Crossing Paths

Crossing Paths
Model Melbourne trams

Monday 2 July 2018

Back on track.

"Under the cloak of darkness of an early Sunday morning, after a sly reconnaissance mission during a weekday, it was decided to power up the trolley wire and it was time to knock off some oxide of the rail head. As the poor locals of Victoria Street have had to tolerate bustitution for over twelve months.

The tram, SW6 964, out of service with 'special' on the headboard, gently coasted into Victoria St from Albert Rd, then gingerly back shunted into 3 road of Westside depot. Replacement buses transferred from Footscray were laid up on roads 1 & 2. 

The next trip was out to the racecourse, with somewhat a minor delay at the gates, as the railway signal man was caught out, for he and his colleagues haven't had to throw the switch for the overhead from the 1500V railway to the 600V tramway for over a year.

It was rather quiet at racecourse terminus, there was no one there. The replacement buses had somewhat diminished the reliability of the trams, even with the bus idling there, no one was interested.
As this was the only tram service out this far today, the crew had chance to inspect the operation of the bundy clock and the track phone, together with a few cigarettes and a discussion about yesterday's football results.  

The return trip was interrupted by a slow moving freight train coasting through the gates at regulation speed, finally it passed off into the serenity of an early Sunday morning. 

The station crossover was next, it was decided to zig-zag the tram through in both directions as part or this rolling inspection. With a side trip to the milk bar to load up with some cigarettes and the Sunday Observer or maybe the Sporting Globe. 

The main reason this tramway was built is the Ammunition (Ammo') Factory, the issue is that during the bus replacement the service didn't 'cut the mustard', it was infrequent, not large enough nor offered a direct route to the station, this was especially noted during shift changes, upon which hundreds of workers would pour through the gates.
Today it was all quiet, an opportunity to use the facilities and to traverse the main terminus and the slightly overgrown siding. 

Then it was back to the depot, by this time the buses had moved on, this allowed the tram to be berthed on the top of 1 road. An inspectors car has been sent out to collect the crew, as all appears well with the route so there will overtime for some tram drivers to do some depot transport trips and bring the trams back to Westside Depot."

Finally from under the relocated wires.