Copyright © 2015, 2020 Don Storey. All rights reserved.
TRAMWAYS GUNZEL NOTES
A TIME-LINE HISTORY OF THE
MELBOURNE ELECTRIC TRAMWAYS
© COPYRIGHT 2015, 2020 All rights reserved.
This pile of drivel
provides a detailed account of the establishment and development of
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, some are later disposed of and lose their 'preserved' status. 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. The splitting of the tramways into two separate groups on October 1, 1997 is taken as a convenient point to end this drivel.
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 recorded. Information came mostly from MMTB / PTC records, but also from contemporary news reports and articles 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 personal observations.
Details of the development of the Melbourne tramway system arranged in chronological order.
Hard-core gunzel stuff:
Appendix 2 - Depot allocation of trams
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
OCT 2 The North Fitzroy cable line was opened, running from a City
NOV 22 The Victoria Street (
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
OCT 1 The Brunswick cable line was opened, running from a City
DEC 21 The Collingwood cable line was opened, running from
DEC 28 The Kew horse tramway was opened, running from the
MAY 17 The Sandringham to
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
FEB 9 The North Carlton cable line was opened, branching from the
Collingwood line at
FEB 14 Opening of the
FEB 15 The Toorak cable line was opened, branching from the Prahran
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
JAN 27 The Hawthorn horse tramway was opened from the cable car
FEB 18 The Northcote cable line was opened, from the Clifton Hill cable
terminus via High Street to
MAR 3 The North Melbourne cable line was opened, branching from the
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
JUNE 17 The South Melbourne cable line was opened, running from the
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.
JUNE Operation of the Box Hill to Doncaster electric tramway was suspended.
OCT 27 The Windsor to St Kilda Beach cable line was opened, running
MAR 19 Operation of the Box Hill to Doncaster electric tramway recommenced. The original tramway company had been liquidated, and by October the 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
~~~ 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
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
MAY 5 VR The Victorian Railways St Kilda - Brighton 'electric street
railway' was opened. It ran from St Kilda Railway Station via
A three-road depot and power house was built at the corner of
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 timekeeping.
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
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:
- 10 Ten single-truck saloon trams
built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled by Duncan and Fraser,
- 15 Five single-truck open crossbench (‘toastrack’) trams built by J. G.
Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled by Duncan and Fraser,
- 60 Ten single-truck open crossbench (‘toastrack’) trailer cars built by
DEC 22 VR An extension from Middle
Brighton via the Esplanade to Brighton Beach Station was opened, built as
single track. The
FEB 9 VR By this time twelve additional trams were in service, making a total of 17:
7 Two single-truck
10 Two single-truck saloon trams
built by J. G. Brill & Co. U.S.A., and assembled at the VR
9 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 -
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 repainted:
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 overseas.
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 attempts
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
MAY 30 PMTT The Prahran & Malvern
Tramways Trust opened lines from Charles Street Prahran via High Street to
A six-road depot and workshop was
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
MAY PMTT A second order of trams, identical to the first thirteen, entered service between January and May:
- 20 Seven single-truck
DEC 16 PMTT A new line was opened from
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
~~~ 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
pmtt New trams:
- 37 Two single-truck straight-sill
centre-aisle 'summer' trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
VR Three 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
MAY 7 VR The St Kilda -
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
The lines were built as double track
throughout, with level crossings over the railways at Kooyong and Glenferrie. Crossovers
were installed in
Services were provided through to St
Kilda Beach (via the new
JULY VR New trams:
- 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
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
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
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
~~~ PMTT The railway level crossing in Glenferrie Road at Malvern Station was replaced by grade separation.
pmtt New trams:
- 35 Eleven maximum-traction, bogie,
drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
- 53 Six single-truck straight-sill,
centre-aisle 'summer' trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
- 63 Ten single-truck
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 Burwood.
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 Station.
JUNE The remaining section of the Beaumaris horse tramway to
AUG 1 PMTT A crossover was installed
on the St Kilda Beach line in
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
NOV 1 The Kew horse tram was closed to permit construction of an electric line by the PMTT.
~~~ PMTT New trams:
- 45 Ten maximum-traction, bogie,
drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
JAN 18 PMTT The Hawthorn Road line was
duplicated from Balaclava Junction to
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
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
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
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
JUNE 4 PMTT The Elsternwick line was
extended to Point Ormond via
JUNE 13 VR The St Kilda -
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
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
NOV 26 PMTT The Kew Cemetery line was
extended along High Street to
DEC 5 The Coburg horse tramway was closed to permit construction of an
electric line in
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
PMTT New trams:
- 83 Twenty single-truck
(Un-numbered) 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 motorised.
JAN 18 The Melbourne Tramways Board was appointed as an interim body to
take over the cable tramways from the MTOCo. This was pending a decision on the
future of the various tramways, as the need to co-ordinate and consolidate
JAN 31 The Hawthorn horse tramway was closed in preparation for construction of an electric line by the HTT.
MAR 18 PMTT A balloon loop was constructed at the St Kilda Beach terminus, to facilitate tram shunting at times of heavy laoding. (Some sources give the date as December 20 - this was the opening date of a cafe constructed within the loop).
APR 4 PMTT The railway level crossing at Glenferrie Station in Glenferrie Road was replaced by grade separation.
APR 6 HTT The Hawthorn Tramways Trust
line was opened from
Trams were painted grey with blue lining and white roofs, with 'Hawthorn Tramways Trust' lettering on the rocker panels. Seven trams were available at the opening, and all ten were in service by April 20:
11 - 20 Ten maximum-traction, bogie, drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide (later MMTB N class 117 - 126). (Due to wartime conditions, these higher numbered trams were delivered before lower numbered trams 1 - 10).
APR 23 HTT The first of the lower-numbered trams ordered by the HTT became available for service, the last entering service by July 11:
- 10 Ten single-truck
APR 27 MBCTT The Melbourne, Brunswick
& Coburg Tramways Trust line was opened from Coburg Depot via
Twelve trams were constructed, three being available initially (Nos. 6, 7 and 8). The remainder entered service in May (Nos. 3, 4 and 5), July (Nos. 1, 2, 9 and 11) and September (Nos. 10 and 12). The colour scheme was dark green with white rocker panels, white trim and a grey roof, and 'MB&CTT' lettering along the sides:
- 12 Single-truck
MAY 7 HTT The Hawthorn line was
MAY 14 MBCTT The Sydney Road line was extended from Bell Street to Bakers Road, North Coburg, constructed as double track to Wilson Street, then as single track to the terminus, with a passing loop at Gaffney Street.
MAY 31 HTT The Hawthorn line was
JUNE 10 HTT An extension to Burwood was
opened from Bowen Street via Camberwell Road and Norwood (now Toorak) Road to
Boundary (now Warrigal) Road. It was constructed as single track with four
passing loops (Orange Grove,
JUNE 21 HTT A new line was opened from Hawthorn Depot via Power Street and Burwood Road to the Richmond cable car terminus at Hawthorn Bridge. Built as double track over part of the former horse tram route, it was operated as a shuttle service.
AUG 14 MBCTT The Coburg line was extended south from Moreland Road via Holmes Street and Lygon Street to Park Street. Built as double track, crossovers were provided at Albion Street and south of Moreland Road.The line crossed the Inner Circle railway on the level.
AUG PMTT / HTT The PMTT sold their four maximum-traction ‘Metropolitan’ bogie cars Nos. 21 - 24 (later MMTB O class) to the HTT. The Hawthorn Tramways Trust was experiencing overcrowding on their trams due to the unanticipated popularity of the service, and needed to acquire new rolling stock quickly. The design of Nos. 21 - 24 had not proved practical to the PMTT, and they were quite happy to get rid of them.
By coincidence, the HTT fleet numbered 20 trams, therefore ex-PMTT 21 - 24 retained the same numbers in HTT service. The HTT fleet now comprised 24 trams, and the PMTT fleet now consisted of 79 trams plus one works vehicle. Like the PMTT, the HTT did not hold Nos. 21 - 24 in high regard (conductors were required to work half the tram from the footboard, and the sliding doors tended to open and shut without warning on hills), and they were usually limited to short peak period runs.
To further relieve overcrowding, the HTT ordered fifteen new trams on September 1, consisting of eight maximum-traction bogie and seven single-truck combination trams.
SEP 30 PMTT The Deepdene line was extended
OCT 2 FTT The Footscray Tramways Trust were granted authority to construct five tram routes, from Footscray Railway Station to Ballarat Road, Russell Street, Williamstown Road, Hyde Street and northwards to the Maribyrnong River bridge via Nicholson Street. Plans for the latter two routes were deferred in 1917.
OCT 25 HTT A new line to Riversdale
was opened, branching from the Burwood Line at Camberwell Junction, and running
via Riversdale Road to Wattle Valley Road. (Portion of the line had tram
services operating from Oct 16). It was built as single track with passing
OCT 31 MBCTT Official opening of the
MBCTT. The line was extended south from
NOV 9 HTT The Riversdale Road line
was extended a short distance from
DEC 23 HTT The Riversdale Road line
was extended from Highfield Road to Wattle Park, terminating at Boundary (now
Warrigal) Road. It was built as single track with a passing loop at
FEB 6 VR A third car shed with three roads was built at Elwood Depot, to the north of No. 2 shed, for housing new bogie trams under construction. All three roads extended out the rear of the shed, where two crossovers were installed.
VR New trams:
- 32 Five bogie, drop-centre
combination trams built by VR Newport Workshops. These were the first equal
wheel, four-motor trams in
july 3 htt The first five of the eight new bogie trams on order entered service. The others were held in storage in Adelaide awaiting extensions to the depot at Hawthorn - two more were delivered in December 1917, the last entering service on March 28, 1918:
- 32 Maximum-traction, bogie,
drop-end-and-centre combination trams built by Duncan & Fraser,
AUG MBCTT New trams were acquired, the last entering service in October:
- 18 Six single-truck combination
trams with a long saloon, built by Duncan & Fraser,
(Un-numbered) A single-truck rail flusher tram (later MMTB No. 1A, later No. 5). It was built by the MBCTT at Coburg Depot from spare parts acquired for the original fleet of twelve trams. (The spare parts were no longer considered necessary after the new trams were delivered, as ample spare trams were available).
DEC 6 PMTT The Gardiner line was
extended north along
~~~ PMTT New trams:
- 24, 84 - 91 Twelve single-truck
pmtt No. 49 (later G class) was rebuilt from a 'summer' car to a combination car by closing in the centre door and creating a saloon with longitudinal seating. This was done as a prototype for planned trams that eventually became the MMTB K class.
MAR 7 PMTT A double track extension
was opened from Camberwell Station via
The Mont Albert line was duplicated a short distance from Burke Road to the Deepdene railway crossing. A crossover was installed in Cotham Road on the west side of Burke Road.
MARCH HTT A second shed was completed at Hawthorn Depot comprising three roads. Provision was made for a third shed to be built, including a set of points in the depot fan, but this never eventuated.
the new shed allowed new trams on order from Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide, to
finally be delivered. (The Trust had been paying storage fees on the bodies in
Adelaide for some time). The last of the bogie trams from the group 25 - 32
were delivered and entered service immediately (some of this group had already
been delivered in July and December 1917). Seven bodies, in storage since
- 39 Single-truck
The HTT had 32 trams available for service (plus seven bodies in storage) and their fleet was now at its maximum extent.
APR 30 PMTT The Darling Road line was duplicated from Finch Street to Tennyson Street.
JUNE MBCTT The Queensberry Street
terminus was relocated south of the intersection to provide a more convenient
interchange with the
SEPT PMTT The Camberwell railway bridge was completed and through running along Burke Road commenced. Services ran from St Kilda Road to Cotham Road (destination 'Camberwell'), operated by Malvern Depot. A crossover was provided on the north side of the railway.
SEPT 10 FNPTT Track construction commenced on the St Georges Road line for the Fitzroy, Northcote & Preston Tramways Trust. Earlier, in 1917, the FNPTT constructed a replacement bridge over the Merri Creek suitable for use by both tram and road traffic.
OCT HTT / FTT The unused bodies of HTT single-truck cars 33 - 39 (later MMTB M class 183 - 189) were sold to the Footscray Tramways Trust. The seven bodies remained in storage at Hawthorn Depot until delivered to Footscray in September 1919.
DEC 14 VR New trams:
33 - 37 Five bogie, drop-centre combination trams built by VR Newport Workshops, to the same design as Nos. 28 - 32. At this time the upgraded power supply was commissioned, and the original five bogie trams (Nos. 28 - 32) which had been stored since completion also entered service.
VR Also at this time one of the ex-Sydney D class combination trams, No. 16, and the last remaining ex-Sydney C class saloon trailer car, No. 18, were scrapped.
~~~ MBCTT A crossover was installed
MAR 10 VR A new tramway from Sandringham to Black Rock was opened, after local proposals for an extension of the Sandringham railway to Beaumaris were rejected because of the high cost involved. Construction of the tramway as an economical alternative was approved by Parliament in November 1914, but progress was delayed by wartime conditions.
Originally planned as broad gauge (the same as the VR St Kilda - Brighton line), it was actually built as standard gauge to allow for the possibility of eventual connection to the main Melbourne tram system. (Thus, the VR St Kilda line that would ultimately meet the main system at four locations was a different gauge, and the isolated line that was nowhere near the main system was the same gauge).
The line ran on an inland route from
Sandringham Railway Station via
Trams for the new line were transferred from Elwood Depot to Sandringham Depot. They consisted of six of the unpopular crossbench cars, Nos. 22 - 27, supplemented by six trailers, Nos. 8 - 13. These cars had been displaced by new bogie trams, and the number of trams at Elwood now totalled 23, consisting of 10 bogie trams and 13 single-truck trams.
MARCH VR On the St Kilda line, the destination 'Brighton' was altered to 'Brighton Bch', and a new destination 'Mid Brighton' was added.
Sept 18 HTT / FTT Between September 11 and September 18 the Footscray Tramways Trust took delivery of seven single-truck combination tram bodies purchased from the Hawthorn Tramways Trust in October 1918 (HTT 33 - 39, later MMTB M class 183 - 189). The FTT arranged for provision of trucks and electrical equipment, and the cars were held by the FTT awaiting the opening of their system.
NOV 1 Following a great deal of consideration about the future of
Melbourne's numerous tramways, The Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board
was formed with the intention to take over, operate and unify the various
tramways, with the exception of the two lines operated by the Victorian
Railways. The cable tram system (except the Northcote line) and the
~~~ PMTT The first five of an order of eight new trams was delivered:
92 - 97 Single-truck straight-sill combination trams built by the PMTT and James Moore, Melbourne (later MMTB K class 92 - 97). This design followed the conversion of 'summer' car 49 (later G class) as a prototype.
JAN 27 FNPTT The Fitzroy, Northcote & Preston Tramways Trust conducted a trial run over all their lines, using tram No. 1 (the only completed tram), one week before the Trust was taken over by the MMTB.
The lines ran from the cable tram
The Victorian Railways would not permit the tramway to cross the railway on the level, and so a 'temporary' overbridge was built. The bridge was ramped on both sides and became known as the ‘Hump’ (and also colloquially as 'Mount Buggery'), and was still in use at the time of writing.
The line was double track from
A four-road depot was built on the
north-west corner of
Only one of an order for eight trams was completed by the FNPTT before takeover by the MMTB:
1 A single-truck straight-sill combination tram built for the FNPTT at Malvern Depot by the PMTT and James Moore, Melbourne. It was painted in a two-tone grey livery with gold lining, and later became MMTB R class 176. This tram was almost identical to PMTT 92 - 100 (later K class) which were under construction at the same time, having slightly different electrical equipment and a saloon that was one foot greater in length.
FEB 2 The Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) assumed control of the Northcote cable line and five municipal electric tramways:
§ Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT)
§ Hawthorn Tramways Trust (HTT)
Fitzroy, Northcote &
§ Footscray Tramways Trust (FTT)
The privately owned tramways of the NMETL were not included in the above arrangement, and over two years was to elapse before they were taken over by the MMTB (following formation of the State Electricity Commission to absorb the power supply business of the NMETL). Consideration was given to transferring the VR trams to the MMTB, but they were deemed to be an integral part of the railway administration and as such were to be retained by the VR.
The MMTB had the task of co-ordinating the different operating procedures of the various tramways into a standard unit while maintaining provision of daily tram services. The Board was obligated by Parliament to develop a 'General Scheme' for the operation of tramways in Melbourne, and, after considering all alternative forms of transport, decided on a policy of converting all cable tramways to electric traction, designing a standard tramcar, and providing a central workshop facility.
APR 1 Lines constructed by the Fitzroy, Northcote & Preston Tramways Trust, from the North Fitzroy cable car terminus to East and West Preston, were opened by the MMTB. The services were operated from Preston Depot using the rolling stock ordered by the FNPTT, the remainder of which were completed by the MMTB:
- 8 Seven single-truck straight-sill
combination trams built for the FNPTT at Malvern Depot by the PMTT and James
MAY Summer car No. 48 (later G class) was converted to a combination tram, the same design as No. 49 that was converted previously. An exact date has not been found for the conversion, which was commenced by the PMTT and completed by May 1920 at the latest.
JUNE Colour light signals for safe-working were installed on the single track ‘Hump’ overbridge at Thornbury.
AUG 10 The first of three new trams enters service, the other two being completed later in the year:
- 21 Three single-truck
AUG 30 Chocolate and cream, with M&MTB lettering on the rocker panels, was adopted as the standard livery for trams by the MMTB. This was an adaptation of the PMTT colour scheme and similar to that already in use on the cable trams. Later, with the advent of the W class trams in late 1923, the M&MTB lettering was dropped.
SEPT 9 As the lines constructed by the Footscray Tramways Trust were still incomplete (arrangements for power supply were not yet finalised), the seven single-truck trams purchased from the HTT by the FTT were temporarily transferred back to Hawthorn Depot. They were repainted in the new MMTB chocolate and cream livery, and entered service between August 12 and September 9 at Hawthorn Depot still numbered 33 - 39, the numbers intended for them by the HTT.
DEC A single-track connecting curve was installed on the north-west corner of Camberwell Junction, linking the former HTT system with the former PMTT system. (It possibly could have been installed a few months prior to December).
~~~ New trams:
- 100 Last three of an order of 8
single-truck straight-sill combination trams built by James Moore,
The MMTB divided its inherited electric tramway system into two groups: the ‘Eastern System’, which consisted of the routes and rolling stock of the PMTT and the HTT; and the ‘Northern System’, based on the routes and rolling stock of the MBCTT and the FNPTT. A precise date for the introduction of this system has not been found, but was either late 1920 or early 1921. Each system had its own parallel car numbering:
Eastern System numbering simply involved ex-PMTT trams retaining their original numbers (1 - 106, including trams ordered by the PMTT but yet to be completed), with ex-HTT trams being added on (107 onwards):
1 - 100 Ex-PMTT 1 - 100.
101 - 106 Reserved for PMTT trams on order, to be completed by the MMTB.
107 - 138 Ex-HTT 1 - 32.
In theory, Northern System numbers should have simply consisted of MBCTT trams retaining their numbers (1 - 24, including trams ordered but yet to be completed), with FNPTT trams being added on (25 onwards):
1 - 18 Ex-MBCTT 1 - 18.
19 - 21 Trams ordered by the MBCTT and completed by the MMTB.
22 - 24 Reserved for trams ordered by the MBCTT and yet to be completed.
25 - 32 Ex-FNPTT 1 - 8.
In practice, the numbering was more complicated, and
trams allocated to
1C - 18C Ex-MBCTT 1 - 18, allocated to Coburg.
- 21C Trams
ordered by the MBCTT and completed by the MMTB, allocated to
22C, 23P, 24P Reserved for trams ordered by the MBCTT and not yet completed, to be allocated to Coburg or Preston.
25P - 29P Ex-FNPTT Nos. 1, 4 - 6 and 8 (not respectively), allocated to Preston.
30 - 32 Ex-FNPTT Nos. 2, 3 and 7 were to be renumbered 30 - 32, but this did not eventuate before further renumbering took place. These trams were temporarily numbered 2P, 3P and 7P for administrative purposes, to distinguish them from Coburg trams with the same numbers.
MAR 1 The first of six new trams enters service:
- 106 Six bogie, drop-centre
combination trams built by James Moore,
MAR 12 An experimental all-night service was introduced on trial between
SEP 6 Following finalisation of power supply arrangements on September
1, the three routes constructed by the Footscray Tramways Trust were opened by
the MMTB. The lines ran from Footscray Railway Station to
Footscray depot was built in
A planned fourth route to
The seven single-truck trams purchased by the FTT from the HTT and temporarily transferred back to Hawthorn Depot, Nos. 33 - 39, were returned to Footscray to provide the services. (These trams later became M class 183 - 189). As they were at Hawthorn temporarily, these trams had not been renumbered into the Eastern System fleet.
The Footscray lines came under the administration of the Northern Division within the MMTB, but were not considered part of the Northern System, although by coincidence tram numbers 33 - 39 would have fitted neatly on the end of the Northern System rolling stock roster, which numbered 32 trams.
SEP 11 Ex-FNPTT trams 3P & 7P on the Northern System were transferred to Malvern Depot and renumbered 151 & 152 (not necessarily respectively) on the Eastern System roster. No. 2P was intended to follow and become Eastern System 153, but this did not happen before further numbering changes were made.
(At this point, the Eastern system was numbered from 1 - 138. Numbers 139 - 150 were reserved for trams ordered by the MMTB to cope with expanding traffic, pending design of a standard car. These trams were not delivered until 1922, and were classified Q class).
SEPT New trams:
23P Two single-truck
OCT 20 The service from St Kilda Beach via
NOV 7 TRAM NUMBERING
The Eastern and Northern Systems rolling stock were consolidated into one roster.
Eastern System trams 1 - 152 retained their numbers, including numbers reserved for Q class trams under construction. Ex-FNPTT No. 2P on the Northern system (the last tram in FNPTT livery and due for repainting) was given the next number, 153. Northern System trams 1 - 29 (including one S class still under construction) received the next group of numbers, 154 - 182 (not respectively), and Footscray trams 33 - 39 were then given numbers 183 - 189. Nos. 190 - 201 were reserved for a second order of Q class trams, to be delivered in 1923.
Letter classification to identify tram types was introduced at this time, and followed numerical order of the first tram of each type. Therefore No. 1 became A class, No. 21 became B class, No. 25 became C class, etc. Trams of the B, M, Q and R classes each have two different groups of numbers. This is because four of the B class assumed the numbers of the O class trams sold earlier by the PMTT to the HTT; the M class consisted of the original HTT cars, plus the later batch sold by the HTT to the FTT; the Q class consisted of two different orders; and the R class were split between the Eastern and Northern Systems. The following table gives full details:
~~~ 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:
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
All the remaining trailer cars at
JUNE 16 New tram:
171 S1 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 Victoria).
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 constructed.
VR A crossover was installed
on the St Kilda -
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
FEB 25 The Williamstown Road line was duplicated from Footscray Depot to
the corner of
MAR 17 VR The final batch of the VR drop-centre trams enter service:
- 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
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
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
A new line was opened in
AUG 23 Glenhuntly Depot was opened. Located in
AUG 27 A single track siding was constructed in
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 class.
(Un-numbered) 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 design.
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
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
JUNE 10 Two new trams entered traffic at Hawthorn Depot, operating the shuttle service from Power Street to Bridge Road:
218 X class single-truck saloon
Birney safety trams imported from the
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
Over 5,000 of these trams were built
for use in the
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
AUG 29 The Essendon line was duplicated in
OCT 20 The second stage of the
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 urgent.
DEC 15 The Maribyrnong River line was duplicated in
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, Adelaide (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 trams were modified by cutting an aisle through the crossbench seats in the drop-centre. The C class also had their saloons lengthened, with longitudinal seats replacing the previous combination of transverse and longitudinal seating in the saloons.
JAN 11 An extension from
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
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
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
MARCH The Northcote cable line was connected to the Clifton Hill - City line and a through cable car service operated from the City to Northcote.
APRIL The Showgrounds level crossing on the
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 track.
JULY 17 The Holden Street line was duplicated from
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 Peel Street and William
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
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 '
AUG 29 The Windsor - St Kilda cable line was closed, this being the first
step in the conversion of the
OCT 10 The West Brunswick line was extended from
OCT 24 A crossover was installed on the
OCT 31 The St Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne line was opened, built
entirely as double track. It commenced from a City terminus at
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
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
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 -
New double track was also constructed
from Hanna Street Depot via
~~~ 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, 336).
364 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
MAR 28 The St Kilda Road track between
MAY 9 Permanent double tracks were completed in
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
JULY 10 The East Preston line was duplicated from
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
SEPT 1 VR An extension of the
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 tramway'.
OCT 1 The Toorak cable line was closed in preparation for conversion to electric traction.
OCT 18 The remaining portion of the line from
OCT 31 The Chapel Street line was extended south from
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
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
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
~~~ 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 grooves.
JAN All four O class trams, Nos. 127 - 130, were sold to the Municipal Tramways Trust (MTT), Adelaide, becoming their D class Nos. 193, 191, 194 and 192 respectively. The O class were almost identical to the MTT’s fleet of 50 D class trams (Nos. 121 - 170). They ran in Adelaide until 1958.
FEB 2 A single track connecting line was built between Haymarket and the
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
The Elsternwick - City via
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
MAY 8 The Toorak line was extended from
MAY 12 After only a few months operation of the
MAY 15 The West Brunswick line was extended from
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
JUNE 28 The West Preston line was duplicated along
JUNE 29 The Richmond cable line was closed entirely, pending conversion to electric traction.
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
JULY 14 The first stage of the
JULY 25 The Mont Albert line was duplicated from
AUG 7 The short remaining single track section of the
AUG 22 The West Preston line was duplicated in
SEP 9 A crossover was installed at Kew Depot in
SEP 17 The next stage of the
OCT 13 The railway crossing in
OCT 14 On the High Street East Kew line, the ‘
OCT 20 The Glen Iris line was duplicated from
The Burwood line was duplicated from
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
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
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
DEC 24 The East Preston line was duplicated from
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
Also about this time, a Sunday summer
service was provided by extending the St Kilda Beach Via South Melbourne route
from its terminus at
~~~ 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
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:
1A u Ex MBCTT Flusher car (later No. 5)
3A u Ex PMTT Track Cleaner (later No. 6)
8A u 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
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
JUNE 11 The crossover in
JUNE 24 A connecting line was opened in
JUNE 30 On the Footscray system, the
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)
JULY 3 A passing loop was installed at Edna Grove near the
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 ‘
JULY 28 A double track siding was installed in Wellington Parade at
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
NOV Thee three remaining ex-NMETL trailer cars, Nos 53 - 55, were scrapped.
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 -
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:
~~~ New trams:
470 - 479 Ten W1 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
- 544, 546 - 547 67 W2 class trams
built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops (480 - 494, 525 - 544, 546, 547), and
459, 460 Two X1 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops, bringing the total number of X1 class trams to 10.
6A 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
(For further details see Appendix 3)
A class 13 was scrapped (in addition to the four ex-Footscray A class trams in July).
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 platforms.
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
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
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
MAY 29 A signal box was commissioned at
JUNE 9 Driver-only operation was introduced on the
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 scrapped.
JUNE 30 Mont Albert trams were diverted from
JUNE K class 96 was converted to Scrubber Car 9A (later No. 4).
JULY 13 The Victoria Bridge to
AUG 1 Tram tracks were installed on the rebuilt
SEP 14 The Collins Street cable line was closed, in preparation for
conversion to electric traction. The
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
Pending conversion of the
SEP 24 A single track connecting curve was installed from the
DEC 8 The Collins Street line was opened, replacing the cable tram line.
It was built as double track, with crossovers at
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
Provision was made for expansion of
the depot by another nine roads, and, if a proposed line from Camberwell
Services were re-organised so that
Camberwell Depot, rather than Hawthorn Depot, now operated the majority of runs
~~~ A new nine-road running shed was constructed at Malvern Depot, on
the north side of
545, 548 - 596 50 W2 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
7A 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 and 47;
§ G class 49 and 51;
§ H class 54, 55, 57 and 58;
§ J class 69, 72, 77, 78, 80 and 81;
§ 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
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
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
SEP 13 Driver-only operation was introduced to the
Six new trams were built, five being allocated to Footscray Depot to cater for the expanded driver-only operation:
674 - 679 Six 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
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
NOV 15 The ‘St Kilda Bch Via Sth Melb’ destination sign was altered to ‘
DEC 10 The crossover in
~~~ 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 Depot.
654 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
108 u Ballarat 24
110 u Ballarat 25 (later
111 u Ballarat 26
113 u Ballarat 28
116 u 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 98.
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
JUNE 11 A second single track connecting curve was installed at Camberwell Junction, on the south-west corner to improve access to Camberwell Depot from the Burke Road line.
JULY 2 A crossover was installed in
JULY 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 84 u
B 86 u
B 89 u Ballarat 20
B 90 u
H 63 u Ballarat 18
J 73 u Ballarat 17
J 76 u Ballarat 19 (later
J 79 u
J 82 u Ballarat 16
J 83 u
(For further details see Appendix 3)
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 were scrapped:
§ Footscray A class 1, 5, 6 and 9;
§ B class 85 and 91;
§ G class 50;
§ H class 59 and 60;
§ J class 74.
FEB 13 A short section of the Essendon line was duplicated in
FEB A siding was installed from
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
~~~ New trams:
663 - 664 Two W3 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
670 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 level.
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
JUNE 24 The Elsternwick - City, Carnegie - Elsternwick and
july 30 The Wattle Park line was
AUG New works tram:
8 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
oct 27 The facing crossover at Thornbury in St Georges Road at Miller Street was replaced by a trailing crossover.
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
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:
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
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
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
SEP 29 The Elizabeth Street cable line was closed in preparation for conversion to electric traction. Brunswick cable cars were truncated to Victoria Street.
NOV 17 The Elizabeth Street line was opened from the Victoria Market to
DEC 29 A new double track electric line was laid in the central
~~~ New trams:
672, 674 Two W4 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops, making a total number of five W4 class trams.
685 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:
183 u Ballarat 30
184 u Ballarat 31
186 u Ballarat 32
189 u Ballarat 33
(For further details see Appendix 3)
JAN 12 An electric line along Royal Parade from Haymarket to a temporary
JAN The Kew Cemetery crossover at Park Hill Road on the High Street East Kew line was removed.
R class 153 was sold to the SEC and became Bendigo 22.
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
FEB R class 152 was sold to the SEC and became Ballarat 22 (renumbered 29 in 1938).
APR 26 The Brunswick cable line conversion was completed. The electric
line was opened from
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
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
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
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
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 lines.
OCT 26 The last remaining single track section of the Essendon line was
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 (
DEC 7 Double track connecting curves were installed from the
~~~ New trams:
720 - 724, 726 - 735, 746 - 753, 755 - 785, 787 - 789 47 W5 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
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.
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 November 1949.
FEB 7 The Essendon line was extended from
FEB 14 All-night tram services commenced on the following routes:
§ HIGH ST EAST
§ north coburg - camberwell (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. These trams had been in storage since the early 1930s, having been made surplus by new bogie tram construction. 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
MAR 13 The South Melbourne and Port Melbourne cable lines were closed. The South Melbourne line was to be converted to electric trams; the Port Melbourne line was replaced by buses.
MAY 29 The crossover in
JUNE 13 The East Kew line was extended a short distance from
JULY 25 The South Melbourne Beach line was opened, replacing the cable car
route. It ran from the terminus at Beaconsfield Parade along
ran into the City via
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
NOV The trial use of bow collectors, fitted to the three U class trams operating the Holden Street shuttle, was considered 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
~~~ 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
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 Street.
APRIL U 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.
SEPT 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
DEC 11 The East Kew line was extended from
~~~ 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 passenger number.
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:
850 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 bus service.
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
NOV 4 The curves from
~~~ 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
OCT 26 Final cable tram closure: The Bourke Street lines to
DEC 22 The Maribyrnong River line was extended via
~~~ New trams:
849 SW5 class tram built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
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
JULY 20 Trams were reinstated on the
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:
§ WEST MARIBYRNONG - CITY (via North Melbourne)
§ ESSENDON - GLEN IRIS (via
§ ESSENDON - EAST MALVERN (via Swanston Street)
§ north coburg - carnegie (via Swanston Street and St Kilda Beach). [An additional service ran from Coburg to Elsternwick via the same route].
§ EAST COBURG - SOUTH MELBOURNE & ST KILDA BEACH
§ BURWOOD - CITY
§ CAMBERWELL - 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
AUG 10 All-night tram services commenced on the Toorak - City route.
AUG 24 All-night services commenced on the
SEP 14 The employment of conductresses by the MMTB commenced, due to staff shortages caused by the war. This was the the first instance of employing women paltform staff on an Australian tramway, and the first time women were paid the same wages as men. The VR followed suit in 1942.
NOV 9 On the Footscray system, a branch line to the Ammunition Factory
was opened, running from
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
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
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
APR 6 The single-track connecting curve at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets was disconnected.
MAY 8 The crossover at
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
JUNE 14 The
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 junction.
SEP 22 VR The crossover just before the Brighton Beach terminus was removed.
NOV 16 VR New trams:
- 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 -
~~~ 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 conditions).
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
APRIL E class 43 was scrapped.
may 16 The Essendon line was extended from
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
~~~ 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),
~~~ 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 measure.
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
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 u Ballarat 37 (transferred Oct 19)
N 123 u Bendigo 23 (transferred Oct 16)
P 132 u Ballarat 36 (transferred Oct 24)
P 138 u 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:
§ CAMBERWELL (many trips only as far as Camberwell Junction)
§ GLEN IRIS
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
JAN - MAR Five maximum-traction bogie trams (including the last three P class cars) were sold to the SEC for use on their provincial tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
N 118 u Geelong 31 (transferred Jan 15)
N 124 u Ballarat 35 (transferred Feb 25)
P 133 u Bendigo 25 (transferred Feb 12)
P 137 u Ballarat 34 (transferred Jan 22)
P 135 u Bendigo 26 (transferred March 3)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
may 8 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
SEPT Two N class trams, Nos. 120 and 122, were sold to the SEC for use on the Geelong tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
N 120 u Geelong 33 (later Bendigo 4) (transferred Sept 16)
N 122 u 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 N class 126 was sold to the SEC and became Geelong No. 34 (later Bendigo 2).
(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.
926 - 936 Eleven SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
JAN 21 The last N class tram, No. 119, was sold to the SEC and became Geelong No. 35. (This tram later became Bendigo 1, then Ballarat 37, and was the only tram to operate in all four Victorian tramway cities).
(For further details see Appendix 3)
OCT 16 Saturday morning peak services from
OCT Track Cleaner 6 (ex-PMTT), Ballast Motor 11 (Ex V class 216), and Workshops Locomotive 18 were scrapped.
~~~ Two open roads were added to Essendon Depot on the northern side of the sheds (present day roads 19 & 20).
937 - 939 Three SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
Maximum-traction bogie tram C class 26 was sold to the SEC and transferred to Geelong, becoming their No. 36 (later Bendigo 5).
JULY New trams:
940 - 942 Three SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops. With these trams the seating arrangement in the end saloons was changed again, this time to a layout identical to that used in W5 class trams.
OCT New trams:
943 - 949 Seven SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
NOV 14 S class 165 was returned to the main system to relieve tram
storage problems at Footscray Depot. It was subsequently re-converted for
driver-only operation and used on all-night services. Scrubber Car 8 was sent
to Footscray temporarily, and returned to the main system on
NOV Q class Drivers Instruction tram No. 190 was repainted green and cream, this being the only tram remaining in the old chocolate and cream livery.
DEC SW5 class 840 was fitted with upholstered longitudinal seats in the drop-centre, to test a seating layout proposed for PCC tram 980 under construction.
~~~ C class 27 was scrapped.
T class trams 177, 179 - 181 were stored, following a general easing of the heavy wartime loading. (Saloon car 178 remained in traffic at Glenhuntly Depot). In October, No. 182 was fitted with self-lapping brakes and anti-climber strips on the bumper bars to assess the potential use of T class trams in heavy City traffic. It ran from Brunswick Depot, but was stored shortly afterwards. (The T class had been in use on varying duties over the years, mainly on cross-suburban lines and peak period workings).
FEB 23 A strike by tramway employees commenced which lasted until April 24. Due to a severe staff shortage following the strike, all-night services were not immediately reinstated; operation was gradually restored to twelve routes between May and July, 1950.
MARCH Scrubber Car 4 (ex K class 96) and Freight Car 206 (ex U class) were scrapped.
JUNE New trams:
950 - 959 Ten SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
PCC class bogie, straight-sill saloon
tram built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops with imported electrical equipment.
The initials 'PCC' stand for Electric Railway President's Conference Committee,
a body formed in the
MMTB officers visited the
980 entered service in July attached
to Malvern Depot, operating on the cross-suburban
Advertising Car 19 (ex U class 205) was fully converted to a Freight Car, retaining the same number. 19 had been out of service as an Advertising Car since 1945, and from November 1947 was used as a spare freight car.
JULY 14 S class 169 was transferred from Footscray to the main system, again being converted for driver-only operation and used on all-night services. Rail Grinder 1 was temporarily transferred to Footscray, being returned to the main system in October, 1950.
AUG 18 The remaining Saturday morning peak services to
SEP 3 The Holden Street shuttle service was again replaced by buses. The single track line remained in use for special workings.
~~~ New trams:
960 - 966 Seven SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
JAN 15 A new City tram line along La Trobe Street was opened, from
Brunswick Street via Victoria Parade, La Trobe Street and Spencer Street to
Lonsdale Street. It was built as double track throughout, with the Victoria
Parade section constructed in open ballast in a central reservation. Crossovers
were provided at
Services were provided by extending
the Hawthorn -
JAN 16 Numbered tram stops were introduced on the
FEB 26 The service in
APR 23 E class 38 was sold to the SEC and became Geelong 37 (later Ballarat 42).
APRIL All-night services were gradually improved from July 1950, and were now operating on the following routes (generally at hourly intervals):
§ SOUTH MELBOURNE BEACH
§ CARNEGIE via
§ GLEN IRIS
§ WATTLE PARK WARRIGAL ROAD - some trips run to Elgar Road
§ ESSENDON (Birdwood St) - some trips run to Aerodrome
The East Preston line was served by extending the all-night Northcote bus.
MAY Five E class trams were sold to the SEC for use on their provincial tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
E 37 u Geelong 38
E 41 u Ballarat 38
E 42 u Ballarat 39
E 44 u
E 45 u
(For further details see Appendix 3)
JUNE The last three maximum-traction bogie trams of the C and E classes (not including Dog Car 30) were sold to the SEC for use on their provincial tramways, being re-numbered as follows:
C 35 u Ballarat 40 (transferred June 13)
E 39 u Geelong 39 (later Ballarat 41) (transferred June 5)
E 40 u Geelong 40 (later Ballarat 43) (transferred June 19)
(For further details see Appendix 3)
JULY 12 The tracks on the
AUG 13 A crossover was installed outside the University in
AUG 26 A crossover was installed in
SEP 4 All-night services resumed on the
OCT 7 All-night services resumed on the West Maribyrnong line.
OCT 14 The Essendon all-night service was extended from
NOV 19 All-night services resumed on the
DEC 2 The Wattle Park all-night service was altered so that every trip now operated right through to Elgar Road rather than Warrigal Road.
~~~ New trams:
967 - 969 Three SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops.
970 - 973 Four trams built as SW6 class by the MMTB at Preston Workshops; they were later fitted with resilient wheels, sound proofing and double helical gears and reclassified as W6 class.
FEB 22 Scrubber Car 8 was transferred to Footscray, returning to the main system in March.
FEB 24 The Toorak all-night service was resumed. The
MARCH The East Kew all-night service was extended to
974 - 977 Four SW6 class trams built by the MMTB at Preston Workshops, later reclassified as W6 class.