Re: Johnston Street cable tracks in Melbourne

Hello, Dudley!
Much as municipal councils would've liked rate revenue from state and
Commonwealth sources, such was not the case - at least in Victoria. For
example, the Commonwealth paid no (state) land tax, and certainly the state
government here in Victoria paid no council rates. Similarly, state
government departments and instrumentalities (read M&MTB) paid no council
rates. The Tramways Board WAS responsible for road surface maintenance for
the track(s) area and 18 inches beyond. The Tramways Board would have made
an "ex-gratia" payment (in lieu of rates) for rubbish removal by Councils.
Len Millar

-----Original Message-----
From: Dudley Horscroft
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2019 12:16 AM
Subject: Re: [TramsDownUnder] Johnston Street cable tracks in Melbourne

I have a feeling that the MMTB had to pay rates on its tracks - this was
standard procedure in the UK, and I doubt that Australian
councils would have given up such a wonderful source of revenue.

So when it appeared that there was little likelihood of being able to
re-open the tracks as electric lines, it was decided to get
rid of the cable tracks and avoid the payment of rates. Probably the
removal cost about same as one or two year's rates, so it was
worth it. I think all the cable tracks were removed at the same time - the
exception being where councils had already buried the
tracks. I remember seeing the Johnston St and Port Melbourne tracks when I
first came to Australia, and for some time after.


Dudley Horscroft
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hal Cain" hegcain@...>
To: tramsdownunder@...>
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2019 8:39 PM
Subject: Re: [TramsDownUnder] Johnston Street cable tracks in Melbourne

> On Sat, Jan 5, 2019 at 3:15 PM David McLoughlin>

> wrote:


>> A question about what became of the cable tram tracks in Johnston Street,

>> Melbourne. Known as the Collingwood line, it closed in April 1939 and was

>> replaced at the time by buses.



> The Johnston St cable tracks were removed in the early 1960s from Johnson

> St, Elgin St, Lygon St and Russell St. It was done while I was attending

> Melbourne University, and I travelled on the Johnston St bus most days,

> and

> watched it being done (apparently by the same per-way gangs that had been

> relaying tramlines in mass concrete). The North Carlton line in Rathdowne

> St was also done. I wasn't within reach to see the Port Melbourne line

> removed soon after, also the line which ran in City Rd between

> Queensbridge

> St and Clarendon Stl the remaining stub in Market St, between Collins St

> and Flinders Lane, also went. The only visible cable tram track left was

> the couple of yards at the Spencer St end of Bourke St, and they were

> removed when the Bourke St line was connected into Spencer St as part of

> the light rail conversion.


> The rails and slot girders were lifted, the yokes cut off by oxy-acetylene

> torch, and the trench was filled with crushed rock, and asphalt mix road

> surfacing was laid on top; previously the road surface on the track had

> been wood blocks.


> The only remaining cable tram track I know of is in Abbotsford St (the

> West

> Melbourne route, between Queensberry St and Spencer St) which was

> revealied

> by excavations some years ago; it's been covered again in the course of

> changing the roadway.. I think there was an idea about making a part of

> it

> visible, but I've heard nothing, and judging from Google Maps image

> there's

> nothing to be seen. But at least a small piece of track still exists.


> The buses replacing the Collingwood route were extended via Kew Junction,

> forst to Earl St, later to Belford Rd, and then to Burke Rd (where they

> met

> the North Balwyn tram). On 2 July 1961 the MMTB took over bus routes in

> the

> Doncaster-Templestowe area, and extended the North Kew bus route to

> Bulleen. The Port Melbourne bus replacing the cable tram was

> through-routed to North Kew; it was extended to Garden City, but I don't

> know the date. The North Carlton bus ran direct via Rathdowne St into the

> city, instead of Lygon St; in the 1950s it was extended via Clifton Hill

> to

> West Heidelberg, and more recently to La Trobe University; that route

> partly replaced the Holden St/Brunswick Rd shuttle tram service.


> Hal Cain


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