As we have noted before, trams disappeared from Brisbane in 1969. In recent times various governments have intimated that trams might be reintroduced, but that never seems to eventuate. Rather we seem to spend increasing amounts on tunnels and freeways to serve the motor car.
But there are still traces of our tram history to be seen if one knows where to look. In no particular order, here are some reminders of the Brisbane tram system.
1. Stop 26.
On the corner of Old Cleveland Rd and Cavendish Rd at Coorparoo. This former tram stop is where people used to wait, on the footpath, for the trams that ran down the centre of the road. The trams would pull up opposite the stop, and all the motorists had to stop their cars at the rear of the trams to allow the passengers to walk in safety from the footpath onto the roadway and then board the tram.
2. Mail hitching post.
In Queen St, outside the GPO. People used to be able to post their mail by dropping it in a mail bag on the front of the tram. When the tram got to the GPO, the conductor would leave the mail bag on this post and it would be collected by post office staff.
3. Tramway substation.
On Ipswich Rd at Annerley, just before the Annerley Rd junction. This substation was built in 1936 to supply power from the grid to the electric tram network. It has been incorporated into the old Annerley Junction Hotel, now known as the Muddy Farmer. The top photo was taken from Annerley Rd, and the bottom from Ipswich Rd.
4. Tram shelter 1.
Sandgate Rd Clayfield. It's hard to imagine a scene more in keeping with Brisbane than this tiny tram shelter. Built around 1946 and designed by then City Architect Frank Costello, it is sheltered from the hot sun by these giant Moreton Bay figs. If you look closely you'll find it!
5. Tram shelter 2.
On Chatsworth Rd, opposite Rossmore Avenue. A timber construction with a terracotta tiled roof built during WWII, this was the standard waiting shed for trams. It now serves the same purpose for the buses.
(Photos: © 2012 the foto fanatic)