Ballarat Tram Stops still in existence today

 
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
One of the most evocative things about visiting Ballarat these days is that occasionally when travelling through the back streets you can still quite clearly see an original red and white tram stop sign painted in red and white on wooden poles.  It's remarkable that these still exist given that it's been 42 years since the system closed - but there they are!  You wont see any downtown or on the main thoroughfares of Sturt Street or Victoria Street, but when you get off the main roads and into the suburbs there they are!  Some a very faint, others more vivid - but all are fading as the years go by.

I thought I'd compile a list of those that still exist - with accompanying Google Street View links.

Mount Pleasant Line -
Barkly Street at Cameron Street  http://goo.gl/maps/HJ9E6
Barkly Street and Main Road  http://goo.gl/maps/Eg7SQ

Lydiard Street North Line -
Lydiard Street North at Clarendon Street  http://goo.gl/maps/BJtkA
Lydiard Street North at Howard Street  http://goo.gl/maps/8CE3P
Lydiard Street North at Howitt Street  http://goo.gl/maps/Hik6v

View Point Line
Ripon Street North at Sussex Street  http://goo.gl/maps/3L9OW

Sebastopol Line
Drummond Street South at Urquhart Street http://goo.gl/maps/Vgxtc
Drummond Street South at La Trobe Street http://goo.gl/maps/kzlEi
Drummond Street South at Skipton Street http://goo.gl/maps/hRjfO

For comparison, here re a couple that have been maintained in original condition on the Ballarat Tramway Museum line
Standard stop in Wendouree Parade http://goo.gl/maps/6x4lL
Compulsory stop (terminus) Wendouree Parade at Carlton Street  http://goo.gl/maps/4B8G4  
(looks like the BTM had an overshoot at the end of their line)
And here's an original taken many years ago - I presume at Depot entrance in Wendouree Parade (?)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tutaenui/7171052127/in/set-72157630022204657

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  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for this, Calgully.  Further to our conversation about the Ballarat tram network on the 'Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo' thread, it's really interesting to see those remnants around Ballarat.  I will definitely have to walk the length of the Mt Pleasant line the next time I'm up there, as I said earlier, I had no idea that it actually went down Barkly street although it makes more sense since you have shown me that map of the system.  The people of Ballarat and Bendigo fought long and hard to try and save their tram systems, it's such as shame that they made it into the 1970's only to be junked but then I guess the patronage by then was next to nothing.  A shame that Dick Hamer didn't step in to try and save them, in many other ways he was a staunch conservationist (as they called greenies back then!).

That proposal for the return of trams that Catherine King was talking about, I have tried to look for details of what it actually entailed but I couldn't find anything on the net detailing the study she was referring to.  Do you happen to know what lines/services were to be restored?
  JGS Well. We'll see about THAT!

Location: Junee NSW
Fabulous, thanks Calgully!

Cheers,
Matt
  Simbera Train Controller

That proposal for the return of trams that Catherine King was talking about, I have tried to look for details of what it actually entailed but I couldn't find anything on the net detailing the study she was referring to.  Do you happen to know what lines/services were to be restored?
don_dunstan
I wondered the same thing.  90mil seems cheaper than I expected, but I suppose it depends what size network/level of service that buys.  I'm looking into it with a few people (supposedly it was floating around the Ballarat Council a while back) but I haven't gotten any definitive answers as yet.

I'll be sure to post it here when I find it though.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I wondered the same thing.  90mil seems cheaper than I expected, but I suppose it depends what size network/level of service that buys.  I'm looking into it with a few people (supposedly it was floating around the Ballarat Council a while back) but I haven't gotten any definitive answers as yet.

I'll be sure to post it here when I find it though.
Simbera

I recall a proposal about 12 or 14 years ago that sank without trace; I think they put forward a submission for the Federation Fund when Johnny Howard was spending the Telstra privatisation proceeds like a drunken sailor.  I think it was to go directly from the Station to Sovereign Hill and nowhere else; they wanted the Ballarat Tram Museum to operate it but I believe there was a lot of division both on the Council and on the Tram Museum board about the appropriateness/usefulness of the proposal.  I think the museum would have preferred an extension around the lake or up and down Bridge Street but the council wouldn't come at it; someone with more knowledge of local history may be able to comment better than myself.

The route they wanted to take was very strange too because they couldn't (or wouldn't) go near the current bus terminal/Bridge Street Mall. I don't think there was really much in it for the locals to actually use.  If you had told the Federation Fund that you wanted to use the grant for something useful they probably would have said 'no' anyway.
  Simbera Train Controller

I've done some digging, haven't got the actual report yet but I've still got a few irons in the fire with Ballarat councilors.

In the meantime I have found some Courier articles from the time:

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/325047/project-viable-report-finds/

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/325272/support-for-tram-plan/

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/325241/ballarats-hotels-support-push-to-bring-back-trams/

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/325282/no-trams-for-at-least-a-decade/

It looks like it was only $20 million, not $70 million as quoted in the recent article, but it's really only a tourist tramway and not a serious piece of public transport.  It would run a profit once up and running but that would rely on significant volunteer support.  It would have some pretty significant economic benefits even for such a small network.

Basically, the kind of system I'm envisioning is going to be a lot more expensive than that because even the first phase would be more than double the track length, would be run as an actual public transport service rather than a tourist thing (though obviously it would serve tourists as well), etc etc. But I'm still really interested to look at the full report to see how the cost is broken down and so on, because 20 million is nothing in the scheme of things.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Simbera: Thanks for posting these links - the Courier articles aren't particularly detailed but they talk generally of the proposal I was thinking of; it never really got of the ground because nobody could agree on where it should go.

I've had connections to Ballarat for many years now, one of my mates has lived there since the late 90's and he has a wife and kids there now; I really enjoy visiting and the historical Victorian era architecture is really superb, some of the best in the world I feel; lots of overseas visitors comment on how pristine the preservation in and around Bridge Street is and I feel this is probably a bigger tourist drawcard in itself than Sovereign Hill (which has always struck me as too expensive for many people to enjoy).

I feel that a combination service that would cater for tourists as well as locals would be a winner especially if it allows drivers to park their cars at a designated terminus; it would be ideal if as a visitor or local you could catch a tram from (maybe) Bakery Hill down towards the lake but it's hard to know if you could get the right support or funding for such an idea.  Bendigo has been experimenting for many years with the concept of bringing a shuttle service back (since the lake extension was cancelled) but I'm not sure if there has ever been any real success with this?   There would be a lot of resistance from people like the RACV and VicRoads to bringing trams back too - the whole reason trams were closed wholesale in the first place was because of voracious lobbying from people who feel they should be allowed to drive where ever they like; trams/bike lanes are just obstacles.

Maybe one day we'll have light rail back in our regional cities -

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