Sunday, April 6, 2008
Horse Drawn Trams #2 The Zoo Horse Tram
Back in the past of October 1, 1887, the Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Co. began operating its Brunswick cable tram line service.
Coincidentally on the same day it started running its very own Zoo Horse Tram, a branch line off the Brunswick cable tramway.
The 2 gee-gees who pulled the saloons or toast-rack tram cars would gently plod their passengers from the corner of Gatehouse St and Royal Parade to the main entrance of The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens.
And back again.
The route did not follow the current tramline that runs through Royal Park but is today marked by the avenue of Moreton Bay Fig trees that originally lined the tracks.
While passenger numbers were on the nose the final nail in the coffin of the Zoo Horse Tram was the arson of its depot, located in Royal Park, in the riots that took place during the Melbourne police strike of 1923.
The evening of November 5th, 1923 saw the tram horses doing a runner but the tram sheds, containing the tram cars and other paraphernalia, go up in a blaze of flame and smoke.