Monday, May 05, 2014

When trams go bad

Sydney's tram system closed down completely in the early 1960s. Many lamented its closing and it is now realised as being a mistake, one that Melbourne did not make as we kept our tram system.

By the time it closed, Sydney's tram system was in serious decay as little was done to maintain and improve the system during the war when it was under immense pressure, and post war when motor cars really began to take over roads.

Like all transport, whatever type, things go wrong and Sydney trams had its share. Here are few photos.

Firstly, a simple accident with a car. I am not sure where this is but it appears to be in the city. A crowd has gathered and possibly is remonstrating with the taxi driver.

 

This one appears like it is about to burst into flame. People are keeping their distance. Corner of Hunter and Pitt Street.


This was a terrible accident at McMahons Point. I believe people were killed by this runaway tram.


 Tram number 1875 ran off the end of the tracks at Athol Wharf near Taronga Zoo.



Was a lesson learnt and preventative measures put in place? It seems not. Tram number 2000 ended up in the drink at the same location.


No, not a lesson learnt. Here is tram 1890 in grief at the same place. I understand it is a steep descent and fallen leaves often made the tram tracks very slippery.


Sometimes don't you wish you had just stayed in bed for the day? I am sure many did that day. Might Victor be able to identify the location, with a street number of 1911 at what appears to be a busy tram junction? Oxford Street?

22 comments:

  1. Andrew, Despite all I love trams they are comfortable and don;'t pollute the air. What a shame you don't have them.
    Pics are great I love them so historic but original.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosia, while Sydney is re-introducing them, Melbourne where I live kept ours.

      Delete
  2. I am sorry that we don't have them. And even when they go bad they do no more damage than cars/buses/taxis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, death by tram misadventure is very rare.

      Delete
  3. I don't remember the trams but remember the adults talking about them, I think they are missed.
    Merle........................

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merle, the trams going to the beaches often had amazing views as they wound their way along, and they were fast too.

      Delete
  4. York Buildings is on the corner of Darling St and Victoria Rd, Rozelle. It was threatened with demolition for the short-lived metro proposal, but has survived. There used to be a dance studio upstairs but it now appears to be an indigenous art gallery. Try searching for 678 darling street rozelle on google maps or else perhaps https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.863762,151.170028,3a,75y,176.72h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sI2KP62FZ1ZW-oqHxuyicig!2e0

    -if that works.

    The intersection is on a crest and perhaps trams turned right at the crest into and from Darling Street.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent Marcellous, thanks. Interesting. It was a very busy intersection, with the Drummoyne and Ryde trams travelling along Victoria Road and the Balmain and Birchgrove trams travelling to the city and Canterbury. There was a connecting curve right into and from Darling Street ex the city.

      Delete
  5. Marcellous beat me to the location of the bottom picture which I also deduced as corner of Darling Street and Victoria Road from the Rylands Studio Rozelle Branch sign on the corner building.

    I think the top photo may be in Pitt Street in the City judging from the narrowness of the road, the columns visible in the building and the tram's destination which appears to be Hurlstone Park.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Victor. I can't make out the destination at all.

      Delete
  6. Bit of a problem with that steep hill by the zoo then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like there was River. I hope to visit the area when we next visit Sydney.

      Delete
  7. Ha ha all those trams going off the edge... priceless! Love the one with the 'keep off - danger' bit of wood tacked onto it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fen, 1950s nanny state.

      Delete
  8. Three times ! That's just total negligence! I love the old b&w's.. they are so enduring, I never get tired of looking at photos of days gone by.. Did you have a problem with the trains a fe days ago? I vaguely remember hearing something on the radio and thinking 'uh oh Andrew won't be happy' :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grace, rather than the harshness of colour, I too like b&w photos with the contrast of light and shade.

      Oh yes, we did have a big problem with the trains. This time not bats but rats, chewing through wires.

      Delete
  9. Oh my goodness, those accidents! How does a tram run that far off its tracks?
    Clearly they were a menace and had to be stopped!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far off the tracks Jackie? I don't know how far off they are, but it looks to be a good distance. Sydney's tram system was very efficient and huge, putting Melbourne's much smaller system into the pale.

      Delete
  10. Such a shame the system wasn't managed better and doesn't continue today. Oil companies and car makers ensured that Los Angeles lost its light-rail system and now they're trying to create one from scratch at huge expensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mitchell, not just in LA, but all over America. It is fairly clear that Sydney's tram system was shut down by extensive lobbying by oil, tyre and car people, mind it had got to the point where a lot of money needed to be spent.

      Delete
  11. The York Building is on the Corner of Victoria Road and Darling Street Rozelle, I've just been told.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. A couple of people did note the location earlier, but I appreciate your help.

      Delete