Click the embedded player to watch a short movie of Cable Trams in Melbourne in 1940!
2013 - Box Hill terminus
1923 - Mont Albert tram at Balwyn Rd
Route 109, Box Hill to Port Melbourne, is long, 22 km, and runs from Box Hill, travelling west
on Whitehorse Road traversing the suburbs of Mont Albert, Surrey Hills, Balwyn and Deepdene. Entering Kew at Burke Road, Whitehorse
Road becomes Cotham Road. It continues west, through Kew Junction and then south west along High Street, High Street South
and turns west into Barkers Road.
It crosses the Yarra River into Victoria Street, Richmond and continues west, at Hoddle
Street Victoria Street becomes Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, it passes through St Vincent's Plaza, passing St Vincent's
Hospital, Eye and Ear Hospita and turns south onto Gisborne Street, continues south west along MacArthur Street and turns
west into Collins St, entering the CBD passing Melbhourne Town Hall and City Square.
It turns south into Spencer St, passing Southern Cross Station, it crosses the Yarra River and enters Southbank
on Clarendon St before traversing the suburbs of Soputh Melbourne and Port Melbourne on a right-of-way - the former Port Melbourne
railway line - and terminates at Port Melbourne frailway statoion, near Station Pier .
Journey time - one hour each way
First trams weekdays From Box Hlll 5.18 am From Port Melbourne 5.33 am
The embedded video (below) is a 1988 documentary, with sound narrative,
describing Melbourne's cable tram network as it existed prior to its closure in 1940. Fascinating!
Melbourne's first cable tram
origins of route 109 lie in separate tram lines, a cable tram from Spencer Street to the Yarra River, a horse tram from the
Yarra River to Kew Cemetery, an electric line from Kew Junction to Box Hill (extended over the years) and the Port Melbourne
A cable line was opened from Spencer Street to Brunswick Street along Collins Sreet, MacArthur Street, Gisborne
Street and Victoria Parade on the 2 October 1886, by the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company and later extended to the west
side of the Yarra River along Victoria Parade and Victoria Street on 22 November 1886.
A connecting horse tram was
build from the east side of the Yarra River to Kew Cemetery along Barkers Road, High Street South and High Street, opening
on 28 December 1887.
The Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust opened a line from High Street to Burke Road along Cotham Road on 30
On 1 November 1914 the Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust received permission to convert the horse tram line
to electric traction, the new electric line was opened on 24 February 1915.
The Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust extended the Cotham Road line to Union Road, Mont Albert, along Whitehorse
Road, on 30 September 1916]
In 1929 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Boiard started converting the Collins Street cable lines to
electric traction, with the last cable tram running down Collins Street on 14 September 1929, and the first electric tram
on 8 December 1929.
At the same time the Melbourne and Metropoliktan Tramways Board built a new electric line down
the centre of Victoria Parade to replace the cable line, which opened on 15 September 1929.
The line was extended south west to Port Melbourne along Spencer St and the former Port Melbourne Railway
on 21 December 1987 following the conversion of the Railway (along with the St Kilda Line) to light rail.
The broad gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft
3 in) track was re-gauged to standard gauge 1,435 mm (4
ft 8 in) and the overhead voltage voltage was reduced from 1500V DC to 600V
DC with light rail platforms built adjacent to or near the former stations platforms.
Extension to Box Hill In August 1946, l;ocal citizens
had been strongly advocating for an extension from he Mont Albert terminus at Union Rd through to Box Hill Cemetery. This
was rejected by the Government, on the basis that adequate transport already existed via the railway line.
It took another 57 years before the extension was realized - a key factor was the need
for better access to the new TAFE college which had been built on the cnr of Whitehorse and Elgar Rds, midway between Mont
Albert and Box Hill stations.
Improved access for students attending the Koonung Secondary College
in Elgar Rd was also realized.
It was extended from its terminus in Mont Albert to Box Hill along
Whitehorse Road, about 2.2 km, at the cost of $28 million, on 2 June 2003.
The new terminus opposite the Box Hill Plaza
has become popular, with gleaming, shiny Yarra Trams gliding quietly between the grass dividing strips!