One of the more interesting things I did whilst I was a Tram Conductor was carting around my own set of "extra" side route numbers. This "experiment" lasted around 2 months, until a Brunswick inspector saw them and asked me to take them down. I didn't use them again after that.
The route numbers were "Digital Scorers", and were
usually used for sporting club scoreboards. I had seen them in a shop whilst on a Tram ride and thought they would be good for this purpose! They had changeable panels which could be flicked up and down to form the digital number. I stuck two together with tape, and put them on the tram window with
Blu-Tack. The rear panels had some tram information
including fares and maps of the routes we worked at South Melbourne Depot. While I got some favorable comments, they were unpopular with Tourists, who for obvious reasons would prefer the view out the window! Tourists would often take them off the window for this purpose!
The Z cars!
While I like all trams, I have always had a soft spot for Melbourne's first production run of modern trams, the Z class! Having grown up with them on the East Burwood (75) line (which during my childhood was fully operated by Z class cars), it was always my dream to work on the Z cars. I was hoping to work on them at Camberwell Depot on the local lines, but I ended up at South Melbourne working on W and B class trams instead. It was a day of great excitement when I found out that due to the introduction of one-person operation on weekends, we would be running Z cars at South Melbourne on the 1 and 15 routes! So for a little while, I at least achieved my aim of being a Z car seated connie!
One day, the chance was taken to pose up front of the Z car in the driver's seat. This is something I wasn't to achieve, but with Z cars now being preserved at both Bylands and Bendigo Museums, my dream of being trained on Z cars might happen in a few years time, once the Museums work out how to allow for the "pedal cars" in their procedures!
In the near future, I am going to try and do a "tribute page" to the Z cars, when I have had a chance to extract some stills of them from video. This will be a separate page.
ABOVE AND LEFT: In the driver's seat of Z2 class 109. Sadly, during my time on the job, I didn't achieve my aim of driving these.
ABOVE: Myself in the Conductor's Console! To say I enjoyed
conducting these trams in service was an understatement!
However, selling tickets from the desk did get a little busy at times!
ABOVE: Myself with Z3 class 140. The chance was
taken to show East Burwood 75, the destination of my local line. We were still waiting for our own fleet of Z cars at South Melbourne Depot at this time, this one was visiting from Essendon Depot to be serviced.
ABOVE: Myself with tram 885 and my "extra" side route
ABOVE: On one of my first days on the job at South Melbourne Depot, here I am with my Trainer, Sue Colton. "Tram Poet" Malcolm Just can also be seen counting his cash for the day.
ABOVE: In front of a rather battered looking tram 812 at St Kilda Beach terminus.
ABOVE: With 777 in the depot yard at the old South Melbourne Depot. We put up "Camberwell 72" just for something different, we didn't run on this route from our depot!
ABOVE: Tying the trolley rope at South Melbourne Beach terminus
ABOVE: Beside a B class artic in the old South Melbourne Depot yard.
ABOVE: Posing for a couple of
tourists with the driver at South
ABOVE: Hanging out of 993's cab. Lucas Mayr is on the other side
ABOVE: Beside a B class artic with Sue Colton, my trainer in the old South