Our golden years

1940

26 October
Final cable tram closure - the Bourke Street cable lines to Nicholson Street and Northcote were replaced with bus services.

22 December
The Maribyrnong River line was extended along Raleigh Road and Cordite Avenue to the Explosives Factory at West Maribyrnong.  Due to the outbreak of World War II, this tram line was extended to service the munitions factories.

1941

6 July
The Ordnance Factory branch line was opened along private right-of-way adjacent to Wests Road from Raleigh Road to Williamsons Road, Maribyrnong. No regular service was provided as trams operated when required for factory shift workers.

July - August
All-night tram services were greatly expanded due to petrol rationing and increased shiftwork caused by wartime conditions.

14 September
The employment of conductresses commenced, due to manpower shortages caused by the war.

9 November
On the Footscray system, a branch line to the Ammunition Factory was opened, running from Ballarat Road to River Street via Gordon Street. No regular service was provided as trams operated when required for factory shift workers at the munition factories.

1942

24 February
For security reasons, restrictions were imposed on certain tram destination displays for the duration of the war: 'Explosives Factory', 'Ordnance Factory' and 'Ammunition Factory' were not to be used.

24 May
A new line was opened from Ascot Vale to Moonee Ponds Junction.

1943

16 May
The Essendon line was extended from Birdwood Street to Essendon Aerodrome. The Commonwealth Government requested this extension because of wartime conditions.

1945

June
The Victorian Railways Commissioners stated their intention to close the Sandringham tramway, which sparked a vigorous opposition campaign by locals, and delayed closure of the line for a further 11 years.

1946

3 February
Services commenced running on the new line from William Street, City to Hanna Street (South Melbourne) Depot.

1951

15 January
A new City tram line along La Trobe Street was opened from Brunswick Street to Lonsdale Street via Victoria Parade, La Trobe Street and Spencer Street.

16 January
Numbered tram stops were introduced on the Wattle Park and Burwood lines.  They were later installed on all other lines.

1952

11 October
Coburg Depot was closed.

1954

2 May
The Footscray connecting line was opened. It ran from the Ordnance Factory terminus of the main system via Williamson Road, Rosamond Road and River Street to the Ammunition Factory terminus of the Footscray lines at Gordon Street.

1955

24 June
East Preston Depot opened.  This depot was built to replace the former Preston Depot (now known as Thornbury Depot or Old Preston Depot).  Thornbury Depot was closed as a service depot, but remained in use for storing trams.

26 June
A new line was opened from Spencer Street to Northcote, via the former cable tram route along Bourke Street, Nicholson Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street, Queens Parade and High Street.
New trams were built for the Bourke Street line - W6 class trams built by the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board at Preston Workshops (some had commenced construction in 1953-4).

1956

8 April
The East Brunswick line was opened.  It ran from Gertrude Street to Blyth Street, East Brunswick, via Nicholson Street. 

April
Exterior advertisements were introduced on trams.

May
Coburg Depot, in use as a tram storage shed since 1952, was closed to trams completely.

1959

28 February
Final closure of the Victorian Railways trams.  The St Kilda - Brighton line was closed.
Elwood Depot was retained for use by the private bus operator who took over the services.

15 November
Hawthorn Depot was closed on Sundays as an economy measure.

1960

20 September
Hanna Street Depot was renamed South Melbourne Depot, following the renaming of Hanna Street to Kingsway.

22 October
The Point Ormond - Elsternwick line was closed.

1962

10 March
The local Footscray lines were closed.

1965

13 February
Hawthorn Depot was closed, but remained in use for storing trams.

1967

9 June
Construction completed on the new bridge over the Maribyrnong River. The new bridge carried both trams and traffic across the river, whereas the previous bridge had been tram only.

1968

November
Completion of the St Kilda Junction tram track alterations. This project involved major road widening works through the junction, with an underpass running from Queens Road via the new Queensway to Dandenong Road.

1970

16 March
The new track in Nolan Street, South Melbourne, was opened. It ran from Sturt Street to St Kilda Road and replaced the track in Sturt Street from Nolan Street to City Road, which was abandoned due to construction of the City Road underpass.

21 October
A bridge over the new freeway in Matthews Avenue on the Essendon Aerodrome line was brought into use.

1 November
Extensive alterations were made to the route number system.

 

 

1940a

1940b

1940c

1940e

1940f

1940g

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