Monday, 21 August 2017

MILESTONE: 20 Years of Light Rail in Sydney (1997)

Sydney trams August 10 1997 daily telegraph 5

Source: Stuart, S. 1997. "All aboard the city streetcars tomorrow: Trams right on track". The Sunday Telegraph, August 10, 9.

This month is 20 years since the return of trams to Sydney. In August 1997, the first services commenced operation from Central Station through Pyrmont to Wentworth Park at Glebe.
The first services began on August 11 but were limited in frequency until the end of the month.

  Trams resume service august 11 1997 daily telegraph 3 

Source: Rogers, J. 1997. "Back on Track: After 36 years, the trams return to Sydney". The Daily Telegraph, August 11, 3. 

However the grand opening was not until August 31 1997 with festivities at all stations along the line.

  Sydney tram opening ad august 28 1997 daily telegraph

Source: Sydney Light Rail. 1997. "Don't miss our 4 kilometre party!" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, August 28, 26 & 27. 

The following day (September 1) saw the commencement of full services.

Sydney light rail opens september 1 1997 daily telegraph 17

Source:  Birch, S & Robinson, M. 1997. "One passenger, 8 minutes late". The Daily Telegraph, September 1, 17. 

The return of trams to Sydney was not without its problems. One concern was the speed of the trams as they made their way through Haymarket. They were merely too slow.

Sydney Light Rail september 22 1997 daily telegraph 17

Source: Skelsey, K. 1997. "Slow tram coming: Delays force review of 20km/h speed limit". The Daily Telegraph, September 22, 17.

Motorists faced fines blocking trams.

  Sydney Trams June 16 1997 daily telegraph 6

Source: Bissett, K. 1997. "Trams bring new road fine hazards". The Daily Telegraph, June 16, 6.

The changes were too much for some...

Tram Accident September 23 1997 daily telegraph 17  

Source: Porter, B. 1997. Sydney's most confusing corner claims another victim ... and another ... and another. The Daily Telegraph, September 23, 17. 

The line was extended from Wentworth Park to Lilyfield in 2000 with a further extension to Dulwich Hill opening in 2014. Initally, the light rail was privately owned and managed by TNT Transit Link (also operators of the monorail) , before changing ownership to CGEA Australia. In 2012, the State Government purchased the company for $20 million before integrating fares and services into the broader public transport network.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Karingal, Lane Cove (1971)

The swinging 1960's saw the appearance of the first villa and town house complexes in Sydney. Here is one for Karingal at Lane Cove dating back to 1971.

Karingal Townhouses ad May 8 1971 daily telegraph 58

Source: Duncan Properties. 1971. "Visit lovely 'Karingal' Town Houses". The Daily Telegraph, May 8, 58. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

MILESTONE: The M5 Motorway turns 25 (1992)

Today (August 14) is the 25th Birthday of the M5 Motorway. I have obtained material from the time of opening in 1992.

M5 opening Ad August 9 1992 sunday telegraph 48

Source: Interlink Roads Pty Ltd. 1992. "M5" (Advertisement). The Sunday Telegraph, August 9, 1992, 48. 

When opened in August 1992, Stage 1 ran from Fairford Road, Padstow to the Hume Highway at Casula. Drivers were charged $1.50. When extended to King Georges Road, Beverly Hills several months later, the toll rose to $2. In today's money, that would be equivalent to $3.64. Excluding GST, motorists pay $4.04 to use the same road at present ($4.60 with GST).

The opening of the M5 was marred by protests. Premier John Fahey left it to his deputy and roads minister Wal Murray to open the road. Driving legend Peter Brock was the first driver on the new motorway. He was the marketing ambassador for its owner Interlink Roads.

Source: Skelsey, M. 1992. "M5 drama as 300 heckle Murray". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, August 15, 7. 

One challenge with new toll roads in Sydney has been the ability to attract traffic upon opening. The M5 was no stranger. Opening Day had virtually no traffic.

Even a year later, it was being criticized for the fact it took people "nowhere"

  M5 East november 1 1993 daily telegraph 10

Source: Allan, C (Editor). 1993. "Making M5 a road to somewhere" (Editorial). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, November 1, 10. 

Not even promoting the motorway as the only way into Sydney worked.

M5 opens Aug 25 1992 SMH  

Source: Stapleton, J. 1992. "This way to the M5 but where's the free way?". The Sydney Morning Herald, August 25, 4. 

Fast forward a quarter of a century later and the M5 is one of Sydney's most congested roads. Not even adding second and third lanes (1999 & 2011) in each direction would relieve congestion. The M5 East (2001) connected the motorway to the Orbital network, allowing motorists direct access into central Sydney, Sydney Airport and Port Botany.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Greenwood, Botany (1998)

This week, we head to Botany with two bedroom apartments in a village style setting available for $210 500 in 1998.

  Greenwood Botany SMH May 2 1998 23RE

Source: Colliers Jardine. 1998.  "Greenwood" (advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, May 2, 23 (Real Estate Liftout). 

Monday, 7 August 2017

1962: Tom Ugly's Bridge as a double deck bridge?

In 1962, there was only one crossing over Georges River to link the Sutherland Shire with the rest of Sydney - Tom Ugly's Bridge. The bridge could only carry three lanes of traffic. The postwar years saw a boom in the population and congestion on the bridge approaches was becoming an ever increasing problem.

tom Uglys Bridge Vision February 6 1962 the leader 1

Source: Anonymous. 1962. "Engineer proposes an answer to the chaos". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, February 8, 1. 

One engineer - James Stewart had a plan that would allow for an additional three lanes built atop the existing lanes of the bridge. It was an efficient proposal, but the challenge would have been with the approaches to the bridge. This may have had implications on both sides of the bridge as we see it today. 

Cars Could drive over Tom Uglys February 8 1962 the leader 3

Source: Anonymous. 1962. "Cars could drive over the top of Tom Ugly's". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, February 8, 3. 

It was not until 1987, that a second bridge was built roughly parallel to the existing bridge - Georges River Bridge which would carry southbound traffic on the Princes Highway, allowing tom Ugly's Bridge to carry northbound traffic only. 

Also he suggested a rail line travelling from Caringbah to Rockdale to relieve congestion on the single deck Como Bridge with the tracks incorporated into the soon to be built Captain Cook Bridge. He felt that while tenders had closed, the design could be modified. The line would have followed the corridor for the F6 (Southern) Freeway, and rejoined the main Illawarra line at Rockdale. This would have led to signficant reductions in commute times on the Cronulla branch line and provided South Coast services a second route through Southern Sydney.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Gymea Land Release (1966)

Treloar Reality had blocks of land for sale in Gymea in late 1966 for just a seventy pound deposit ($140). The lots were  in First Avenue and Yarra Burra Street and appears to also include Conjola Place and Cobargo Road.

Gymea Land Release Ad The Sun October 14 1966 63

A Google Streetview reference to the area today is available here.

Source: Treloar Reality Pty. Ltd. 1966.  "Sensational New Release !!!" (Advertisement). The Sun, October 14, 63.