I was born in 1944 in
There was another tram we could catch but that was nearly 2 kilometers (nearly 1.2 miles) away, so most times we caught the closer tram. Then in 1955 the tram line that was 2 kilometers away was converted into a trolleybus line. Thirteen months later the trolleybus line was extended and this new line finished at a new terminus at the top of our street.
This is what our house looked like in the early 1950’s.
Before the suburbs were sewerage all houses had a dunny (outhouse) at the back of the house. I have marked the next doors dunny in the photo. The next photo shows a row of houses all with dunnys at the back of each house.
Victoria Bridge era 1906.....................Stanley Street era 1898.
A restored 1901 tram at the Brisbane Tramway Museum.
In 1923 the tramways were brought under one management, the
This was the last design of tram for use in
.................................The FM Tram.
By 1952, the network had expanded to 109 route kilometres (199 km of track). Ten years later,
...................The Bench Tram era 1910.
The conductors on these trams had to walk along the side platform to collect fares from the passengers. When it rained a canvas sheet could be dropped down. I’m not sure how the conductor collected the fares during rainy conditions, but no doubt it would have been one heck of a job.
Urban development, often well away from public transport, the rise of suburban shopping centres and the relative decline in the cost of motorcars meant that as elsewhere, Brisbane's public street transport system increasingly had to compete with the private motor car and patronage slowly declined from a post war peak of 148,000,000 passenger journeys in 1946, to approximately 64,000,000 passenger journeys in 1968.
Trams on the Victoria Bridge.......................and in Queen Street.
The Paddington tram depot in
It is believed that the fire started in a storage area underneath the depot, although the cause has never been fully determined. Around depot staff were alerted by nearby residents who had noticed sparks falling from under the depot. Staff first secured the depot's cash in the depot master's car and then attempted to drive some trams out of the depot. Three trams were rescued before the fire cut the power to the depot. Firefighting was hampered by very low water pressure. As the fire progressed, burning trams periodically crashed through the weakened floor to the ground below. When it became obvious that the building could not be saved, firefighters concentrated on ensuring the fire did not spread to neighbouring homes. The fire, fuelled by tyres, oil and grease stored under the depot, was visible from many areas of
Some of the trams at the Paddington Tram Depot.
The loss of so many trams put considerable strain on the Brisbane City Council Transport Department. Initially older-style trams were brought out of storage from other depots to assist with peak-hour demand, but in December 1962 three tram services were converted to diesel bus operation. These closures were the first significant route closures of the system and within 6½ years, the remainder of
The destruction of the depot is generally seen as the beginning of the end for Brisbane's tram system, providing the justification for the subsequent closure of four tram routes, the gradual encroachment of bus operation on other tram routes with the final closure of the tram system occurring on 13 April 1969.
I went out to the Brisbane Tramway Museum two weeks ago to do some research and take some photos and video. On the next post I will finish up with the story and photos of the museum. I also purchased a book on the trolleybus service in Brisbane, so I will also conclude with the story and photos of the trolleybus.