Photo essay: Melbourne’s four hour tram strike

On Friday August 30 Melbourne’s trams stopped for four hours between 10am and 2pm, while Yarra Trams drivers and customer service staff went on strike over pay and conditions.

At the tram stops

Signage was erected at tram stops to inform passengers.

Industrial action signage for passengers at the Collins and William Street tram stop

With messages also being added to the TramTracker screens.

Industrial action notice for passengers on the TramTracker PIDS at Collins and William Street

As well as being inserted between the usual advertisements on the JCDecaux digital screens.

'Planned industrial action' message on the JCDecaux tram stop advertising screens at Collins and William Street

And on the streets

Come 10am passengers were on their own.

No trams to the east at Collins and William Street

No trams on Collins Street.

No trams to the east at Collins and Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street.

No trams to the north at Elizabeth and Collins Street

Flinders Street.

No trams to the east at Spencer and Flinders Street

And Swanston Street.

No trams to the north at Swanston and Collins Street

Even St Kilda Road.

No trams to the south on St Kilda Road

But the tram tracks weren’t empty – Yarra Trams staff we driving over Princes Bridge checking the overhead wires.

Yarra Trams staff check the overhead wires on Princes Bridge

And TV news crews were busy filming for the evening news.

TV news crew reporting from the Spencer Street bridge

Replacement buses

A limited tram tram replacement service was operating.

I found inaccessible high floor road coaches queued up at the Arts Centre.

Ventura coaches on tram replacement services at the Arts Centre

And passengers waiting for a route 12 replacement bus at Spencer and Collins Street.

Passengers waiting for a southbound route 12 replacement bus at Spencer and Collins Street

Who were being picked up by low floor buses.

Nuline Charter bus #80 1122AO on a route 12 tram replacement service at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

And at the depots

During the strike, trams were locked up in the depots.

A1.236 locked up at Southbank Depot during the strike

The tracks at Southbank Depot full of parked trams.

E.6021 and A1.232 locked up at Southbank Depot during the strike

But the end of the strike was anticlimactic – it took until 2.07 pm for the gates to be reopened.

2.07 pm and the gates at Southbank Depot are opened

Trams slowly being powered up.

A2.285, E2.6073 and E2.6079 ready to head out of Southbank Depot

And trickling out one by one every few minutes.

E2.6055 is the first tram out of Southbank Depot following the stopwork action

Instead of a massive parade.

A1.234 shunts at Batman Park headed for St Kilda on route 12


Thursday September 10, 2015 was the last tram strike in Melbourne – it was equally anticlimactic.

Locked western gate at Southbank Depot

Liked it? Take a second to support Marcus Wong on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Photo essay: Melbourne’s four hour tram strike”

  1. Beren says:

    And the point of a strike, which replaces trams with buses, is? Tram drivers literally have an easier job then a bus. You’ve never seen a tram try to do a right turn at a tight roundabout. Yet, I think bus drivers are probably a lot less union protected and paid then tram drivers, since this area of employment seems to be super important to the image of Melbourne.

  2. Thanks for keeping a record of transport events,very informative and important for history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *