Monday, May 05, 2008

Pants on a Tram

Of course Pants is far too young to have travelled on a Sydney tram, but she did live in Drummoyne as a wee lass so here are a few details of the tram to Drummoyne. It is not the most interesting route. The trams to Balmain, to Watson's Bay, to McMahon's Point, to Bondi Beach, to Balmoral or even the tram to Lilyfield were standouts. Hmm, I don't seem to have done over the Watson's Bay line. How remiss. It is now on the list.

The tram to Drummoyne was only an interim destination until the tram was ultimately extended to Ryde. The folk at the marvellously named suburb of Field of Mars (if you are into flying saucers, google it), now Marsfield, never got their tram that they and their leaders agitated for so hard. I stopped in Ryde at Pope Street and Lane Cove Road. But there was another tram from there to Ryde Railway Station, now West Ryde Station it would seem.

Initially the tram to Drummoyne stopped at Gladesville Bridge and travelled from Circular Quay along George Street, via Railway (Central Station), along Broadway, Parramatta Road, into Derwent Street, Catherine Street, St John's Road, Minougue Crescent, known as the suburb Forest Lodge or Rozelle, The Crescent and past Harold Park race track and into Barnes Street (Victoria Road), Weston Road(Victoria Road) and Victoria Road.

It was a tram route that needed to cross four waterways to get to Ryde, but the only crossing for Drummoyne initially was the Iron Cove Bridge over an inlet of the Parramatta River. Although it is still named as such, the present structure would surely not be the same bridge.

Then a really clever dude thought that once the Glebe Island Bridge over Black Wattle Bay was finished, the trip could be much quicker by using the Pyrmont tram line and branching off Harris Street into Miller Street and Bank St and over the new Glebe Island Bridge into what was then Commercial Road. This must have chopped quite a bit of time off the trip.

After some time the line was extended over Gladesville Bridge at Five Dock and like the Glebe Island Bridge, it had a swing section, powered by tramway power, to let big boats to pass. I can see issues with tram schedules.

Not all trams went the full long distance route to Ryde. Some stopped at Five Dock and some at Pant's local shops for local people, Lyons Road in Drummoyne.

Power was supplied by the Ultimo Power House. Trams and staff were originally supplied from the Ultimo Depot off Mary Anne Street and later the Rozelle Depot next to Harold Park Raceway.

If you have read this and are in an inner to mid city Sydney suburb, speak up and I will do your area.


  1. "It was a tram route that needed to cross four waterways to get to Ryde..."

    Not much chance of being used regularly by vampires then.

    Didn't John Lennon write a song about his girlfriend taking that particular journey? Well...she bought the ticket for it, at any rate.

  2. Anonymous1:58 pm

    What about any tram routes to La Perouse or Canterbury.

  3. I am old enough to have travelled by tram in Sydney. As a primary school boy I travelled by tram from Kings Cross to Edgecliff and return for my schooling.

    From Kings Cross we travelled east along Bayswater Road down the hill onto New South Head Road then past the tram depot at Rushcutters Bay and up the hill to Edgecliff where my school was located in an old church. The two blocks on either side of the old church and the church itself are all now replaced by a shopping centre, office block and bus exchange sitting atop the Eastern Suburbs railway.

    This tramline ran out to Watsons Bay alongside the infamous 'Gap' where poor souls jumped to their deaths.

  4. Vampires don't like water Brian?

    Yep, can do them Anon. It may be a while, not sure.

    And the route you travelled to school on Victor, was where Sydney's only cable tram ran. It went from the far end of King St to Ocean St. The newer electric line to Rose Bay, later on to Watson's Bay, initially met the cable tram at Ocean street and passengers were transferred. I will do Watson's Bay at some point. It would have been a great trip.