In June 1930, a dummy car was derailed following a collision with a motor truck travelling on the wrong side of Rathdowne Street.
Melbournians embraced the new transport technology. The first cable tram service to Richmond commenced in November 1885 and by July 1886 The Age reported "The tramway system of Melbourne, now clasping the city and its environs like the tentacles of an octopus, is making far more rapid progress than was even hoped for or expected." Carlton residents enjoyed the benefits of cable tram services along Nicholson Street to Park Street, and Carlton via Lygon and Elgin Streets, introduced on 30 August and 21 December 1887 respectively.The turning at the corner of Rathdowne and Elgin Streets was sometimes tricky, and passengers who failed to heed the gripman's warning to hold on and "mind the curve! Pedestrians were also at risk negotiating this corner.In March 1896, a 5 year old boy tripped while crossing the tram tracks and was run over by the dummy car of a cable tram turning into Elgin Street.If you have old photos or stories about your experiences with particular businesses or institutions we would appreciate hearing from you. The Carlton cable tram line (also known as Johnston Street Bridge) travelled via Lygon, Elgin and Johnston Streets and terminated at Abbotsford.The North Carlton linee followed the Carlton line to Rathdowne Street, then travelled north to Park Street.The adjacent tram shed was designed by architect Frederick Williams and built by Robert Fraser of Parkville.The North Carlton cable tram service opened on 9 February 1889 and was later connected to the St Kilda line.Plans were also in place for a North Carlton branch line, turning off the Carlton line at Elgin Street and travelling north along Rathdowne Street.While cable trams were simple in principle, they required extensive, and expensive, infrastructure to operate - a steam-driven cable winding engine, an engine house, tram sheds and miles of tram tracks and multi-strand steel cables.Dr Cole was called from his surgery nearby in Rathdowne Street, but nothing could be done for the young boy, who suffered extensive head injuries.Children were, unfortunately, often casualties of tram accidents.