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RETROSPECTIVE OF AN EARLY AUCKLAND TRAMLINE

Not far from MOTAT, some things haven’t changed much in Kingsland over 100 years. Here we have a set of photographs of A.W. Page’s Store – Established 1885. Page’s Store is on the corner of New North Road and what used to be Edendale Road which was later rerouted across the railway bridge that joins New North Road at Bond Street. This avoided the level crossing at Kingsland, partially for motor vehicles, but more importantly for extending the tram service along Sandringham Road.


The road on the left is Kingsland Road, later renamed Edendale Road, and it used to come up and over the western railway line and join New North Road here. However, when it was decided to take trams down Edendale Road to the new housing development there, the City Council and the tramway were both adamant that the tramline and the railway should never make contact. They deemed that trams could go over or under, but never across a railway track. So Edendale Road was redesigned, removing the level crossing and then curving the road round to the right, taking it parallel to the railway line, until the road level matched the height of New North Road, where it then crossed a newly installed railway bridge, and joined New North Road. Trams were then extended down to Edendale in the early 1920s, the suburb later renamed Sandringham, and the road renamed Sandringham Road.


All photographs are from the collection of or are copyright of Graham Stewart.

Our first photo shows Combination tram no. 15 outside Page’s Store at what in 1903 was the terminus of the line. A horse bus which was able to take passengers further can be seen behind the tram.


It was from here in on Christmas Eve in 1903 that Combination tram no. 32 set off on its fateful journey colliding with runaway double decker no. 39 just around the corner past Bond Street. The story of this disastrous event has been well chronicled by our own James Duncan in The Controller – the Western Springs Tramway publication.


Fifty years later, in 1955 Big Car no. 237 can be seen passing Page’s Store on its way to Avondale to where the line was finally extended.

Not long after, in 1956, the Auckland tramways were closing and here outside Page’s Store the tramway overhead is being removed, in readiness for trolley bus overhead to be erected.

In October 1956 the trolley buses replaced the diesel buses that were just “filling-in” for the trams and here we have Park Royal bodied bus no. 132 heading back to the city past Page’s Store sometime later in 1970.


Today, it is a quite different scene – or is it?


- by Alan Curtis -

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