Electric trams travelling along Queen Street from the Victoria Bridge, Brisbane, 1939

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Where: Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

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When: 01 January 1939

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Creator: Unidentified.

Location: Brisbane, Queensland.

Description: A number of electric trams are travelling from the second permanent Victoria Bridge, along Queen Street in 1939. A large sign advertising Plume petrol dominates the entrance to the bridge. Plume benzine was introduced in 1916 by the Vacuum Oil Company. The Plume brand name was replaced with Mobilgas in 1954.

View the original image at the State Library of Queensland: hdl.handle.net/10462/deriv/88307.

Information about State Library of Queensland’s collection: www.slq.qld.gov.au/research-collections.

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Owner: State Library of Queensland, Australia
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 1338
trams road town car bridge motorvehicle public transport passengers busy roads pedestrians electric state library qieensland city brisbanetrams

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    • 31/Mar/2022 00:09:00

    Brisbane had electric trams from 21 June 1897 to 13 April, 1969. The official opening of the electric system took place on 21 June 1897, when a tramcar was driven from Logan Road, Woolloongabba, to the southern end of Victoria Bridge. The service commenced with 20 tramcars running on 15 miles of track and by 1922 there were 181 tramcars and more than 42 miles of tramway routes. As the tramway system spread out into the suburbs, it was not possible to supply all the energy from one point in Countess Street. In July 1913, additional generators were established in Light Street, off Breakfast Creek Road Voltage in the system was increased to 600 Volts. In 1915, a third generator was established in Logan Road. At the end of the First World War, it was obvious that the tramway system had become a necessity for mass transport of the people and it was generally felt that it should be owned and operated by a public body rather than a private company. The Greater Brisbane Act was passed by Parliament in October 1924 and on 1 October 1925 the new Brisbane City Council took over control and administration of the area previously covered by twenty cities, towns, and shires. The Act required that the tramway system be handed over by the Trust to the new Council, and this was done from 1 December 1925. Since that date, the system has been administrated by a Committee of Aldermen of the Council. An adequate system of power supply to the trams was a matter of urgent attention by the Trust in view of the high cost of generation and the limited output of the three existing power stations at Countess Street, Logan Road, and Light Street. It was obvious that the only economical method of feeding power to the trams would be a modern power station generating a high voltage alternating current and transmitting power to a number of substations at strategic points throughout the system. The earliest electric tramcars were converted from the older horse-drawn cars and also some new electric cars were locally built. In the twenty-five years of the Brisbane Tramways The company's control of the fleet was increased from 20 to 181 tramcars, most of these being built-in Brisbane with imported electrical equipment. The cars were of various sizes and types ranging from the combination car with a seating capacity of 34 persons, through the 10 bench and 12 bench cars seating 50 to 60 persons respectively, to the center aisle car seating 56 persons but with a capacity to carry 90 persons including standees. In 1925 the number of passengers carried per annum by the trams was about 82 million. The number dropped somewhat during the depression years until at the beginning of the War in 1939 it had risen again to about 92 million. During the War years due to petrol rationing and other causes, the number of passengers per annum rose rapidly to 160 million for the year 1944/45. After the War, the increasing use of private motorcars and the growth of the Council's bus fleet gradually reduced the number of tram passengers to 110 million in 1950 and about 80 million by 1960. Source: www.radschool.org.au/magazines/Vol38/pdf/Page12.pdf