Monday, August 03, 2009

I'm on a Road to Nowhere

I have posted a photo of this before, a long time ago, but too bad. Here is another. Photo was taken in Brunswick and Jayne explains here what it is. I am pleased a little bit is left to excite curiosity (Mummy, why is there a piece of train line here? Not sure darling, have a look at Highriser to find out....on second thoughts don't. You are too young).

This one I will have to explain myself. This is one end of the tram track and it curves around the corner. It turns from Brunswick Road into Lygon Street, heading south towards the city.

So here it is at the other end after the curve and you can see it has been disconnected from the main tram track. It really is a track to nowhere from nowhere.

Before the track was disconnected from the main track, it was used as a siding for perhaps trams that were broken down, or just to temporarily store trams.

What remains was part of a cross suburb line that originally connected the Essendon and Brunswick part of the tram system to the Preston part of the system, where the large tramway maintenance workshop was and is. Its original purpose was to carry Preston passengers to the city via Lygon Street on an electric tram rather than have to change to a cable tram at the cable tram terminus at the corner of St Georges Road and Holden Street.

So the trams would travel along Brunswick Road, which changes its name to Holden Street but rather than continuing on to the St Georges Road corner, it turned left into Pilkington Street then right into Barkly Street and then left into St Georges Road.

You may be wondering why the tram did not just continue along Holden Street and turn left into St Georges Road, rather than divert for a short trip through back streets. I understand it was to avoid conflict with the cable tram terminus in St Georges Road.

During WWII when steel was almost impossible to obtain and the electric tram had replaced the cable tram in St Georges Road, the double track was converted to a single track and the dug up rail used for construction of new tram track elsewhere, although the double overhead wiring remained in place. I should think it was no longer used as a passenger service from this point, but continued to be used for freight and tram movements until 1976 when it was decommissioned and all removed apart the short section that can be seen in my photos.

The observant among you who reside in the area may or may not have noticed that many of the street poles are steel, which is always a good clue to a street being an old tram route. Also note the wide sweeping turn into Pilkington Street, appropriate for trams to turn.


  1. Were you drunk when you took those shots?

  2. For once no. I see your point about holding the camera straight, if that is what you mean. I am aware that it is an issue.

  3. I've noticed those odd bits of track, whilst it isn't exactly my area, I pass through on the way to track-pant central, err I mean Barkly Square. I always wondered what the story was exactly, I knew I could count on you to clear it up for me... so do I get a prize for noticing?

  4. Is Barkly Square what they call that bit of East Brunny? Where all the restaurants and flower shops are? Prize is you can look inside my beside cupboard.

  5. Ahhh, haven't been through there for awhile but I'll know exactly what I'm looking at ;)
    Your next mission, should you choose to accept it, is to track down the towns where the red gum blocks in the road came from :P

  6. Andrew, Barkley Square (or sparkly bear if I'm feeling fagalicious(and yes, I spelt it wrong last night, sorry)) is the little shopping centre in Brunswick on the corner of Barkley St and Sydney Road. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. I just like it because it has a Safeway and a Coles, plus a the other stores there aren't as overpriced as Lygon Central, or whatever it's called.

    Now... when should I come over to peek in your drawers?

  7. Jayne, barley Charlie. I'll just say the Mallee.

    Ok, Mutant. With you now. My drawers are locked.