Re: Re: The elusive La Luna loop
  Mal Rowe

On 19/05/2017 5:48 AM,prescottt@... [TramsDownUnder] wrote:

> I guess my next question would be why it is called "La Luna" and not Luna Park?


La Luna was the name of the cafe in the middle of the loop.
It was built by the P&MTT after the loop was constructed, and leased out.
Subsequently it was sold by the MMTB in 1937.

> I think I finally spotted it in that aerial photo. It seems to go around an island of land with some buildings on it - more an "around the block loop"? In that case, what I find intersting is that it's not oriented towards the city (the major destination), which one would expect a terminus loop to be, but towards Carlisle Street. There was obviously a very specific intention in building storage capacity into the terminus, being in an entertainment area (the one at Caulfield probably had a similar intention) - but from Carlisle Street? What catchment does Carlisle Street pick up from that would justify such a piece of infrastructure at this point? Is it a coincidence that both of Melbourne's loops were at either end of the Balaclava Rd corridor with a major event/entertainment precinct at each end? I assume this was all done by one of the pre MMTB operators which means they had their own unique approach, possibly an idea picked up from Sydney? What year was the Balaclava Rd line and these loops built? Was there a direct service between Caulfield and St Kilda?


As you correctly observe, the loop serves Carlisle St. At the time of its construction, Acland St was a cable tram service coming from the city via St Kilda Rd and Fitzroy St.
Here's a pic showing the area looking in the opposite direction.
Look how many cable tram sets are lined up in Acland St. Unfortunately no electric trams are in the pic.

The Carlisle St line linked up the P&MTT 'main line' in Glenferrie Rd with the beach and entertainment at St Kilda - a very valuable revenue earner! The line was opened in 1913 and the loop added in 1916. The large building at the bottom of today's pic is the Palais Theatre - largest number of seats of any Australian cinema I believe - and recently restored. With the Palais De Danse next door, plus Luna Park, plus the nearly St Moritz ice skating rink there was a lot of traffic to be had.

A little later, the P&MTT built another parallel line a little further south along Glenhuntly Rd - again to carry pasengers from their 'catchment' to the beach - this time at Point Ormond.

Conversion of the cable trams to electric trams largely made the Luna Park loop and the Point Ormond line redundant - at least for their original purpose.

The double track loop at Caulfield was similarly aimed at dealing with heavy loads - this time for horse racing. It's not so much that there was heavy traffic between St Kilda and Caulfield - just that two 'recreational traffic' destinations happened to be at opposite ends of that road.

Mal Rowe - recommending the P&MTT book as a good read to understand "Melbourne's Foremost Municipal Tramway"

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aerial stkilda lookingse c1926 ernestebell  |  1570W x 1050H  | 554.53 KB |