Establishment of the Tramway Board
The Tramway Board was constituted under the provisions of the Tramway Board Act of 30 December 1915 (No.2818) to be a temporary authority responsible for the cable tramway system pending the establishment of a tramway authority to administer the whole of the tramways.
The Board was appointed by the Governor-in-Council on 18 January and its first meeting was held on 28 January 1916.
Transfer of Responsibilities to the Board
The Act provided for the transfer of responsibility for the cable system from the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company (VA 2976) and the Melbourne Tramways Trust (VA 2692) (with the exception of the Northcote Municipal Cable line (VA 520)) when the Company's lease expired on 30 June 1916. However, following the expiry of its lease, the Melbourne Tramways and Omnibus Company demanded compensation for the loss of its assets. Negotiations were protracted and the dispute was finally resolved by a decision of the Supreme Court in 1919.
The suburban municipal councils continued to conduct their own electric tramway services. Due to the temporary nature of the Board and to the war, no major changes in the administration of the transport system were attempted. There were, within or on the fringe of the Metropolitan area, electric tramways run by:
(i) North Melbourne Electric Tramway and Lighting Company Ltd (VA 2974)
(ii) Prahran and Malvern Tramways Trust (VA 2977)
(iii) Hawthorn Tramways Trust (VA 2978)
(iv) Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg Tramways Trust (VA 2971)
Tramways were also run by several independent trusts and companies which were allowed to continue to work their own lines.
The Melbourne Tramways Trust (VA 2692) was dissolved on 1 March 1916 and its liabilities and assets were transferred to the Tramway Board. The liabilities consisted of debentures which matured on 30 June 1916, and were met by the realization of the Sinking Fund. On the expiration of the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company's lease on 30 June 1916, the Board also took over the operations of the tramways. In addition to the lines constructed by the Trust, the Tramway Board also acquired from the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company Limited, the Royal Park Horse tramway (on lease), various car houses, tramway repair shops and other assets. The Board also ensured the rights of the municipalities, the state and the persons employed by the Company and the Trust.
Handover to Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board
In accordance with the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Act 1918 (No.2995) responsibility for the entire Metropolitan Tramways were transferred to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (M.& M.T.B.) (VA 2694). The temporary Tramway Board ceased to exist on 1 November 1919 when the first meeting of the M.& M.T.B. was held.
Location of Records
See list below.