. Based on the X1
and Y1 class designs, these trams had only one door per side and a sloping
windscreen to reduce interior reflection. All of these trams entered service at
Footscray Depot, except 675, which remained on the main system. Curiously, 674
was issued to traffic painted chocolate and cream, the only X2 so treated, at a
time when the green and cream livery was already standard.
The X2 class owes its existence to an order of Y1 class trams being built
concurrently. When the order for Y1 class trams was curtailed, the opportunity
was taken to utilise some of the components to construct the X2 class. This in
turn caused the U class modernisation program to be abandoned, which led to the
withdrawal of unmodernised U class trams in 1929. The X2 class were the last
single-truck trams to be built for Melbourne.
A class trams 3, 15 and 19 at Footscray were subsequently withdrawn and scrapped
following the introduction of the X2 class.
OCT 26 The Brunswick Street line was opened, from Victoria Parade via Brunswick Street
and St Georges Road
to Barkly Street, North
Fitzroy, replacing the cable tram. It was built as double track with crossovers
at Victoria Parade, Alfred Crescent and Barkly Street, and crossed the Inner
Circle railway on the level. A proposed loop line siding along Best Street and
Alfred Crescent for Fitzroy football ground traffic was never built.
East and West Preston trams were diverted to
run over this new line to the City via
Collins Street, operated by Preston Depot. A shuttle
service was introduced along
Brunswick Road and
Holden Street between Lygon Street and St Georges Road, also operated from
Preston Depot. The shuttle provided a service on that section of track
previously used to bring Preston trams into the
City via Lygon Street
and Swanston Street.
Three of the five remaining U class trams, Nos. 205, 209 and 211, were allocated
to Preston Depot to operate the Holden Street shuttle service. The other two U
class trams, 202 and 206, remained in storage.
Consequently, alterations were made to
services. St Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne trams now ran through to East Coburg instead of East and West
Preston, jointly operated by Hanna Street Depot and Coburg Depot.
Elsternwick trams now terminated in the City (with some trips continuing to run
through to East Coburg or East Brunswick during peak periods), operated by
Glenhuntly Depot with peak period assistance from Hanna Street Depot. (North
Coburg trams continued to operate to St Kilda Beach via St Kilda Road as
NOV 15 The ‘St Kilda Bch Via Sth Melb’ destination sign was altered to ‘South
Melb & St Kilda Beach’.
DEC 10 The crossover in Lygon
Street at Albion Street, East Brunswick,
~~~ New trams:
597 - 609, 624 - 650 30 W2 class
trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
610 - 613 Four Y1 class bogie front
and centre door saloon trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops, to an
improved design based on Y class 469. Planned to be utilised for driver-only
operation as required, they were not used as such except on some all-night
services in later years. Ten further trams (Nos. 614 - 623) were proposed but
not built due to higher construction costs, a lack of finance due to the
prevailing economic depression, and union opposition due to their potential use
as driver-only vehicles. The allocated numbers were left blank in the rolling
stock roster. Some components from these proposed trams were used in the
construction of the X2 class. All four trams were allocated to Hanna Street
W3 class bogie drop-centre combination
tram built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. The W3 class had a similar layout
to the W2 class, but featured an all-steel frame and large 33 inch wheels in an
attempt to reduce noise.
Thirty W class trams were converted to W2 class: 219, 224, 229, 230, 263, 273,
280, 301, 308, 314, 320, 337, 338, 346, 348, 356, 360, 362, 363, 368, 369, 399,
402, 404 - 406, 408, 410, 411 and 417.
Ten M class trams, Nos. 107 - 116, were sold to the Electric Supply Company of
for use on their provincial tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
107 - Bendigo
19 (later re-numbered 12)
108 - Ballarat 24
109 - Bendigo
110 - Ballarat 25 (later Bendigo 6)
111 - Ballarat 26
112 - Bendigo
113 - Ballarat 28
114 - Bendigo
115 - Bendigo
116 - Ballarat 27
(For further details see Appendix 3)
13 single-truck trams were scrapped:
A class 16;
B class 22, 24, 87 and 88;
G class 53;
H class 61 and 62;
K class 92, 94, 95, 97 and
VR Elwood crossbench tram No. 21 was scrapped.
JAN-MAR U class trams 205, 209 and 211 were fitted with bow collectors as a
trial, operating on the Holden Street shuttle service. (211 was fitted in
January, 209 in February and 205 in March.)
MAR 17 A crossover was installed in Riversdale Road east of Power Street for use
by trams on the Hawthorn route running to and from Hawthorn Depot.
JUNE 11 A second single track connecting curve was installed at Camberwell
Junction, on the south-west corner of to improve access to Camberwell Depot from
the Burke Road line.
JULY 2 A crossover was installed in Burke Road on the south side of Camberwell
Junction. This reduced dead mileage for trams operating from Camberwell terminus
to Camberwell Depot, as they no longer had to run to Leura Grove to shunt.
SEP 1 VR The Black Rock - Beaumaris
'bush tramway' was closed after only five years of operation, due to extremely
poor patronage caused by a lack of development in the area served. The trams ran
mostly empty except during summer weekends, and traversed desolate land
surrounded by scrub and bushes with very little housing.
Local councils were obliged to cover any operating losses on the line for the
first five years - once the payments ceased, the VR were not prepared to accept
any ongoing losses, and consequently the line was closed. Crossbench tram No. 25
ran the last trip on this extension which was many years ahead of its time. The
track was not removed until 1939.
~~~ New trams:
651 - 653 Three W2 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. 653, the last W2 tram to be constructed,
entered service on June 3.
655 - 659 Five W3 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
65 W class trams were converted to W2 class: 220, 222, 223, 226, 231, 234, 235,
238, 243, 245, 246, 249, 253, 254, 259, 262, 267, 270 - 272, 274, 278, 279, 281,
282, 285, 288 - 290, 295, 297, 298, 302, 303, 315, 325, 339, 342, 347, 352, 354,
355, 357, 358, 364 - 366, 371, 374, 375, 379, 381, 382, 384, 386, 388, 391 -
394, 400, 407 and 412 - 414.
Ten single-truck trams (four B class, 1 H class and 5 J class) were sold to the
Electric Supply Company of Victoria for use on their provincial
tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
B 86 - Bendigo
B 89 - Ballarat 20
B 90 - Bendigo
H 63 - Ballarat 18
J 73 - Ballarat 17
J 76 - Ballarat 19 (later Bendigo 7)
J 79 - Bendigo
J 82 - Ballarat 16
J 83 - Bendigo
(For further details see Appendix 3)
Ten single-truck trams were scrapped:
Footscray A class 1, 5, 6 and 9;
B class 85 and 91;
G class 50;
the last two remaining H class 59 and 60;
J class 74.
FEB 13 A short section of the Essendon line was duplicated in Pascoe Vale Road
from Buckley Street
to Fletcher Street,
with a crossover provided south of
Fletcher Street. Road widening, relocation and
duplication of the tram track under the Essendon railway bridge was also
completed, and a crossover was installed in Fletcher Street east of Napier
FEB A siding was installed from Burke Road near Harris Avenue into an old creek bed area
to the north of Gardiners Creek, to enable works trams to obtain supplies of
sand. The siding was single track, with a trailing connection to the 'down' Burke Road line, and
the nature of its construction was such that it could be shifted within the
creek bed area according to need. It was removed during World War 2.
MAY An additional open road was installed in Essendon Depot.
NOV The track under the Caulfield railway bridge on the Darling Road
line was re-laid, with one track passing on each side of the centre pylon.
Previously, both tracks passed on the east side of the pylon.
~~~ New trams:
660 - 662 Three W3 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
61 W class trams were converted to W2 class: 221, 232, 236, 237, 239, 241, 242,
250 - 252, 255, 257, 258, 260, 265, 266, 269, 277, 283, 286, 287, 291, 292, 294,
296, 299, 300, 304, 305, 307, 310, 311, 313, 316 - 318, 326 - 328, 343, 349 -
351, 353, 359, 361, 367, 372, 373, 378, 383, 385, 389, 390, 398, 401, 403, 409,
415, 416 and 418.
The two remaining G class trams, Nos. 48 and 52, were scrapped.
The ex-MBCTT Flusher car, No. 1A (later No. 5) was converted to a Scrubber Car.
VR Single-truck combination
tram No. 1 was converted to a Scrubber Car.
FEB The final three
W class trams were converted to W2 class: 264, 268 and 319. All 200 W class
trams were now converted to the improved W2 design, 268 being the last car
treated in February, 264 and 319 being converted in January.
APRIL VR MMTB Y1 class tram 613 was loaned to the Victorian Railways and ran
on the Sandringham - Black Rock line, to test possible driver-only operation of
the route during off-peak hours. It was returned to the MMTB in May. The
experiment was a success, and plans were formulated to convert two VR bogie
trams to a layout similar to that of the Y1 class.
AUG U class 202 was converted to a Breakdown Car, although it saw use
mainly as a spare Freight Car.
NOV 25 A crossover was installed in Lygon Street on the south side of the Inner Circle
railway at Park Street.
~~~ New trams:
663 - 664 Two W3 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
W4 class bogie drop-centre combination
tram built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. It was originally intended that 20
W3 class trams would be built, but the last four trams were built to the new W4
design. This design was developed to make use of the large 33 inch wheels of the
W3 class while eliminating the high steps. The lower step height was achieved by
using a wider body set lower around the trucks. This necessitated the
drop-centre section curving inwards to allow the running board to remain within
the loading gauge. Seats in the saloons were arranged in transverse back-to-back
pairs, which were boxed in because of the large wheels protruding above floor
JAN 8 The track across the Glenhuntly railway crossing on the Carnegie
line was duplicated, from the end of the double track on the west side to the
passing loop on the east side. A crossover was installed on the west side.
MAY The W4 class order was extended by one tram, making a total of five
trams. Consequently X2 class 674 was re-numbered 680 to allow all W4 class trams
to be numbered consecutively as 670 - 674, and all X2 class trams to be numbered
675 - 680. 674, being the only chocolate and cream X2 class tram, was repainted
green and cream when renumbered 680.
JUNE 1 The last remaining single track section of the
East Preston line was duplicated from Wood Street to the terminus at Tyler Street.
JUNE 24 The Elsternwick - City, Carnegie - Elsternwick and Darling Road -
Elsternwick services were combined to form through routes from the City to
Carnegie and from the City to
Darling Road, both running via Elsternwick. At night
and on Sundays, Darling Road
trams would continue to operate to Point Ormond; most of the time, the Point
Ormond service would operate as a shuttle to Elsternwick Station.
july 30 The Wattle Park line was
duplicated from Middlesex Road
to Boundary (later Warrigal) Road.
AUG New works tram:
Single-truck Scrubber Car built by the
MMTB at Preston Workshops. The cabins, underframe and controllers from C class
32 were used in its construction, the body of 32 subsequently being scrapped.
Former A class Scrubber No. 8 was renumbered 3, and its track cleaning equipment
was used in the new tram, the body of No. 3 then being placed in storage.
Upon completion, No. 8 was sent to the isolated Footscray lines, and remained
there until 1935, this being the first visit by a Scrubber Car to Footscray. It
subsequently made four other visits before the Footscray lines were linked to
the main system in 1954.
OCT 12 The Burwood line was duplicated from Through Road to the terminus.
OCT 15 A 'third road' siding was installed in Union Road, Ascot Vale, on the Maribyrnong River line for Showgrounds and racecourse
oct 27 The facing crossover at
Thornbury in St Georges Road at Miller Street was replaced by a trailing
DEC 11 The City terminus of the Swanston Street routes was altered by
extending the double track in Victoria Street closer to Elizabeth Street, and
installing a new crossover on the east side of Bouverie Street. This gave three
separate shunting positions at the terminus, with double or triple shunts being
possible in the third position.
~~~ New trams:
665 - 669 Five W3 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. These were the final W3 class trams built,
making a total of 16.
671, 673 Two W4 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
681 - 684 Four CW5 class maximum-traction, bogie,
drop-centre combination trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. They did
not enter service until January and February 1935. These trams had a similar
body to the W4 class, but narrower and without the curved drop-centre sides, and
were mounted on second-hand maximum-traction trucks. They were developed as a
means of obtaining new trams cheaply (due to the economic depression) by using
trucks, brakes, controllers, etc. from older trams on new bodies. C class trams
29, 31 - 34 were used to provide parts for the CW5 class, the bodies being
scrapped in 1935. (Parts of No. 32 were also used in the construction of
Scrubber Car 8).
It was intended to build 39 CW5 class trams, but as the first five proved
unsatisfactory because of their slow speed and a tendency to derail, no further
trams were built. Their proposed numbers 686 - 719 remained blank. The CW5 class
were allocated to Camberwell Depot for use on the
routes to Wattle Park and Burwood to avoid use in heavy
L class trams 101 - 106 had their drop-centre doors and seats modified from a 4
door layout to a 3 door layout, similar to the W2 class.
Breakdown Car 202 (ex U class) was re-classified as a Freight Car (a capacity it
was already being used in) and re-numbered 19.
Works trams were re-numbered from their separate 'A' suffix series
to the same roster as passenger trams, using the numbers 1 - 25 which had been
left vacant by scrapped trams. Works trams that had retained their passenger
numbers were also re-numbered:
Scrubber (ex A class 8)
[Body in storage; equipment used in
new No. 8]
Scrubber (ex K class 96)
Scrubber (ex MBCTT)
Track Cleaner (ex PMTT)
Scrubber [Built new 1934]
Ballast Motor (ex V class
Rail Hardener Loco (ex H
Freight Car (ex V class
Freight Car (ex U class
VR Bogie tram 51 was converted
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops to a saloon design based on the Y/Y1 class,
with front and centre folding doors, although being fitted with longitudinal
seats throughout. This resulted from experience gained by the operation of Y1
613 on loan to the VR the previous year. 51 returned to service on the
Sandringham line, and was utilised for driver-only operation at quiet times.
feb 7 The western end of the Victoria Street
terminus of the Swanston Street
lines near Elizabeth Street
was altered to double track with a crossover. This work was done in anticipation
of providing a double track connection to Elizabeth Street upon conversion of the
cable line to electric traction.
MAR 12 The Alfred Crescent crossover in St Georges Road, North Fitzroy,
was relocated to Fergie Street, south of the Fitzroy railway crossing.
JULY 20 The North and West Melbourne
cable lines were closed. The North Melbourne
line was to be converted to electric traction; the West
Melbourne line was replaced by a bus service.
SEP 24 The North Melbourne line was opened from Flemington Road via
Abbotsford Street, Queensberry Street, Errol Street and Victoria Street to
Elizabeth Street, terminating outside the Victoria Market. It was built as
double track on the former cable tram route, with crossovers at Flemington Road and
at the Victoria Market, and a double track connection to the existing line in Flemington Road. A
shuttle service was operated by trams from Essendon Depot.
SEP 29 The Elizabeth Street cable line was closed in preparation for
conversion to electric traction. Brunswick cable cars were truncated to Victoria
NOV 17 The Elizabeth Street line was opened from the Victoria Market to Flinders Street on
the former cable tram route. It was built as double track with a crossover at Lonsdale Street, and
the dead-end terminus was an asymmetric shunt with a second crossover. The North Melbourne shuttle service was extended from the
Victoria Market to operate over the new line into the City.
cable line was further truncated to the corner of Leonard Street and Royal Parade, Parkville.
DEC 29 A new double track electric line was laid in the central
carriageway of Elizabeth Street
between the Haymarket and Victoria
Street, replacing the cable line. A crossover was
installed north of Victoria Street,
and the single track line in the western carriageway, which connected the
Essendon lines to the main system, was removed. A double track connection was
provided to the Victoria Street
terminus of the Swanston Street
Essendon and Maribyrnong River
trams were diverted from William
Street to run into the City via Elizabeth Street. Essendon trams ran
direct via Haymarket while
River trams reached the
City via the North Melbourne line, replacing
the shuttle service. West Coburg trams continued to operate via William Street.
~~~ New trams:
672, 674 Two W4 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops, making a total number of five W4 class trams.
The final CW5 class tram built by the
MMTB at Preston Workshops.
725, 736 - 745, 754 Twelve W5 class
bogie, drop-centre combination trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
These trams had an identical body to the CW5 class, but were mounted on
equal-wheel four-motor trucks, and featured an improved seating layout. Some
trams were actually built using bodies intended for CW5 class trams, hence why
higher numbered W5 trams entered service before lower numbered trams.
The four Y1 class trams, Nos. 610 - 613, were transferred from Hanna Street
Depot to Camberwell Depot for operation on the Batman Avenue routes, to avoid
use on busy city streets. They remained allocated to Camberwell until 1965. Y
class 469 had been transferred from Hawthorn Depot to Camberwell Depot prior to
1934 following discontinuation of the tourist tram service.
The seven remaining M class trams, Nos. 183 - 189, were sold to the State
Electricity Commission of Victoria. The SEC had taken over operation of the
Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo tramways, and the trams were allocated and
renumbered as follows:
- Ballarat 30
184 - Ballarat 31
185 - Bendigo
186 - Ballarat 32
187 - Bendigo
188 - Bendigo
189 - Ballarat 33
(For further details see Appendix 3)
JAN The Kew Cemetery crossover at Park Hill Road on
the High Street East Kew line was removed.
JAN 12 An electric line along Royal Parade from Haymarket to a temporary
terminus at Leonard Street,
Parkville, was opened, built as double track
replacing the cable line. The MMTB wanted to place the Royal Parade track in
open ballast reservation, but the Melbourne City Council objected to this. An
interim service was run from the City, operated by Essendon Depot. The remainder
of the Brunswick
cable line was closed the day prior.
FEB 2 The North Coburg line was duplicated in Sydney Road from Wilson Street to Gaffney Street.
FEB 23 The Royal Parade electric line was extended to Park Street, built as double track on the
former cable car route. The crossover from the temporary Leonard Street terminus was relocated to Ievers Street. The
interim service provided by Essendon Depot was extended to the new terminus. A
proposed 'third road' siding from
Walker Street to Ievers Street for football traffic was
APR 26 The Brunswick cable line conversion was completed. The electric
line was opened from Park Street
via Sydney Road
to Moreland Road,
all double track with crossovers on both sides of Moreland Road, the points at the temporary
terminus being removed.
On the same day, Brunswick Depot was opened, comprising a nine-road shed with a
separate wheel grinder road. The depot was built adjacent to the cable car
depot, and for a short period cable cars were housed in the new electric tram
depot. The offices and mess room fronted
Sydney Road, with the depot fan at the other end
branching into Cameron Street.
A new double track connecting line was laid along Cameron Street and Moreland
Road to Sydney Road, with crossovers in Cameron Street and Moreland Road, and a
short single track siding in Moreland Road between Cameron Street and the
railway line. A double track connecting curve turned from Moreland Road into Sydney Road towards the City, with a
single track curve turning towards North Coburg.
The curves on the north-east corner were removed.
trams were altered to run direct along Sydney Road and Royal Parade to the City
via Elizabeth Street,
replacing the interim service operated from Essendon Depot. The North Coburg - City route was operated by Brunswick Depot.
The North Coburg line was worked almost exclusively by new W5 class
trams (and later classes in subsequent years). Most W5 trams were initially
attached to Essendon and Brunswick Depots for use on Elizabeth Street
routes, with a small number allocated to Camberwell Depot.
The service from St Kilda Beach via Swanston Street and Lygon Street, which
formerly ran through to North Coburg, was altered to terminate at Moreland near
the railway station, utilising the siding and crossover. This service continued
to be operated jointly by Coburg Depot and Hanna Street Depot.
There was considerable excess capacity at Brunswick Depot; consequently many
surplus trams were stored there over the next sixteen years (until 1952, when
Coburg Depot closed as a running shed).
JUNE 24 The connecting curves at Malvern Town Hall
and High Street) on the north-west and south-east corners were removed, leaving
curves only on the south-west corner for depot workings.
AUG 1 The North Carlton (Rathdowne Street) cable line was closed,
replaced by a bus service.
OCT 4 Sunday morning services were introduced on most cable and electric
OCT 26 The last remaining single track section of the Essendon line was
duplicated along Keilor Road
from Bulla Road
to the terminus at Gillies Street,
with a crossover installed in the reserved track at Bulla Road.
OCT 30 The Carnegie line was duplicated from the Glenhuntly railway
crossing (east side) to the Yendon Road loop.
NOV 29 A service from Caulfield to the City was introduced, running over
existing track from Balaclava Junction (Hawthorn Road) via Balaclava Road, High Street, St Kilda Road and Swanston Street to
the City terminus. This service, operated by Malvern Depot, provided a direct
link from the area to the City. (Prior to this, the only service in Balaclava Road ran
cross-suburban from Kew Cotham Road
to St Kilda Beach; the Hawthorn Road service ran cross-suburban
from Brighton Cemetery to St Kilda Beach via Dandenong Road; and
the Darling Road
service ran to the City along a roundabout route via Elsternwick).
DEC 7 Double track connecting curves were installed from the Collins Street
terminus turning south into Spencer
Street, in preparation for construction of a new line
to South Melbourne.
~~~ New trams:
720 - 724, 726 - 735, 746 - 753, 755 - 785, 787 - 789 47 W5 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston
Nine W1 class trams were converted to W2 class: Nos. 421 - 423, 428, 429, 473,
476, 477 and 479.
R class 173 and the two remaining K class trams, Nos. 93 and 99, were scrapped.
(K class 96 was still extant as Scrubber No. 4).
T class 178 was converted to a saloon car, suitable for use as a driver-only
operated vehicle. It was fitted with air operated folding doors (one per side)
and transverse seating. Despite these significant modifications, 178 remained
classified as T class.
R class 152 and 153 were sold to the SEC, becoming Ballarat 22 (renumbered 29 in
1938) and Bendigo
Q class 190 was allocated to Drivers Instruction duties, although continuing to
be available for passenger service if required until 1941. This became the last
tram in the chocolate and cream colour scheme, not being repainted until
FEB 7 The Essendon line was extended from Gillies Street via Keilor Road to Birdwood Street. It was built as double
track, the points at Gillies Street
FEB 14 All-night tram services commenced on the following routes:
§ HIGH ST EAST KEW - CITY (via
§ MONT ALBERT - CITY (via Collins St)
§ north coburg -
(via Swanston St)
§ COBURG -
MELB & ST
BEACH (via Swanston St)
§ ESSENDON - SOUTH CAULFIELD JUNCTION
(via Swanston St,
St Kilda Beach and Elsternwick)
These services were driver-only operated, charging higher fares than normal day
services, and ran from Essendon, Brunswick, Kew, Camberwell, Glenhuntly and
Hanna Street Depots.
Rolling stock for the all-night services was provided by modifying Q and R class
trams for driver-only operation. The conversion involved fixing blinds and
barriers in the closed position except for the leading near-side doorway at each
end, removing portion of the driver's bulkhead to allow for collection of fares,
and re-arranging the end seating layout to provide improved loading. Twenty-five
trams were converted: Q class 139 - 150, 191 - 193 and 196 - 200; and R class
151, 172 and 174 – 176. Sixteen were ready for the commencement of services, and
the remainder were converted within two months. In addition, X class 'Birney'
trams 217 and 218, modified T class 178 and X2 class 675 (the only X2 not at
Footscray) were also available for all-night use.
FEB 15 A crossover was installed in Flinders Street at Market Street.
MAR 13 The South Melbourne and Port Melbourne cable lines were closed. The
South Melbourne line was to be converted to electric traction; the Port
Melbourne line was replaced by a bus service.
MAY 29 The crossover in
William Street at Lonsdale Street was removed.
JUNE 13 The East Kew line was extended a short distance from Burke Road via Doncaster Road to Bulleen Road, built
as double track. The single track section of the existing line from Clyde Street to Burke Road was
duplicated. The ‘High St
- East Kew’ destination sign was altered to ‘East Kew’.
JULY 25 The South Melbourne Beach line was opened, replacing the cable car
route. It ran from the terminus at Beaconsfield Parade along Victoria Avenue, Bridport Street, Montague Street, Park Street and Clarendon Street to City Road, thence via a new line in Clarendon Street to
(The cable car route ran via City
Queensbridge Street and Market Street). An ‘H’ crossing was
installed at Park and Clarendon Streets, connecting to the South Melbourne And
St Kilda Beach line and providing access to Hanna Street Depot. Crossovers were
provided at the Fish Market south of
Flinders Street and in Park Street west of Clarendon Street. (The ‘Fish Market’ shunt
was still referred to as such by trammies in 1999 [and possibly later], decades
after the market had gone).
Services ran into the City via
Collins Street, and were through-routed to East and West Preston, operated jointly by
and Hanna Street Depots. The original ‘South Melbourne’
destination was altered to ‘South
shortly after the line opened.
SEP 10 The Brighton Cemetery line was extended a short distance to Eric
Street. Built as double track, the work also included duplication from Saturn
Street to the former terminus at North Road. This was in preparation for the
extension of the line to East Brighton.
SEP 18 A crossover was installed in Balaclava Road at Balaclava Junction, on
the east side of Hawthorn Road.
NOV The trial use of bow collectors, fitted to the three U class trams
operating the Holden Street shuttle, was deemed to be unsuccessful, and the bow
collector was removed from 209 (205 and 211 followed suit in 1938).
DEC 5 The Brighton Cemetery line was extended from Eric Street via
Hawthorn Road to East Brighton, terminating at Point Nepean Road (later Nepean
Highway). The line was built as single track with a passing loop at Union
Street. Services continued to operate to St Kilda Beach via Dandenong Road. About this time the
‘Brighton Cem' destination was altered to ‘South Caulfield’.
~~~ New trams:
786, 790 - 796, 799 - 801, 808 - 820 24
W5 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
17 W1 class trams were converted to W2 class: Nos. 419, 420, 424, 425, 427, 430,
431, 433 - 435, 437, 438, 470 - 472, 474 and 475. Four trams remained
unconverted: Nos. 426, 432, 436 and 478.
S class 162 and 170 were scrapped.
C class 30 was converted to a Dog Car, for transporting dogs and their handlers
to the Show Grounds. Conversion involved closing off all but one centre doorway
(diagonally opposite), and rearranging the drop-centre seats from transverse to
longitudinal. Because of the relatively infrequent nature of its use, the tram
was allocated to Brunswick Depot where there was ample room for storage, rather
than the closer Essendon Depot that had little spare capacity.
VR The Wellington Street
crossover on the St Kilda - Brighton line was removed. (Middle Brighton trams always terminated at the Park Street
MARCH The northern crossover in William Street at the Collins Street terminus was removed, it no
longer being required since the Essendon and Maribyrnong River
services were diverted to Elizabeth
class 205 was withdrawn and stored in preparation for conversion to an
advertising car, its bow collector being removed.
JUNE A track was installed in the Hanna Street
Depot per-way yard for use by the Freight Car.
SEP 8 The Hawthorn Depot per-way yard was closed, it no longer being
required because of the larger facilities available at Hanna Street Depot. The
track leading to the basement was removed.
U class 209 and 211 were withdrawn and stored, 211 having its bow collector
removed. (The Holden Street shuttle was now operated by other classes of
driver-only single-truck trams).
OCT 16 The City - Caulfield (via Balaclava Road) service was extended over
existing track from Balaclava Junction to East Brighton.
At the same time, the St Kilda Beach via Dandenong Road - East Brighton service
was cut back to terminate at Caulfield (Balaclava Junction). Operation of the
Caulfield - St Kilda Beach via
Dandenong Road service became the responsibility of
Malvern Depot, while the City - East Brighton
via Balaclava Road
service was operated from Glenhuntly Depot. Some Caulfield - City peak period
short-workings continued to operate from Malvern Depot.
DEC 11 The East Kew line was extended from Bulleen Road via Doncaster Road to
North Balwyn, terminating at
Balwyn Road. The line was built as single track, with
a passing loop at Buchanan Avenue.
~~~ New trams built:
797, 798, 802, 803, 821 - 838 22 W5
class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
W1 class 436, due to be converted to W2 class, was fitted with air operated
sliding doors as a prototype for the proposed SW6 class, and classified SW2.
Subsequently, the three remaining W1 class trams, 426, 432, and 478, were also
converted to the SW2 design.
Freight Car 19 (former U class 202) was scrapped after a bad accident. U class
206, which for many years had been in storage or used as a breakdown car, was
subsequently converted to a Freight Car as a replacement for 19, retaining its
VR Sandringham bogie car 50 was converted to a saloon car of the same
design as No. 51, by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
VR Sandringham crossbench trams 22, 24, 25 and 27 were scrapped. The
last two remaining crossbench trams, Nos. 23 and 26, were retained as spare cars
for peak period use.
FEB Rail Hardener Loco 16 (ex H class 56) and the body of Scrubber car
3 (ex A class 8) were scrapped.
MAR 31 Prototype saloon tram in service:
SW6 class bogie, drop-centre saloon tram
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. It was fitted with air-operated sliding
doors, as trialed on SW2 class trams, and tip over seats in end saloons.
APR 15 The Collingwood cable line was closed, being replaced by a buse
MAY U class 205 was converted to an illuminated Advertising Car, and
re-numbered 19. All remaining U class trams were now either stored (209 and 211,
with 208 'off-register') or used as works trams (19 and 206).
OCT 25 The Holden Street shuttle was replaced by a bus service operated
from the nearby North Fitzroy bus depot. The southern track was removed, from Lygon Street to St Georges Road, and
the northern track was retained as a single track connecting line for special
NOV 4 The curves from
Glenferrie Road turning east into Cotham Road, Kew,
were removed; the curves turning west were retained.
~~~ New trams:
804 - 807, 839 Five W5 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
840 - 848 Nine SW5 class bogie,
drop-centre saloon trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. These trams
were intended to be W5 class, but were altered while under construction to
incorporate air-operated sliding doors as fitted to the SW2 class and the
prototype SW6 850.
N class 121 was disposed of.
Workshop Locomotive 18 was stored.
VR Single-truck combination tram No. 2 was scrapped after being
damaged in an accident with a bogie tram.
MAR 20 The Maribyrnong River line was duplicated from Lennox Street to the terminus.
OCT 26 Final cable tram closure: The Bourke Street lines to Nicholson Street
and Northcote were replaced by buses.
DEC 22 The Maribyrnong River line was extended via Raleigh Road and Cordite Avenue to
West Maribyrnong, terminating at the Explosives Factory. This line
was built in conjunction with the Commonwealth Government to serve the munitions
factories, due to the outbreak of World War 2. It was single track throughout,
with two passing loops and a storage siding at the terminus. The Maribyrnong
River was crossed on a trams-only trestle bridge, and the track in the vicinity
of the munitions factory, from Rosamond Road to the terminus, was constructed in
open ballast on side-of-road reservation. In addition to the regular service to
the City via North Melbourne, special trams were operated for factory shift
workers as required.
~~~ New trams:
SW5 class tram built by the MMTB at
851 - 865 15 SW6 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
E class 36 was scrapped.
MAY 2 VR The track connection to the
railway line at St Kilda Station was removed.
JUNE 22 Portion of the West Maribyrnong line was duplicated in Raleigh Road
between the two passing loops.
JULY 6 The Ordnance Factory branch line was opened along private
right-of-way adjacent to Wests Road
from Raleigh Road to Williamsons Road, Maribyrnong. It was
built as open ballast double track, with a crossover at the terminus and a
single track triangular junction with the West Maribyrnong
line. No regular service was provided, and trams operated as required for
factory shift workers.
JULY 20 Trams were reinstated on the Holden Street shuttle service, replacing
the buses in order to conserve fuel due to wartime conditions.
JULY 27 All-night tram services were greatly expanded due to petrol
rationing and increased shiftwork caused by wartime conditions. The new and
increased services now operated on the following routes:
MARIBYRNONG - CITY (via North Melbourne)
§ ESSENDON - GLEN IRIS (via Swanston Street)
§ ESSENDON - EAST MALVERN
(via Swanston Street)
§ west coburg -
city (via Elizabeth Street)
§ north coburg -
(via Swanston Street and St Kilda Beach).
[An additional service ran from Coburg
to Elsternwick via the same route].
COBURG - SOUTH
MELBOURNE & ST
PRESTON - SOUTH
KEW - CITY (via Flinders and Spencer Streets, terminating at Collins Street).
§ MONT ALBERT - CITY
§ wattle park - city
§ BURWOOD - CITY
§ CAMBERWELL - CITY
BRIGHTON - CITY
Service frequencies were usually every 60 minutes, with 30 minute services
operating to Elsternwick via St Kilda Beach, Essendon and Coburg, plus
additional workings to the munitions factories as required.
To provide trams for these additional services, four S class cars, Nos. 159,
160, 167 and 171 were modified for driver-only operation, in a similar manner to
the Q and R classes. Three more S class trams, Nos. 156, 161 and 163, were
converted by January 1942. (Most of the S class had been gradually withdrawn
from service and stored during the 1930s, having been replaced by new trams).
Some bogie trams also operated all-night services (with a crew of two), usually
on the North Coburg route or munitions factory special workings.
AUG 3 An all-night tram service commenced on the
West Preston line, operating as a shuttle to Thornbury and
connecting with the East Preston tram to and
from the City. (Trams from the City displayed an 'East & West Preston'
AUG 10 All-night tram services commenced on the Toorak - City route.
AUG 24 All-night services commenced on the North
Richmond - St Kilda Beach line.
SEP 14 The employment of conductresses commenced, due to staff shortages
caused by the war.
NOV 9 On the Footscray system, a branch line to the Ammunition Factory
was opened, running from Ballarat
Gordon Street to River Street, built as double track. No
regular service was rostered, and trams ran only as required for shift workers
at the munitions factories. An interim service was actually provided from
September 14, using the 'down' track as far as Mitchell Street, with a temporary facing
crossover in Ballarat Road
at the Gordon Street
Six S class trams, Nos. 154, 155, 157, 158, 165 and 166, were transferred to
Footscray Depot to cater for the increased traffic. These trams were converted
for driver-only operation, to the same pattern as the other members of the class
allocated to all-night services on the main system.
DEC 12 Following the entry of Japan into World War 2
and the threat of possible air raids, trams were modified with dimmed interior
lighting and cowls over the headlight, together with white bars painted on the
apron and bumper bars to improve visibilty during blackouts.
~~~ An additional open road was constructed at Glenhuntly Depot.
866 - 876 Eleven SW6 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
The CW5 class trams, Nos. 681 - 685 were transferred from Camberwell Depot to
Malvern Depot, for use on the lightly patronised Caulfield - St Kilda Beach via
Dandenong Road route.
Dog Car 30 (C class) was placed in storage due to the Show Grounds being
occupied by the military during the war. It was subsequently used for driver
instruction duties as required.
jan S class
trams 168 and 169 were converted for driver-only operation and transferred to
Footscray. With 23 trams, the depot was now literally at crush capacity - when
all the trams were squeezed in the footpath was barely cleared! No spare trams
were available, as all 23 trams were required for traffic.
All S class trams had now been converted for driver-only operation, except No.
164, which for some obscure reason was not included in the conversion program
and remained in storage.
APR 1 The West Maribyrnong line was
duplicated from Maribyrnong
River (west side) to the
commencement of the double track section at the site of the former Park loop.
FEB 24 For security reasons, restrictions were imposed on certain tram
destination displays for the duration of the war: ‘Explosives Factory’,
‘Ordnance Factory’ and ‘Ammunition Factory’ signs were not to be used. Normal
services to the Explosives Factory from the City via North
Melbourne were to show ‘West Maribyrnong’.
Trams running additional services for shift workers were to show ‘Special’, with
the letter A in the route number box for the Explosives Factory, and B for the
Ordnance Factory. E was designated for trams running to the Ammunition Factory,
but as Footscray trams did not have route number boxes, a sign was added to
their destination rolls displaying ‘Special.E’.
APR 6 The single-track connecting curve at the corner of Flinders and
Swanston Streets was disconnected.
MAY 8 The crossover at
Woolton Avenue in St Georges Road, Thornbury, was removed.
MAY 24 A new line was opened from Ascot Vale (Union Road) via Maribyrnong
Road and Ascot Vale Road to Moonee Ponds Junction, built as double track. The
connection to the Essendon line at Moonee Ponds was proposed as a double track
junction, but was constructed as single track. A crossover was installed on the
west side of Union Road,
necessary for outbound City trams from the single track corner to regain the
'down' line. No regular service was provided on the new line; trams operated as
required for shift workers at the munitions factories, in addition to workings
to and from Essendon Depot.
JUNE 14 The West Maribyrnong line was
duplicated from the west side of the Ordnance Factory line junction to the
Explosives Factory terminus. This work involved a relocation of the terminus
AUG 24 Further track work in the Maribyrnong area was undertaken: the
eastern curve from Raleigh Road onto the Ordnance Factory branch was duplicated,
and a facing crossover was installed in Raleigh Road on the east side of the
SEP 22 VR The crossover just before
the Brighton Beach terminus was removed.
NOV 16 VR New trams:
52 - 54 Three bogie, drop-centre
saloon trams built by the VR at Newport Workshops. Based on the MMTB SW6 design,
they were fitted with air-operated sliding doors, although somewhat narrower
than the SW6. Planned in 1938, wartime conditions delayed their completion; some
equipment for the trams came from proposed bogie cars 44 - 47, which were never
built. Referred to as ‘luxury trams’, they entered service on the St Kilda - Brighton line.
~~~ An additional six-road shed was constructed at Essendon Depot, on
the southern (or City) side of the existing sheds, replacing the two open roads.
The extra capacity was required for additional trams used to service the
munitions factories on the West Maribyrnong line, and for a planned extension of
the Essendon line to the Aerodrome.
877 - 880 Four SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at
Preston Workshops. (New tram construction had been slowed down due to wartime
VR Elwood single-truck combination trams 3 - 7 were withdrawn from
regular service, but continued in peak period use as spare trams when required,
except No. 4, which was used as a Drivers Instruction Car.
APR 22 The two northern entrances to Essendon Depot were consolidated into
one. The northernmost access connection to the 'up' track was removed, and the
remaining north entrance was altered to connect with the 'up' track instead of
the 'down' track, the crossover being retained. In addition, a facing crossover
was installed in Mount Alexander
Road immediately prior to the southern entrance.
These alterations allowed trams to run in and out of the depot from either
direction without the need to shunt in Mount Alexander Road.
APRIL E class 43 was scrapped.
may 16 The Essendon line was extended from Birdwood Street to Essendon Aerodrome, via
and open ballast reserved track parallel to Matthews Avenue and Vaughan Street. It was built as double
track with crossovers provided at the new terminus and at the former terminus.
The Commonwealth Government requested this extension because of wartime
july 7 X2 class 675 was transferred
from Glenhuntly Depot to Footscray Depot, to replace X1 class 459, which was
sent to Preston Workshops for repair after colliding with an army tank.
AUG The MMTB reviewed the operation of double-deck buses which replaced
the cable trams on the Bourke Street routes. It was concluded that the buses
were not successful, and that the routes should be converted to electric trams
as soon as possible after the war. Local councils agreed with this finding;
however, it was not until 1955-56 that the conversion finally took place.
SEP 2 The track on the Maribyrnong River trams-only trestle bridge was
duplicated, and a crossover was installed on the east side.
OCT 7 At Maribyrnong, the straight track at the Raleigh Road / Ordnance Factory junction
was duplicated, and the single track connecting curve on the south-west corner
~~~ New trams:
881 - 889 Nine SW6 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
APRIL U class 211 was scrapped.
SEPT C class 28 was scrapped.
DEC 21 A new connecting line was completed from Hanna Street Depot via
Hanna Street (later Kingsway),
Flinders Lane and
William Street to Collins Street. This new line was all
double track, with a crossover in
Queensbridge Street, and the track in Hanna Street was open ballast in a central
reservation. A double track siding and crossover was also installed in William
Street at Dudley Street. These facilities were constructed to provide direct
access from the western end of the City to the south-eastern suburbs, in order
to ease congestion in Swanston
Street. However, no services were provided until 1946
due to wartime shortages. West Coburg trams continued to terminate at Collins Street on a
new crossover which replaced the asymmetric shunt.
~~~ New trams:
890 - 895 Six SW6 class trams built
by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. These were the first of the SW6 class to have
fixed bus-type seats in place of the tip-over seats, as a wartime austerity
JAN C class 25 was scrapped.
MARCH U class 209 was scrapped.
MAY 13 Two-person operation was restored to all Footscray trams, following
a threat of industrial action by traffic staff due to the severe overcrowding
caused by wartime conditions, and a lack of space at the depot for additional
trams to relieve the situation.
JUNE VR The Victorian Railways
Commissioners stated their intention to close the
tramway, which sparked a vigorous opposition campaign by locals, and delayed
closure of the line for a further 11 years. It was intended that the bogie trams
released form the Sandringham line would be
transferred to Elwood, thus allowing the remaining single-truck trams to be
scrapped. When approval to close the line was not forthcoming, the decision was
made in mid-1947 to retain the single-truck trams in use as spare cars.
OCT Four maximum-traction
bogie trams were sold to the SEC for use on their provincial tramways (N class
117 and 123, and P class 132 and 138), being re-numbered as follows:
N 117 - Ballarat 37 (transferred Oct 18)
N 123 - Bendigo 23 (transferred Oct 16)
P 132 - Ballarat 36 (transferred Oct 31)
P 138 - Bendigo 24 (transferred Oct 26)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
NOV 11 The disconnected curve at Flinders and
Swanston Streets was removed completely.
~~~ New trams:
896 - 909 14 SW6 class trams built by
the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
Five trams were scrapped:
N class 125;
P class 131, 134 and 136;
U class 208, which had been 'off-register' and
derelict since 1929
FEB 3 Services commenced running on the new line from William Street to
Hanna Street Depot, which had been completed in 1944. A fulltime service was
provided by running West Coburg trams through to St Kilda Beach, operated by
both Essendon Depot and Hanna Street Depot. Peak period services were provided
from the Dudley Street terminus to various routes as follows, in addition to the
normal Swanston Street services:
§ GLEN IRIS
MALVERN (via Wattletree Road)
BRIGHTON (via Balaclava Road)
Some of these trips ran through to West Coburg - the exact operation would vary
considerably over the ensuing years, but the most common through workings were
from Toorak, East Malvern and Carnegie, operated variously by Essendon, Hanna
Street (South Melbourne), Malvern and Glenhuntly Depots.
APR 10 VR In Elwood Depot No. 2 shed,
the northernmost track was disconnected and curves to the other two roads
realigned to enable bogie trams to have access. (When this work was carried out,
some trams were unintentionally isolated on the disconnected track!) It was
planned to eventually connect the northern track with a crossover at the rear of
the shed when materials became available, but this never occurred.
JUNE 30 The Deepdene railway crossing on the Mont Albert line was removed
following closure of the railway.
SEP 17 VR To provide more room for
standing passengers at peak times, ‘luxury’ tram 52 had its transverse tip-over
seats altered to a longitudinal arrangement. The other two ‘luxury’ trams, Nos.
53 and 54, were similarly altered within a few days.
SEPT Scrubber Car 4 (ex-K class 96) was withdrawn and stored.
~~~ Five extra roads were added to the body shop at Preston Workshops.
910 - 925 Sixteen SW6 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
Camberwell Depot began using the Y and Y1 class cars (469, 610 - 613) on
all-night services as driver-only trams.
JAN 16 The West Coburg line was duplicated from Reynard Street to the Bell Street terminus. The terminus was
constructed as double track with a crossover.
JAN - MAR
Five maximum-traction bogie trams were sold to
the SEC for use on their provincial tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
- Geelong 31 (transferred Jan 15)
N 124 - Ballarat 35 (transferred Jan 22)
P 133 - Bendigo 25 (transferred Feb 12)
P 137 - Ballarat 34 (transferred Feb 25)
P 135 - Bendigo 26 (transferred March 3)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
The East Brighton line was duplicated from Eric Street to the terminus.
JUNE The eight S class trams at Footscray (Nos. 154, 155, 157, 158, 165,
166, 168 and 169) were converted again for two-person operation between June and
September. This conversion involved removing a panel to create a doorway
immediately behind the saloon.
AUG 22 The Carnegie line was duplicated from Yendon Road to Truganini Road.
SEPT Two maximum-traction bogie trams
were sold to the SEC for use on the Geelong tramways (N class 120 and 122),
being re-numbered as follows:
N 120 - Geelong 33 (later Bendigo 4) (transferred Sept 16)
N 122 - Geelong 32 (later Bendigo 3) (transferred Sept 9)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
NOV Spare Freight Car 206 (former U class) was withdrawn and stored,
due to accident damage. Advertising Car 19 (ex U class 205), which had been out
of use since 1945, was then utilised as a spare freight car as required.
DEC 15 Maximum-traction bogie tram N class 126 was
sold to the SEC and transferred to Geelong, becoming their No. 34 (later Bendigo
(For further details see Appendix 3)
~~~ Five roads were added to the paint shop and seven roads were added
to the truck and machine shop at Preston Workshops.