Re: Brisbane newspaper tram clippings from 1963

Morris didn't move to another ministry in the new Lewis government as a
result of his tram report. It was a cabinet reshuffle made for various
other reasons, revolving around a "fresh start" after ten years of the
Askin government. I knew Milton, he was glad of the change.

What a federal Labor government wanted to do at that time had no relevance
to the NSW government which was the level of government actually
responsible for urban transit. The NSW government was at loggerheads with
the Whitlam government for many reasons - the issue of trams was nothing in
the general picture. A couple of decades later the Fahey Liberal government
was far more receptive to providing assistance to implementing a
federal-state joint tram initiative.

Any belief that NSW Labor will ever support trams would dissipate if you
watched the recent parliamentary debates on the save the buses petitions
and the shouts from the Labor benches of "good riddance" in response to a
government speaker attempting to remind Labor that it got rid of the trams
in the first place. It's delusional to think otherwise. The three Labor
local members for the SE have now got together some 80,000 signatures from
locals opposing being forced onto the trams, so it's not just the
politicians, but the people of the SE who have ceased to love the trams
like they did 60 years ago.

I warned about this ten years ago and more - that whatever new system was
built, it had to offer a value-added experience in order to attract bus
users across to the tram. I also warned that French tram systems were
notoriously slow. So everything I raised has come to fruition - all locked
into a sixteen something-year contract that can't be changed. Fortunately,
a metro line is to be eventually built to the SE, so that will rescue all
those commuters living down there.

People don't automatically swoon over trams and disregard all other
convenience issues just to get on a tram. That little bit of light rail
advocacy wishfil thinking has to be laid to rest. If some city wants trams,
it requires a bit of hard yakka and doing it properly. Fortunately CSELR at
least has a decent job to do within its direct catchment. It just won't
viably replace the buses. which was one of the original objectives.

Tony P

On Sunday, 22 November 2020 at 14:53:57 UTC+11a...@... wrote:

> Really, the rot in NSW started after WW1. Unregulated buses were cherry

> picking the cream of the tram traffic and nearly every postwar tramway

> extension proposal was first delayed and then discarded. The flu pandemic

> and postwar recession meant the economy was weak and money, for various

> reasons was short. Reliable motor transport and increasing car ownership

> among the political and business classes made road transport look modern

> and versatile, like aviation, seen as the way of the future. This was also

> recognised by treasury bureaucrats as a way of shifting cost - and debt -

> from the state, as the provider of rail transport, including tramways, to

> businesses and individuals operating their own vehicles on state provided

> roads on payment of a registration fee.


> And in the 20s the pirate buses were shiny and new, with padded seats and

> everything, while the trams were already labelled boneshakers, rattletraps

> etc, and once the bus had cleaned up enough of a paying load, comfortably

> seated, the trams could pack in the rest as the most remunerative traffic

> from the outer end of the route got a fast run to town. Hard for the mostly

> pre WW1 tram fleet, and wooden seated P class, to look flash alongside

> that, something that the tramways grudgingly recognised by running “first

> class” services to Randwick racetrack using P cars fitted with seat

> cushions. Trams were old, passé, rattly relics, while the future rolled

> smoothly on rubber tyres over paved roads.


> That’s why none of the peri-urban steam tramways in Sydney were

> electrified, and only Newcastle partly electrified out of the regional

> steam tramways there and in Maitland and Broken Hill. Most of those steam

> operations ended in 1926, coincidentally when suburban electric trains

> started running in Sydney.


> All through the 20s and 30s the emphasis was on the city railway, suburban

> rail electrification, road bridges and extensive road widening and paving

> rather than tramway expansion and improvement, and despite some brief

> periods of apparent reprieve the trajectory from around 1920 to the final

> demise in 1961 is pretty much downward, aided and abetted by a relentlessly

> hostile print media - with honourable exception of Ezra Norton’s Daily

> Mirror, and Packer’s Telegraph being the worst anti-tram shills - and an

> aggressive anti-tram, pro-motoring lobby in the National Roads and

> Motorists Association and the Motor Traders Association.


> This Trolley Wire issue covers it well :





> Tony



> > On 22 Nov 2020, at 1:50 pm, Mal Rowe mal....@...> wrote:

> >

> > According to the Daily Mirror in the war years, the rot set in early in

> Sydney.

> >

> > Here's an article from the Mirror quoted with obvious relish by the MMTB

> in their staff magazine.

> >

> > Mal Rowe - in a nation where inter city rivalry is alive and active

> >

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> .

> > <TramwayTopics_20Jul1944-p2.pdf>