Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tram shelter, New Farm

Just after my most recent post on Brisbane's trams, I came across this image, seemingly from about 1989. I'm afraid I don't know the source of the picture, but I would happily credit the photographer if I could.
(Photo: source unknown)

The photograph made me stop and look, because it seemed a bit familiar to me. Then I realised - it was taken at the end of my street.

The white building at the LHS of the picture is HMAS Moreton, a former Brisbane naval base. Right beside it is a Queensland Rail rail motor that is travelling on the now-defunct Teneriffe railway line. It used to service the CSR Refinery, the Powerhouse, the woolstores, the wharves and the gas works that were a feature of the area. As the rail motor was strictly a passenger train, I assume that this is some special excursion train.

Under the Moreton Bay figs on the RHS of the photograph is a tram shelter with a few people waiting for the tram that ended at New Farm ferry - the ferry terminal is just out of shot on the left. The tram shelter was constructed from timber with a tiled roof, and seems to be similar to this one at Coorparoo.

Let's fast forward to today with a look at the same area.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

As we all know, there are no more trams. Buses come past here but there is no bus stop at this point. The tram shelter remains, acting purely as a shelter and place of repose - the seat has even been turned away from the street. On the day I took this photo there was a group of people sitting in the shade of the shed having a chat. The New Farm and Districts Historical Society has erected a plaque detailing the history of the shed - here it is.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

The train line is no more, although traces of the rails appear in different spots - the industry that required it no longer exists. The CSR Refinery is now an apartment block; the Powerhouse is now restaurants and an entertainment venue. The woolstores no longer store wool - they house people in apartments; the gas works and wharves have gone, replaced by more accommodation. And HMAS Moreton no longer exists either. It too was demolished to make way for a large apartment block, Freshwater, as seen in the middle photograph above. There are still remnants of the ferry terminal nearby, although neither the ferries nor the City Cat stop there now.

In the space of twenty-odd years everything in the top photograph has gone. Except for the tram shelter. Thank goodness it's still there.

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  1. Thanks... I love your top photo.

    Losing trams was an insanity. Introducing petrol-belching buses was even stupider. We will have to check out the Queensland Rail rail motor, on the next Brisbane holiday or conference.

  2. They still run on special occasions in certain places.


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