By the later 1800s the dirt roads in the then out-lying areas of the City of Moorabbin became dangerous, and almost impassable due to huge potholes and muddy swampy areas. The heavily laden market gardener’s carts regularly broke axles and wheels, and horses foundered on their way to the Melbourne markets. Even worse, the heavier “iron maidens”, carrying their malodorous loads of sewage from Melbourne’s inner suburbs for dumping in the outlying areas of the City of Moorabbin, also got bogged in the mire. It was decided that a practical solution to this problem was to install a metal plateway on the side of the problematic roads. In about 1887 the Moorabbin Shire Centre Road, in the Brighton East area, two parallel metal rails were installed so that the wheels of carts could run along smoothly, the horse travelled in the filled, middle area between the rails. Point Nepean Road plateway was removed in 1930 and Centre Dandenong Road plateway was removed in 1934-35. The worn plateway along Centre Road, East Brighton (now known as Bentleigh), was gradually taken up in several pieces, commencing in the the1920s, when its condition deteriorated and it caused a hazard to bikes, pedestrians, motor-cycles and the few early cars.
The early steel plateway, constructed by David Munro, and opened on 23rd March 1885 by Thomas Bent, was built along Nepean Highway, between Asling St. and Bay St. The Point Nepean Track was subsequently extended into Moorabbin with branches along Centre, Cumins, South, Wickham, and Keys Roads, the total length was 13 miles. In 1908-1909 plates were laid along Centre Dandenong Road to Ross Street Bentleigh This innovative solution proved successful and was used until gradually the main roads were upgraded, and motorised vehicles started to appear.
Two parallel metal rails were installed in the right hand side of a few main roads in the Shire of Moorabbin so that the wheels of heavily-loaded market gardener's carts on their way to markets in Melbourne could run along smoothly. The horse pulling the carts travelled in the filled, middle area between the rails. The Steel Plateway was constructed by David Munro, and opened on 23rd March 1885 by Thomas Bent. The wheelway first only ran along Nepean Highway, but it soon extended from Centre Dandenong Road, along Nepean road to its junction with Chapel Street, St Kilda. Later branch lines were built along Centre Road, Bentleigh as far as Warrigal Road and, according to early photographs, along Wickham Road Moorabbin as well. This innovative solution proved successful and was used until gradually the main roads were upgraded, and motorised vehicles started to appear. There was a problem with the wheelway : there was only a single set of rails and this was established on the right-hand side of the Nepean Road, travelling towards the city. Traffic FROM the city travelled on the correct or left-hand side of the road. The exception to this rule was the malodorous iron-clads, heavily riveted iron carts, generally travelling in convoy, carrying several tons of human effluent out of Melbourne to be trenched-in in the sandy soil of the Moorabbin district.
Moorabbin City Council donated and installed a small section of Plateway at Box Cottage Museum in 1984