The Mont Albert District - a Pictorial History 1830 to 2013

1929 - Tramways

Indigenous Heritage
Geology and Topography
Vegetation and Fauna
Climate and Hydrology
1840s to 1870s
1850s - Parish of Nunawading
1852 - Whitehorse Inn
1861 - Postal Services
1880s - Electricity Supply
1880s to 1920s
1882 - Phantom Railways to Doncaster
1883 - Residential Heritage Precinct
1884 - Broughton Park subdivsion
1884 - Brickworks
1885 - Surrey Hills district - map
1888 - Football Clubs
1889 - Gas Supply and Gasworks
1889 - Doncaster Electric Tramway and Tower
1890 - Mont Albert Railway Station
1892 - Surrey Hills Golf Club
1892 - Water Supply, Reservoirs and Sewerage
1899 - Telephone Services
1905 - The Surrey Dive
1907 - Scouts and Guides
1912 - Mont Albert Village Shopping Precinct
1914 - Mont Albert Progress Association
1916 - Californian Bungalows
1917 - Schools
1917 - Wattle Park
1924 - Early Shortwave Broadcasting from the Surrey Hills district
1924 - Black's Estate
1925 - Bus Services
1929 - Tramways
1930 - Cricket Clubs in Mont Albert
1930s - Balwyn - Beckett Park Bonfires and Wildlife Sanctuary
1948 - Grange Tennis Courts
1957 - Pioneer Park
1961 - Surrey Hills Communications Tower
1981 - Box Hill Miniature Railway
Koonung Creek Parklands
Heritage Notes
Mont Albert Road - Early History
Mont Albert Rd - the East End
Elgar Rd - north and south of Mont Albert Rd
Mont Albert Rd - View St to Elgar Rd
Bushland Reserves
Service Associations
Sporting Clubs
Box Hill Institute of TAFE
Walking Trails
The Author's Websites
References and Acknowledgements
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

The 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 railway line.

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 May 1913.

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!

2002 - construction of the Box Hill extension

1999 - Mont Albert terminus

2002 - construction of the Box Hill extension

2002 - construction of the Box Hill extension

1980s - Mont Albert tram in Collins St

Click on any image to display a full size view!