Monday, March 31, 2008

Lost Electric Tram Lines #2 St Kilda - Brighton Beach

On the 15th May, 1906 Victorian Railways began running electric trams from St Kilda to Brighton Beach.

The tram would collect its passengers from the now "light rail" tram stop that was once St Kilda train station and zip off down Grey St, throwing a right into Barkly St with a meander off to the left down Mitford St.
Wandering slightly to the right in the dog leg where Mitford St becomes Broadway the tram would chuck an immediate left as it crossed Glen Huntly Rd into Ormond Rd then a right as it reached St Kilda St.
It was pretty much a straight run after that; along St Kilda St/Esplanade, following, of course, the few wiggles and jiggles in the road until it finished at Brighton Beach train station where those who wanted be seen alighted and proceeded to promenade with a flourish and take the sea air - because the sea air was soooo much better in Brighton than in St Kilda.

The new tramline ran for a mere 10 months before its depot, at Head St, Elwood, went up in a blaze of fire taking all the trams with it on March 7th, 1907.
Reopening the line only 10 days later, Victorian Railways was determined (in those days, at least!) to keep the service running for commuters and they reopened the new depot on June 20th that year.

By 1958, however, spending money on public transport was becoming a frowned upon expense by the government (pretty much like today) and the St Kilda -Brighton Beach line was requiring significant dosh to maintain and update it so on the 28th February 1959 the line was closed and replaced with a bus.

The tram depot at Head St was converted into a private bus depot, then it was owned by the government again only to be sold off to a private owner then to be totally humiliated by being flogged off for private housing development.


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