Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

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Because trams are cool. Really, really cool!

Yes, this entry is really just to satisfy myself. Will anybody else look? Knowing the Internet, probably. Will anybody else actually be interested though? Highly doubtful. But hey, I went ghost tramway hunting and I thought I'd share my results because it was fun!

Yesterday, when I went tram photographing, I had a bit more of a mission than simply taking shots of whatever trams went by. In the second half of last year, some "upgrades" (I'm not convinced, especially on the matter of passenger shelters) were made to the tram stops on the route 55 through Royal Park. Firstly, the southbound Park Street stop was moved to a previously disused ground-level platform on the same side of the street as the northbound stop, I think in August or so. This violates standard Melbourne practice, where a tram stop is located on the side of an intersection reached first (i.e. prior to crossing), but conforms with the other three Royal Park stops beside roads, where the platforms for both directions of travel are on the same side. Secondly, in October/November, most of the Royal Park stops were converted to raised platforms; they were formerly essentially just slabs of concrete at ground-level, with a white line to mark where passengers should stay behind when a tram is approaching. Some of them had edging and this gave them pretensions of being a platform; this style remains at Park Street and the stop that I term "almost a ghost". The true ground-level stop, where the surface in which the track is embedded blurs into the surface of the stop remains at Abbotsford Road Interchange, which I will depict in a later entry (yes, there's more to come).

So in the wake of these changes, the tram line in the park is lined with the remnants of old stops. Accordingly, I figured that while these stops are still relatively apparent, I would go out and photographically record them for posterity before their traces become faint and indistinguishable. I did Park Street and Royal Park Railway Station/Poplar Road yesterday, and because today was another gorgeous day and not too hot, I went out and did the rest of the park. Ghost tramway hunting is rather fun really, and there were precious few people around on foot so I could conduct my nerdishness in relative privacy. I'd like to photograph some stuff in the CBD, but with the throngs of people there, I'm not sure I really want to. But anyway, on with the photos!


Former southbound tram stop on Park Street Former southbound tram stop on Park Street
The concrete on the far side of the tracks constitutes the remnants of the former southbound tram stop on Park Street, Brunswick West, on the opposite side of the road to Royal Park.
Another view of the former southbound Park Street stop Another view of the former southbound Park Street stop
The former southbound Park Street stop as viewed from a different angle. It was on the far side of the tracks and had a small green shelter that was moved to the new stop.
'New' Park Street southbound stop "New" Park Street southbound stop
The new southbound Park Street stop is in fact an old ground-level platform on the same side of the street as the northbound stop, on the northern edge of Royal Park. The small green shelter was moved to this location from the old stop; this photo was taken at nearly 5pm yesterday, and by 3pm today, the ugly graffiti vandalism had fortunately been removed.
Old and new Park Street tram stops Old and new Park Street tram stops
Looking northbound towards the Park Street tram stop. The new southbound stop is on the right hand side on the near side of Park Street. The old stop is behind it on the far side of the traffic light-controlled level crossing.
Poplar Road ghost tram stop Poplar Road ghost tram stop
Looking south towards the former tram stop for Royal Park Railway Station on the north (near) side of Poplar Road. As can be seen, the stop was located on a sharp curve and was thus an unsuitable location for conversion to a platform.
Former southbound Poplar Road tram stop Former southbound Poplar Road tram stop
Closer view of the disused southbound tram stop on the north side of Poplar Road in Royal Park. Of all the stops, this is the least changed from its last day of use; bring back its timetable sign and little passenger shelter and you could use it immediately. In the foreground can be seen a tram speed limit sign for the sharp curve; in the background can be seen the Upfield railway line's level crossing over Poplar Road.
Former northbound Poplar Road tram stop Former northbound Poplar Road tram stop
Looking from the still-concreted former southbound stop across the tracks to the northbound stop, which has now been all but eliminated. Marking the spot is the painted line beyond which passengers should not advance when a tram is approaching, but the old shelter has been removed and the concrete has been replaced by a flat dirt surface that will one day soon give no indication that the site once served thousands of tram passengers.
Former southbound Poplar Street tram stop from northbound stop Former southbound Poplar Street tram stop from northbound stop
Looking from the dirt that marks the old northbound stop to the old southbound stop and footpath to Royal Park Railway Station, which is hiding behind trees in the background.
Old and new Poplar Road tram stops Old and new Poplar Road tram stops
In the foreground the old stops can be seen on either side of the tracks on the north side of Poplar Road, as marked by the white lines trackside. In the midground, the sharp curve across Poplar Road can be seen; unlike the railway level crossing, this is unprotected - traffic volumes are low and trams, which have right of way, sound a warning with their bell before crossing. In the background, on the straight, can be seen the raised platform and mostly useless plastic pseudo-shelter of the new stop. This is the last photo in the set from 08/01/2008.
Old and new Melbourne Zoo tram stops Old and new Melbourne Zoo tram stops
The new Melbourne Zoo raised platform stop was built almost on top of the old ground-level stop. However, at the end of the ramps closest to the camera, some of the old stop can still be seen. This photo and all that follow were taken between 3 and 4pm on 09/01/2008.
Former northbound Melbourne Zoo tram stop Former northbound Melbourne Zoo tram stop
The new northbound stop is not positioned exactly on the site of the old one; it is now directly opposite the southbound stop whereas the two used to be staggered. The ramp of the new stop can be seen to come down to the old stop, marked by a faintly discernible white line on the far side of the tracks. In the background is the Upfield railway line.
Old and new State Netball and Hockey Centre tram stops Old and new State Netball and Hockey Centre tram stops
Looking up the grade between the State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNAHC) and Melbourne Zoo. The old southbound tram stop was in the foreground and has been all-but-eliminated; the only clear marker is the white paint alongside the track, as the concreted area of the stop has been lifted. The new raised stop can be seen on the other side of a pedestrian crossing in the background, with the northbound platform on the site of the old ground-level stop. The large building that can be seen is the netball component of the SNAHC.
The former SNAHC tram stop The former SNAHC tram stop
Looking from the pedestrian crossing in the northbound direction of tram travel at the location of the old tram stop, with the new stop behind the position of the photograph. Only the concrete edging with its white paint remains of the old southbound stop, at track right. At track left is the levelled, gravelled area used as a temporary northbound stop while a raised platform was built on the site of the old ground-level northbound stop.
Old SNAHC tram stop as viewed from footpath Old SNAHC tram stop as viewed from footpath
Looking across the site of the former southbound stop to the site of the temporary northbound stop from the footpath that runs along the boundary of the Melbourne Zoo in Royal Park.
Another angle of the old southbound SNAHC tram stop Another angle of the old southbound SNAHC tram stop
The old southbound SNAHC stop as viewed from the remnants of the flattened area that served as a temporary northbound stop for a couple of weeks during construction of the new platform stop. In the background is the fence of the Melbourne Zoo.
Possible ghost stop outside SNAHC Possible ghost stop outside SNAHC
Note the concreted area beside the tracks just beyond the tree in the foreground. It was never a stop in 2007, but I had never been to Royal Park prior to that year and it looks like it could possibly be some sort of former southbound stop at the other end of the SNAHC from its current stop. I sincerely have no idea, but it stood out and set off my "ghost tramway" radar.
Another view of a possible ghost stop Another view of a possible ghost stop
Looking from the footpath along the outside of the Melbourne Zoo at the concrete remnants that may be a former southbound stop, showing its location at the other end of the SNAHC from its current stop. There is no obvious sign of any equivalent ghost on the other side of the tracks. Behind the trees can be seen the hockey component of the SNAHC, which reveals the status of hockey in Victoria; while cricket and Aussie Rules get the 100,000 seater MCG, this little thing is what passes for the state hockey venue!
Site of temporary Elliot Ave tram stop Site of temporary Elliot Ave tram stop
It is essentially unidentifiable now, but this was the site of a temporary tram stop in late 2007. An improvised ground-level stop was designated to serve as the Elliot Ave tram stop while the current stop was altered to being a raised platform.
Elliot Ave tram stop Elliot Ave tram stop
Looking from the ghost site of the old temporary stop towards the new raised platform Elliot Ave tram stop. The platforms have eliminated almost all traces of the old stops. Both northbound and southbound platforms are on the north side of the crossing, which is controlled by traffic lights.
Half a ghost at Elliot Ave Half a ghost at Elliot Ave
This looks like a living tram stop, but it's half a ghost. The ungrassed cleared area in the midground behind the current plastic pseudo-shelter between platform and footpath used to be part of the old stop. It was concreted and had a fairly substantial green wooden shelter. No such privilege was granted to the northbound platform on the other side of the track, and it always seemed out of proportion with the low volume of traffic.
Almost a ghost, southbound side Almost a ghost, southbound side
Located between the Elliot Ave stop and Abbotsford Road Interchange is this little stop. I believe I have only stopped at this stop once on all my trips on the 55, sometime early in 2007 when heading northbound. It still has a sign designating that it is a stop but I do not know if trams still stop here at all, and no timetable is contained in the timetable sign. This photo is taken from the southbound side; the southbound platform can be seen in the foreground, then a pedestrian crossing, then the northbound platform on the other side of the tracks. This staggered design resembles that of the old SNAHC and Melbourne Zoo stops prior to the upgrade, as well as Park Street before the move.
Almost a ghost, northbound side Almost a ghost, northbound side
Looking down the northbound pseudo-platform, showing the style of the formerly typical ground level concrete stops. Note the blue fence lining the tramway in the background - it was erected as plain wood in early December 2007 but was attacked by graffiti vandals and has now been painted. It is associated with some construction project (expansion of the Royal Childrens' Hospital?), and behind it is a footpath currently still open to the public. I can't really grasp why it had to be erected this side of the footpath, as the small section it and some other temporary fencing blocks off between the tramway and footpath appears to serve no construction purpose and a third fence on the other side of the footpath prohibits public access to the construction site proper.
A temporary(?) ghost at the Abbotsford Street Interchange A temporary(?) ghost at the Abbotsford Street Interchange
This photo is taken from the footpath behind the wooden fencing that I drew attention to in the previous almost ghost picture. As can be seen, it isolates the part of the path that provides access to the southbound ground-level Abbotsford Street Interchange stop. What will come of this access and the footpath entirely remains to be seen, but for now, with this rear part of the southbound stop unusable, it can be categorised as a temporary ghost.



It's amazing how these stops, barely out of use for two months if that, have disappeared so much already. I'm kind of baffled as to why Yarra Trams went to the effort of ripping out some. As the unremoved southbound Park Street and Poplar Road stops show, the stop is pretty nondescript without its shelter and timetable sign. It seems to me to be a pointless step to lift the old concrete slabs. I suppose they have their reasons - and it means a ghost tram hunter such as myself has to put in a little bit more work!

Well, in any case, that was very entertaining and interesting for me. How about you? Later this week, I'll share some more of my photos - ones that actually have trams in them!
Tags: generork, ghost tramways, melbourne, melbourne trams, photos, royal park, trams
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