St George Junction was situated where the inner circle line crossed St George's road in Fitzroy. This photo was taken in early 1906. This steam suburban has originated from North Fitzroy and is bound for Princes Bridge, via Clifton Hill. The signalman is seen handing up the "St George Junction - Northcote Loop Junction" tablet to the fireman on the Me class. steam loco.
North Fitzroy was provided with a frequent (approx 25) services per day to Princes Bridge. This area was severly rationalised, April 1906. Electrification came to the inner circle on July 31 1921 which saw traffic increase to approx 70 services per day with the additional benefit that services now went through to North Carlton resulting in a dramatic leap in patronage from 11,000 in 1921 to almost 600,000 in 1924. So at least, in the beginning, the service was a sucess, but patronage declined after this and in the year ended June 30 1948 the number of journies had fallen to 133,000 about one third of the 1922 traffic. Figures for North Fitzroy were: 250,000 in 1948 and 556,000 in 1922. A combination of the 1930's economic depression and tramway electrification probably caused the decline. The electric service was reduced from 20 minutes to half hourly in the early 1940's and remained so until the withdrawl of electric service in July 1948. Electric service was provided through to Royal Park on Saturday and Sunday afternoons together with one service in the morning and one in the afternoon on weekdays. It appears that on Friday July 2 1948 the last North Carlton electric service ran when the servce was suspended after yet another serious coal shortage that saw drastic reductions in services statewide. Service was not restored after other restrictions were lifted. The commisioners claiming that adequete alternatives (trams) were available.
Spencer St to Whittlesea services continued to run via North Carlton until Sat. Nov. 13 1948, after this date the Whittlesea railmotor service connected with suburban electric trains at Reservoir or Thomastown. Umtil their own demise in 1959.
CLICK HERE for a interlocking diagram of this loacation in 1904, (diagram courtesy of Keith Lambert)
Keith added the following when he sent me the diagram:
Attached is a Locking Sketch of North Fitzroy 'C' 1904. It's a bit feint, but better than nothing. An interesting lnterlocking. Had 2 gate wheels, one at each end of the frame, and the IG were on different lines. In April 1906, the box in the picture was replaced by the new North Fitzroy 'B' which was on the opposite side of the Level crossing and on the opposite side of the line. Control of the junction to Fitzroy was then worked by the new North Fitzroy 'A' (Rae Street) Signal box. The location was known by a number of names. In early days, the Locking sketch title is Parkside Street box. Later the Locking Sketch title is St. Georges Road, and then North Fitzroy 'C'. The WN mentions names St George's Road Junction and St. George Junction. Originally there was only one set of gates, and this was at Parkside Street, which would be todays Park Street. The frame had 44 levers. Based on the Melway map scale, the level crossing at Parkside Street may have been up to 100 metres from the Signal box, but the box may have moved a bit. The IG at St George's Road were provided in 1896 and the frame extended to 48 levers. I remember discussions with Jungi about this location and learnt a lot from him. Interesting that the Fitzroy branch got IG before the Main Line. Another thing, it would have been a bit of a cross country walk for the Signalman to Deliver/Receive the Fitzroy line Staff.
Photo courtesy Charles Gavan Duffy.