Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days

Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days

Here are two handsome maps of Melbourne’s public transport from the previous century. In equal parts loved and loathed by locals, public transport in Melbourne is slow, expensive and unreliable and yet anyone who has ever lived in Melbourne (and who has moved away for long enough to not deal with it on a daily basis) has nostalgic train or tram stories of meeting interesting people, encountering dodgy activities and flirtations with love and danger. One advantage of long and slow train travel is that boredom, melancholy and wandering thoughts very occasionally are turned into real creative insight.

Historical Map: General Railway Development to 1985, Melbourne, Australia (1969)

Here’s a very fluorescent and optimistic planning map of Melbourne’s public transport in 1969 which was part of the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan.

It outlines optimistic pipe dreams of the time and includes the pragmatic plan to build rail links that would connect together the Dandenong, Frankston and Belgrave lines, which never happened. This has become somewhat of a pet peeve and collective moan of anyone living out in the Eastern Suburbs. Why don’t train lines running almost parallel to each other at times have connecting stations?

Also out west on the Werribee line there’s a dotted line symbolising the proposed installation of another line, this never actually happened and so there’s one railway track going through Altona station, which can get very awkward during peak hour. Also there’s a station out west called “Mobiltown”, no doubt that monstrous industrial monolith near Altona station was something to be proud of in 1969. The City Loop which was planned back in 1969 finally materialised as a reality in the 80’s.

Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days

(Source: Transit Maps)

Historical Map: Train and Tram Travel Times in Melbourne, Australia, c. 1920

This handsome isochrone map produced by Melbourne’s Metropolitan Town Planning Commission shes the minimum travel time into the city via suburban railways and tram lines.

(Source: Daniel Bowen/Flickr)

Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days



Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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