Saturday, April 28, 2018

A tram to Carr Villa

As is my wont, I had a bit of a look at the former tram routes before we visited Launceston. The last tram ran in Launceston in 1952, replaced by electric trolley buses, which were later replaced by diesel buses. Sadly the replacement of trams with buses happened all over Australia in the 1950s and 60s, except in my own city of Melbourne. Actually, it happened all over the world, aside from Europe.

The system was quite extensive, as this map shows.


The nearest tram to T's place terminated at the corner Brougham Street and Basin Road, West Launceston. It is then a 20 minute walk to T's place, but a very, very steep walk. Sure enough as we approached the intersection for the first time, evidence! An electric substation situated at the tram terminus. Electric trams need a good and reliable power supply and they usually use DC current, so special electrical equipment is needed, along with the current transformed to a higher voltage. I would guess that LMC stands for Launceston Municipal Council, who owned the local power supply along with the tram system.


While researching checking things, I came across this rather nice but slightly mournful photo. It is perhaps not surprising that it is a little mournful as Carr Villa is the name of the main Launceston cemetery and after years of public agitation, the tram line was extended to service Carr Villa. Unlike some former Australian tram systems, there is not a lot online about Launceston trams, so I had to make some guesswork and I think I have it correct.


As you can see above, there is a line of pine trees, which I eventually discovered by using Street View, lined the western edge of the cemetery, and still do. I know the tram terminated at the cemetery gates, which would be to the right in the above photo. The tram must have turned left from Hobart Road into either Opossum Road but more likely Carr Street. It travelled along Carr Street after the road turned right and then turned right again when it reached Nunamina Avenue. The terminus would have been just out of sight to the left in the photo above and in the photo below, visible. The shelter perhaps just behind the trees below.


I had a meeting with an advisor at my superannuation organisation today, and if you think I have too much time on my hands that I bother with such things such as old Launceston trams, just wait until I go on to long service leave on half pay for a year. 

14 comments:

  1. Filling your time with things which interest/fascinate you is NEVER wasted. When do you start your long service leave? A transition to retirement?

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    1. EC, yes it will be a transition to retirement, but I am not sure when.

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  2. Great research, as always!
    Trams should never be forgotten!
    Are you planning on retirement?

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    1. Thanks Jayne. Yes, but it is a big step.

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  3. Thankfully many countries like Czech Republic, Turkey, Sweden, Austria, India, Finland and even cities in the UK and France have kept and improved their tramways. Few countries want their air poisoned by petrol.

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    1. And generally Hels, aren't they such nice cities to visit? You would have seen photos of LA freeways with many lanes of congested traffic. Our state government is planning for 16 lanes on the Eastern Freeway and the central train reservation with be used for car traffic. Very backward thinking.

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  4. A tram line to the cemetery seems like a good idea. You could pack one carriage with coffins and two carriages with mourners and save all that street traffic (*~*)

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    1. River, that was exactly what happened in Melbourne and Sydney, but trains not trams. Coffins and mourners, all went by train. http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/mortuary-station.html

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  5. Wow,one year of long service leave, that's great Andrew.

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    1. Sami, I have 35 weeks long service, so 70 at half pay. It is good.

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  6. Didn't live in Launceston when there were trams..Carr Villa is a few hills over from me..to the north.

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    1. Hehe Margaret, is that how Launceston distances are measured, by the number of hills. I get that.

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  7. Andrew, a leisurely year long tour of the world's tramways sounds like a great idea from my reader's perspective of your blog.

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    1. Victor, half pay would not allow that.

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