Monday, April 28, 2008

Lost Cable Tram Lines #12 Brighton Road

The 11th of October, 1888 saw the opening of the cable tram route that brought even more access from the hot, dusty city to the milder, cooler climes of Brighton for the hoi polloi.

For those waiting for a tram at the corner of Queensberry and Swanston Sts, the Queensberry Hotel was very generously built a mere 2 years later, giving men a place to rest their weary elbows ( and ladies a chance to loosen their stays) before they alighted upon the newest vehicle conveyance to catch some Brighton air.

The tram would snootily take it's cargo down Swanston Street, past the City Baths and veer ever so gently to the left as it entered the city straight where it would serenely sail along, passing that valued place of reading The State Library, the Melbourne Town Hall, that newly finished church St Paul's Cathedral until it genteelly nodded acknowledgment of it's larger sister, Flinders Street Station.

Crossing Princes' Street Bridge, the tram would continue on it's way down St Kilda Rd , passing the various gardens, Government House Drive and The Shrine of Remembrance on it's immediate left.

Wiggling around the curve to the left the tram would probably distreetly tinkle it's bell as it pushed past it's engine house on the corner of Bromley St on the left and sallied further along St Kilda Rd, outstripping Fawkner Park on the left and Albert Park Lake to the right, resolutely marching towards the St Kilda Junction.

Streaming through the intersection the cable tram would find itself in St Kilda, waving a hand at the streets Alma, Inkerman and Carlisle as it crossed them until it found the carriageway had changed it's name to match the suburb and was now Brighton Rd.

Having Balaclava on it's left and Elwood on it's right the tram would gently cease it's forward momentum as it reached the end of it's line at Glen Eira Road.

Alas, the hoi polloi found a lump of coal in the toe of their stocking on December 29, 1925 in the form of the cable tram route being closed to all and sundry, forever.

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