Tram Assists Horse Drawn Dray Highgate Hill 1926

The Brisbane Courier Friday 29th January 1926

A Good deed

Not only Boy Scouts do their one good deed a day. […] A large and heavily laden dray, carrying mineral waters to a thirsty suburb, got fairly hung up almost on the summit of Highgate Hill yesterday, in the course of delivering to a shop along the road. When the men in charge wished to restart their horses, they found it impossible to move. […] Along came a tramcar, with one of the most obliging conductors in the service aboard. He saw the trouble, got out his emergency chain, attached it to the shaft of the dray, and rang the bell for “slow ahead”. And in one minute the dray was round and running smoothly up the hill, with the horses having the most mysterious time of their lives. […] The good deed had been “did”.

The Dutton Park number 78 tram route followed the path of today’s number 196 bus as far as its terminus on Gladstone Road, just past the Cornwall Street intersection. This line was extended from Vulture Street around 1901 and required a cutting through Gladstone Street opposite Dorchester Street to allow a gradient suitable for trams.

cutting Gone road for tramline

The cutting in Gladstone road made to enable the tram line extension

Horse drawn vehicles were common on Brisbane streets in the 1920s. A survey of traffic crossing the Victoria Bridge in 1925 revealed that 23% of vehicles were horse drawn. By 1932 this had fallen to 5%. However, there were still newspaper reports of accidents in Brisbane involving horse drawn vehicles as late as 1951.


Tram terminus at Dutton Park Brisbane circa 1929

Tram terminus at Dutton Park Brisbane ca.1929 (State library of Queensland)


A tram on Gladstone Road some 40 years later.

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