Melbourne tram route 12

Melbourne tram route 12 is operated by Yarra Trams on the Melbourne tram network from Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre to St Kilda. The 16.2-kilometre (10.1 mi) is operated out of Southbank depot with A class trams.

Route 12
Melbourne tram route 12 icon.svg
A2273 YarraTrams PTV Livery.jpg
OperatorYarra Trams
VehicleA Class
Began service27 January 2014
StartVictoria Gardens Shopping Centre
ViaVictoria Street
Collins Street
South Melbourne
EndSt Kilda
Length16.2 kilometres
TimetableRoute 12 timetable
MapRoute 12 map
← Route 11  {{{system_nav}}}  Route 16 →


The origins of route 12 lie in several separate tram lines, including electrified 19th century cable tram lines and new track through South Melbourne constructed in the 1930.

The oldest section of track along Spencer Street between Collins Street and Flinders Street was part of Richmond cable tram line (Melbourne's first ever cable tram line), which opened on 11 November 1885 (and was electrified on 14 July 1927). The following year, Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company opened the North Fitzroy Line along Collins Street between Spencer Street (Stop 1) and St Vincent's Plaza (Stop 12) on 2 October 1886. It was electrified on 8 December 1929.[1] The line east of St Vincent's Plaza along Victoria Street opened later that year as the Victoria Bridge line on 22 November 1886. This section was electrified on 15 September 1929.

Meanwhile, the southern section was created in many stages. It began with the South Melbourne cable tram line to South Melbourne Beach that came from Queensbridge Street and City Road, then ran along the Clarendon Street section of today's route 12 between City Road (Stop 126) and Park Street (South Melbourne, Stop 129), and then followed today's route 1 to South Melbourne beach, which was first opened on 17 June 1890. Next, an electric line between Park Street (South Melbourne) and St Kilda Beach (Fitzroy Street) was constructed by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board, opening on 31 October 1925, with services running from Swanston Street to St Kilda Beach (Fitzroy Street) as routes 1 and 2.[1] When the South Melbourne cable tram line was electrified on 25 July 1937, the section along Clarendon Street was electrified, and a new section extending along Clarendon Street up to Spencer Street was built, connecting Collins Street services which could now run through to South Melbourne or St Kilda. Route 12 was allocated to the line between South Melbourne Beach and a crossover on Collins Street at Gisborne Street, East Melbourne. Trams heading southwards from the city from Collins Street along Clarendon Street initially turned right at Park Street to terminate at South Melbourne Beach, while trams from Swanston St turned left and terminated at St Kilda Beach. On 13 September 1953, this was amended so that both tram services ran through the intersection of Park and Clarendon Street instead of both turning, resulting in St Kilda Beach becoming the terminus of route 12.

The original terminus of the St Kilda Beach service along Park Street diverted at Mary Street (Stop 142) and turned left at Beaconsfield Parade to meet the tracks at Fitzroy Street one block south of the current terminus. The junction was double-tracked so that some services would run further towards Luna Park. However, this rarely eventuated. The Mary Street tracks were replaced by the current day terminus at Park Street on 13 November 1959.[1]

The first ever use of the route number 12 was for a about a year for the West Preston to St Kilda Beach service from 21 November 1929. At the time the North Fitzroy cable tram was yet to be electrified, and so all Preston services ran west via Holden Street and then via Lygon Street to Swanston Street, rather than Collins Street, and then to the southern suburbs. Then, when the cable line from St Georges Road to Collins Street was electrified on 27 October 1930, and services used Collins Street, route 12 was left unallocated for several years. For a long time, some route 12 services would continue northwards towards West Preston via Brunswick Street under Route 10. Eventually, the elimination of shared depot routes on 30 April 1995 led to route 10 becoming discontinued.[1]

On 3 July 1973, a siding was constructed at Brunswick Street (later St Vincent's Plaza), which enabled route 12 to terminate there instead of the busy crossover at Gisborne Street.[1] Following the establishment of route 112 in April 2000, route 12 became a peak hour only service. However, the peak-hour service was deemed unnecessary for the low-density and affluent suburbs in which it ran and on 18 November 2002, route 12 was discontinued. It was then allocated as a short working for route 16 trams terminating at Malvern depot from 2004.[2] On 27 July 2014, Yarra Tram's desire to discontinue all peak-hour services led to routes 24 and 112 being discontinued, and route 12 taking their place between Victoria Gardens and St Kilda.[3]

Between 13 July and 7 November 2020, as part of a COVID-19 response plan to increase overall capacity in the city which introduced shuttle services of route 11, route 12 was diverted via La Trobe Street on a temporary basis to reduce congestion on Collins Street.[4][5] The route also replaced route 30, which did not operate in this period. Route 12 returned to running along Collins Street on 8 November 2020.[6] During the 2022 Australian Open between 17 January and 30 January 2022, route 12 was again temporarily diverted via La Trobe Street and replaced route 30.[7]

Melbourne tram route 12 evolution
Dates Route Notes
During PMTT operation Camberwell to St Kilda Road via Burke and Malvern Roads
21 November 1929 - 26 October 1930 West Preston to St Kilda Beach via Holden Street and South Melbourne
27 October 1930 - 24 July 1937 Unallocated
25 July 1937 - 11 September 1953 South Melbourne Beach to City (Gisborne Street)
12 September 1953 - 2 July 1973 St Kilda Beach to City (Gisborne Street)
3 July 1973 - 17 November 2002 St Kilda Beach to City (Brunswick Street) Became peak-only following establishment of route 112 in April 2000
18 November 2002 - 17 October 2004 Unallocated
18 October 2004 - 26 July 2014 Kew (Cotham Road) to Malvern depot Rarely used short working of route 16
27 July 2014 - onwards Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre to St Kilda (Fitzroy Street) Became full-time route following cessation of route 112
Diverted via La Trobe Street 13 July - 7 November 2020 and 17 January - 30 January 2022


Route 12 is operated out of Southbank depot with A class trams.[3][8][9]

Route mapEdit

Route 12
Victoria Gardens - St Kilda (Fitzroy Street)
via Richmond, City & South Melbourne
Free tram zone covers stops 124 to 8, fare zone 1 applies from stop 10 to 24, 143 to 124A
Victoria Gardens
Victoria Street
Victoria Gardens
Leslie Street
McKay Street
Church Street
Church Street
Tram 78
Lennox Street
North Richmond station
  North Richmond station
Hoddle Street
Wellington Street
Smith Street
Lansdowne Street
St Vincent's Plaza Siding
Brunswick Street
Tram 11
   West Preston
St Vincent's Plaza
Victoria Parade
Tram 30
   Central Pier
Gisborne Street
Albert Street
Macarthur Street
Parliament station
  Parliament station
Spring Street
Tram 48, City Circle
Wellington Parade  
   Nicholson Street
Spring Street
101 Collins Street
Swanston Street
Tram 1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72
Town Hall
  1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72
Elizabeth Street
Tram 19, 57, 59
Elizabeth Street
William Street
William Street
Tram 58
Southern Cross station
  Southern Cross station
Spencer Street
Tram 96
   Bourke Street
Collins Street
Tram 11, 48
Flinders Street
Tram 70, 75, City Circle
Flinders Street Viaduct
Batman Park
Clarendon Street
St Kilda/Port Melbourne Light Rail
Tram 96, 109
South Melbourne
Clarendon Street
City Road
  234, 236
York Street
Dorcas Street
Park Street
Park Street
Tram 1
Raglan Street
Albert Road
Albert Park
Albert Road
Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre
St Kilda Light Rail
Tram 96 (no connecting stop)
Canterbury Road
Middle Park
Mills Street
Canterbury Road
Carter Street
Richardson Street
Danks Street
Albert Park Siding
Danks Street
Harold Street
Armstrong Street
Patterson Street
Langridge Street
Fraser Street
St Kilda West
Park Street
Cowderoy Street
Mary Street
St Kilda
Park Street
Fitzroy Street
  3a, 16, 96;   606
Fitzroy Street
Tram 3a, 16, 96
St Kilda
Note: Green denotes free tram zone


  1. ^ a b c d e "Gunzel". Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  2. ^ History of Melbourne Trams Routes from 1950 to 2009 Yarra Trams
  3. ^ a b Route 12 Yarra Trams
  4. ^ More Services To Keep Victorians Safe On Public Transport Premier of Victoria 10 July 2020
  5. ^ Tram Service Changes - Route 12 and 30 Yarra Trams
  6. ^ to Routes 12, 30, 35, 86, 96 and 109 Public Transport Victoria
  7. ^ Australian Open 2022 Yarra Trams
  8. ^ Southbank Depot Vicsig
  9. ^ Facts & figures Yarra Trams

External linksEdit

  Media related to Melbourne tram route 12 at Wikimedia Commons