The only hint now that there was ever a tram system in the Doncaster area is a road along the former route - Tram Road.The first serious electric trams in Melbourne began in 1906 with the North Melbourne Electric Tramway and Lighting Company (NMETL) who built a line from the edge of the cable system out towards Essendon, and the Victorian Railways who built a line from St. Kilda to Brighton. The NMETL, a British concern, was interested in selling electricity to customers along the route (and the same motive led to the establishment of the Ballarat, Bendigo, and Geelong electric tram systems). The company commenced operations with single bogie saloon cars (later classified U-class) and unpopular "toast-rack" cars (later classified V-class).
This photo is of Melbourne's classic tram. When the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board was formed to take over the operations of the various Municipal tramway authorities, it found itself with a unified cable system, but an absolute plethora of electric tram types, which it gave letter codes from A through to V. The board decided that it was time to introduce a standard design. The new W-class design, first introduced in 1923, was an outstanding success, and has been the mainstay of the Melbourne tram system for the bulk of the last century. It is a two-bogie, drop-centre design, which has had many variants over the years. The oldest W-class tram still in active service was built in 1938!
Originally, W-class was the term given to those trams built before the W1 was introduced, but now the name refers to all the variants as a group. Some of the trams are denoted SW (for sliding doors). It's here shown "hurtling" down La Trobe St towards the West...
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