Heading east over the Miller St "Hump" in Thornbury, is an M&MTB single truck R class tram. This tramline over the Epping/Whittlesea railway was one of two original tram routes of the Fitzroy, Northcote & Preston Tramways Trust. The FN & PTT was formed in October 1915 to build an electric tram route north along St.Georges Rd, connecting with cable trams of the Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Co. at Holden St., North Fitzroy. At Miller St., Thornbury the lines forked -- the West Preston line running via Miller St (west) and Gilbert Rd and the East Preston line, east in Miller St, via the so-called "Thornbury Hump" over the VR to the intersection with High St and Dundas St, where it also connected†at the High St., Northcote†cable tram terminus, then headed north-east along Plenty Rd to the East Preston terminus at Tyler St., Preston. Before the lines were completed and operational, the M&MTB was formed and took over the assets of the FN&PTT, including the five single truck trams on order from James Moore & Co. of South Melbourne. These cars and three later cars to the same design, became the M&MTB's R class (Nos. 151-153 and 172-176) and one of these in original condition features in this photo.
The VR's 1908 Book of PCR's and Occupation Crossings makes no mention of a level crossing at Miller St, so it must be reasonably† concluded that the "Hump" was built to eliminate a potential†electric railway/tramway level crossing. The East Preston tram route was opened on 1st April 1920 and 31st July 1921 saw the juice turned on on the VR line between Clifton Hill and Reservoir.
Foreward planning was commonsense back in those days!

The Miller St tram track is now only used for the transfer of trams to and from the Preston Workshops, i.e. it is no longer part of a tramway service route. (Caption by Chris Wurr)

It is also worth noting that until the mid 1980's when the tramline over "the hump" was duplicated light signals controlled tram movements over the short "single line section"

feel free to email me with any corrections or comments

page created Thu, 7 Feb 2008