Was Melbourne's cable tram track in good order despite age because of the low axle load of the cable cars?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mal Rowemal.rowe@... [TramsDownUnder]" TramsDownUnder@...>
Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 9:27 PM
Subject: Re: [TramsDownUnder] Re: Russell St [Was: Glenhuntly - 1957 and 2017]
> On 17/05/2017 8:20 PM,mcloughlin.dj@... [TramsDownUnder] wrote:
>> And so none of the cable lines not converted to electric trams from
>> the outset ever became electric lines, Bourke Street excepted. IIRC
>> the board was still hoping to electrify Johnston Street (and on to
>> Bulleen) well into the 1950s. Wasn't that the cable line (or one of
>> them) that fed into Russell St and Lonsdale St?
> Yes - and it was the second last line to close (counting the two Bourke
> St services as 'one line'.)
>> I still marvel that Melbourne's trams survived, given the high-level
>> hatred of them in the 1950s and 1960s and the wanton destruction of
>> the great Sydney system and the modern system in Brisbane, which had
>> newer trams than Melbourne when it was destroyed almost overnight in
>> 1969 in the biggest act of civic vandalism in Australian history.
> It's a common and probably valid belief that one of the key factors in
> the survival of Melbourne's trams was in fact the cable trams.
> Whereas Sydney and (to a lesser extent) Brisbane had a lot of old tram
> track that needed replacement in the 1960s, much of Melbourne's track
> was still in quite good order - much of it having been built 20 or 30
> years after the electric lines in other cities. Another contribution by
> the cable system was the concrete foundations they were built on - which
> were left in place to provide a very solid base for the electric trams.
> Mal Rowe - thinking about a piece of writing about Melbourne track
> construction down the years