MMTB and NTS: Old and new manhole covers

Ah, the fascinating world of manhole covers.

MMTB manhole cover
For you youngsters, the MMTB (Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board) ran the tram system from 1919 to 1983 when it was merged into “The Met”.

NTS (Myki) manhole cover
NTS (New Ticketing System) was the working name for Myki. It still shows up in internal literature, and in things like URLs on the web site (eg the Myki logon takes you to “”)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “MMTB and NTS: Old and new manhole covers”

I would never had guessed what NTS stood for. I can imagine standing somewhere while waiting for a tram and seeing the cover and wondering what it was for.

am i missing something? what is underneath those covers? – something to do with the trams i am assuming…?

I rather like the ‘Melbourne Hydraulic Power Company’ ones. They are getting rare now, and I was quite pleased to find one in Heffernan Lane recently :-)

@Peter, yeah you might be right actually

@Louise, cables, conduits, that kind of thing. In the case of NTS/Myki, they had to run a lot of new cabling around stations to hook up to the Myki machines. I assume some also went in for Metcard, but their stuff doesn’t seem to be as prominent.

Still see plenty of covers with PMG (post master general) and Telecom around my area.

Wandering around Adelaide it is interesting to see ETSA (Electricity Trust of South Australia) covers in the same style as the 4-lid PMG main cable pits (the ones with the squares on them). These were similarly updated to the late 70’s Telecom style that are still in use by Telstra.

Very old pre-ETSA ones from the Adelaide Electric Supply Co can also be seen around the city, albeit rare now!

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