Australia's First Electric Tram By J K Moir 1961

Australia's First Electric Tram By J K Moir 1961

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Australia's First Electric Tram By J K Moir 1961
Australias First Electric Tram By J K Moir 1961   19 Pages
By mere chance I became acquainted with Mr. H. J. Hilton, whose story is recounted in these pages.
The contents of this little booklet should not only interest those of an historical turn of mind, hut all Victorians as it is the story of the first electric tramway in Australia; indeed it is claimed to be the first in the Southern Hemisphere.
Certainly it was the first in Australia. In N.S.W., the first permanent electric tramway, along Military Road North Sydney, was opened on 20th September, 1893. Adelaide did not convert her trams to electric traction until 9th March, 1909. Perth Electric Tramways, run by an English company, were opened on 24th September, 1899. Tasmania was early in the field. In 1893, Hobart was served by an electric system owned by a private company. The scheme is now operated by the Hobart Metropolitan Transport Trust. Brisbane changed over from horse drawn to electric trams in 1896-7.
The opening of the tramway between Box Hill and Doncaster seems to owe its origin to the Land Boom existing at the time. Those who were not alive in those stirring days can have little conception of the conditions ruling. Fortunes were made-on paper. The frenzy culminated in the Bank Smash. Chaotic financial conditions prevailed and it is no source of wonder that the tramway closed.
Too much credit cannot be given to Mr. Hilton for his fight to keep it running. His faith was almost akin to his ability. So that there can be no question on the latter score, a testimonial is included, and by its contents it can be gauged that Mr. Hilton was a man not easily discouraged.
Mr. Hilton introduced and worked electric tramway traction in the Chiltern Valley gold mines, and this is claimed as being the first occasion in Victoria that such traction was used underground.
This booklet is a tribute to him, and, at the same time, is a true record of the vicissitudes of the Box Hill-Doncaster electric tramway companies, and as such I offer it

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