Hugh Waldron keeps a detailed and up to date record of the history of tram services from kew depot.
Here are his notes on the changes to route 78 coming up in just over a week.
Kew Depot resumes Route 78 North Richmond – Balaclava via Prahran on Sunday 30th April 2017 (not Monday 1st May) after an absence of 22 years and 28 days. Although the timetable change for Route 78 is set for 1st May (along with all the other routes) this means that on the Sunday 30th April there will be a number of run outs and run ins to and from Kew Depot not timetabled on the public timetables for that day. This means that “Z3” class trams will no longer be seen on Route 78 after Saturday 29th April. This also means that few trams will use the connecting curves from Chapel Street into Brighton Road from the 30th. Six “A” class will move from Glen Huntly Depot to Kew increasing the number of trams at Kew from 49 to 55. This will mean “A1” class trams will return to operating out of Kew. Kew has not had any “A1” class trams allocated for a number of years although occasionally they have been on loan.
Kew Depot had originally taken over Route 78 along with now discontinued Route 79 on the closure of Hawthorn Depot on 14th February 1965. Kew then shared routes 78 & 79 with Glen Huntly from 30th October 1972 due to a shortage of traffic staff at Kew. Glen Huntly took over full operation of routes 78 & 79 from 2nd April 1995. The last Kew tram to operate in normal service on the 2nd April 1995 was “A1”237 that left Luna Park at 12,05 am on route 79. In the intervening years a few trips on Chapel Street (except during the period of Swanston Trams and M Trams) have been made by Kew due to various problems. One such problem occurred on Sunday 29th October 2006, when a Glen Huntly driver was one hour late for work (commencement of daylight saving). Fortunately a trainer driver was training a new driver on the “C” class and had arrived at Kew early enough to operate the first tram for the day from North Richmond at 0755 (GH 51 run) Route 79, this may have been the first “C” class (3021) tram to operate in service on Chapel Street .
Route 79 ceased 27th July 2014. The last route 79 was operated by “Z1” 78 in the early hours of that morning.
This change does not affect passengers - except that they will not see Z3s anymore - so it has not featured in the PTV publicity.
I have attached a pic of an era not long gone when route 78 was W territory.
The location is the junction between route 78 and the former route 77.
Mal Rowe - who might get a few more 'snaps' before the changes.