Melbourne tram route 96

Melbourne tram route 96 is operated by Yarra Trams on the Melbourne tram network from Brunswick East to St Kilda Beach. The 13.9 kilometre route is operated out of Southbank depot with C2 and E class trams.

Route 96
E class trams on Bourke Street in December 2013
OperatorYarra Trams
VehicleC2 class
E class
Night-timeFriday & Saturday
StartBrunswick East
ViaFitzroy North
Carlton North
Bourke Street
South Melbourne
Albert Park
Middle Park
EndSt Kilda Beach
Length13.9 kilometres
TimetableRoute 96 timetable
MapRoute 96 map
← Route 86  {{{system_nav}}}  Route 109 →

History Edit

The line opened as a cable tram line operated by the Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company on 30 August 1887, operating along Bourke and Nicholson Streets.[1] It operated until 26 October 1940, when the Bourke Street cable lines were abandoned by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) in favour of double decker buses. The Bourke Street cable lines were the last cable trams to operate in Melbourne.

The MMTB, unhappy with the performance of the buses, decided to reinstate trams when the buses reached life expiry, trams on the 88 (predecessor to the modern 86) started on 26 June 1955 with the first tram to Brunswick East operating on 8 April 1956.[2][3][4]

The W7 class trams were built for running on these lines and the new Z class trams first ran on route 96 in June 1975.[5]

The line was extended south to St Kilda along Spencer Street, the former St Kilda railway line, Fitzroy Street and The Esplanade to terminate in Acland Street on 20 November 1987 following the conversion of the St Kilda railway (along with the Port Melbourne railway line) to light rail.[6] The broad gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) track was re-gauged to standard gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) and the overhead voltage was reduced from 1500 V DC to 600 V DC with light rail platforms built adjacent to the former stations' platforms.

With the closure of North Fitzroy depot on 19 December 1993, its route 96 duties were transferred to South Melbourne depot.[7][8]

After the merger of the M>Tram network with Yarra Trams in 2004, most D2 class trams were transferred from Malvern depot to Southbank depot to help alleviate the congestion on the route.[9][10][11][12] After the introduction of these low floor Siemens Combino trams on the route, accessible stops were built on Bourke Street, Fitzroy Street and St Kilda Esplanade, increasing customer safety and comfort.

In response to frequent overcrowding on the tram system in 2008, the state government leased new C2 class trams from Mulhouse, France specifically to run the route.[13] The first of these new trams began operation on 11 June 2008 with the nickname Bumble Bee 1.[14][15] In November 2013, the first E class trams entered service on the route.[16] In January 2016 of which there are now 26 which saw all D2 class trams transferred to Brunswick depot. Route 96 began operating through the night on Fridays and Saturdays as part of the Night Network.[17]

Route 96 Project Edit

On 17 April 2012, it was announced that Route 96 would become the focus of tram upgrades to transform it from a tramway to a light rail system; a "model" for how Melbourne's tram network should operate. The Route 96 Project superseded a similar project of the previous government, Tram 109.

The proposed aims of the project are:

  • Providing level access stops along the entire route
  • Upgraded termini at Blyth Street, Brunswick East, and Acland Street, St Kilda[18][19]
  • Segregation treatments to better separate low-floor trams from traffic
  • Improved priority for low-floor trams at traffic lights
  • Improved customer information

The objectives are to:

  • Increase access to trams and safety for customers through providing improved infrastructure and information
  • Improve tram reliability and efficiency through increased priority and accessible infrastructure
  • Ensure better utilisation of the road network with a focus on moving people
  • Design a full route of enhancements to demonstrate the benefits of a modern light rail system in Melbourne conditions, compared with a traditional tram network.

In mid-2013, the proposed changes were released to the public. They involved an eventual segregation of trams from traffic along nearly the entire route, and the upgrade of all stops to level access to improve passenger flow and make the network disability-compliant. On Nicholson Street, all on-street parking would eventually be removed to create dedicated tram lanes where it is illegal for cars to drive. Easy-access stops (level access by raising the road to footpath level) would be constructed between Blyth Street and Brunswick Road, while centre island superstops would be constructed between Brunswick Road and the CBD.

The Batman Park (previously the World Trade Centre) and Clarendon Street Junction (Previously Port Junction) stops in South Melbourne would be redesigned with a separate bay for the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant, while in St Kilda, some parts of Acland Street would be closed to cars in favour of widened footpaths, pedestrian plazas and tram right of way.

The project has received strong support from commuters, urban planners and public transport advocates, while there have been concerns from shop owners along the route that a loss of on-street parking will negatively affect business.[20]

Work completed as at October 2018 has included:

  • new Blyth Street terminus headshunt at the northern end in July 2015[18][21]
  • new Clarendon Street Junction stop in January 2016[22][23]
  • new Acland Street terminus in December 2016[24][25]
  • stop upgrades at Johnston Street, Moor street and Melbourne Museum in September 2018 along with stop removal at Hoddle St and Hanover street

Route Edit

B2 class tram on the former St Kilda railway line section in January 2006

Route 96 runs from its terminus in Brunswick East, travelling south on Nicholson Street through the suburbs of Carlton North, Fitzroy North, Carlton and Fitzroy, passing the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum. It enters the CBD on Spring Street turning right into Bourke Street at Parliament House, travels through the Bourke Street Mall and turns left into Spencer Street, passing Southern Cross station. It crosses the Yarra River and enters Southbank on Clarendon Street before passing through the suburbs of South Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park and St Kilda on a right-of-way track. The tram line exits the private right-of-way and travels along Fitzroy Street and The Esplanade to Acland Street, St Kilda where it terminates.

Operation Edit

C2 class tram at the Spring Street stop on Bourke Street

Route 96 is operated out of Southbank depot with C2 and E class tram.[26]

Special events and services Edit

Several annual events affect the usual services along route 96:

In popular culture Edit

Route 96 is featured in the Courtney Barnett song Elevator Operator.

Route map Edit

Route 96
Brunswick East - St Kilda Beach
via Fitzroy, City, Southbank & Albert Park
Free Tram Zone covers stops 124 to 11, fare zone 1 from stop 140 to 124A, 27 to 12
Brunswick East
Blyth Street
  503, 508
Albert Street
Glenlyon Road
Miller Street
Former Brunswick Road/Holden Street Line
Brunswick Road
  250, 251
North Fitzroy tram depot (closed)
Scotchmer Street
Reid Street
Freeman Street
Alexandra Parade
Rose Street
Johnston Street
  200, 202, 207
Moor Street
Gertrude Street
Tram 86
Melbourne Museum
Zone 1
Free Tram Zone
Victoria Parade
Tram 30
Parliament station
Parliament station
City Loop suburban lines
Spring Street
Tram City Circle
Spring Street
Russell Street
Swanston Street
Tram 1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72
Swanston Street
  1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72
Bourke Street Mall
Elizabeth Street
Tram 19, 57, 59
Queen Street
William Street
William Street
Tram 58
Southern Cross station
Spencer Street
Tram 86
  Southern Cross station
Southern Cross station
Collins Street
Tram 11, 12, 48, 109
Flinders Street
Tram 70, 75, City Circle
Flinders Street Viaduct
Batman Park
Free Tram Zone
Zone 1
Clarendon Street
Clarendon Street
Tram 12
Normanby Street
Clarendon Street Junction
Port Melbourne Light Rail
Tram 109
Ferrars Street
City Road
  234, 236
South Melbourne station
Park Street
Tram 1 (no connecting stop)
South Melbourne
Ferrars Street
Albert Park station
Albert Road
Tram 12 (no connecting stop)
Canterbury Road
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
Middle Park station
Middle Park
Canterbury Road
Fraser Street
St Kilda station
  600, 922, 923
Fitzroy Street
Tram 3a, 16
Canterbury Road
Park Street
  12,   606
Park Street
Tram 12
Jacka Boulevard
The Esplanade
The Esplanade
Luna Park
  3a, 16;   606, 623
Carlisle Street
Tram 3a, 16
Acland Street
Acland Street
246, 600, 606
922, 923
St Kilda Beach
Note: Green denotes free tram zone

References Edit

  1. ^ Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company Limited Running Journal volume 9 no 3 page 16
  2. ^ Our golden years Yarra Trams
  3. ^ Route 96 East Brunswick - Blyth Street Electric Traction October 1968 pages 8-11
  4. ^ East Burwood Extension Opening Electric Traction August 1978 page 127
  5. ^ New Cars for North Fitzroy Trolley Wire issue 159 August 1975 page 40
  6. ^ Towards the modern era Yarra Trams
  7. ^ The Met Fleetline issue 221 December 1993 page 264
  8. ^ National Bus Company Australian Bus Panorama issue 9/5 January 1994 page 31
  9. ^ News in brief Railway Digest September 2004 page 15
  10. ^ A new century Yarra Trams
  11. ^ D2 Class Vicsig
  12. ^ New low floor trams boost capacity on Route 96 Yarra Trams 26 July 2004
  13. ^ Melbourne welcomes Mulhouse tram Railway Gazette International March 2008 page 127
  14. ^ Five more trams to be added to the metropolitan system Yarra Trams 7 February 2008
  15. ^ First of five French Trams now on Melbourne tracks Yarra Trams 11 June 2008
  16. ^ Stand by your tram - Melbourne welcomes the E-class Yarra Trams 4 November 2013
  17. ^ Night Tram Public Transport Victoria
  18. ^ a b Route 96 - Tram network upgrade - June 2015 Yarra Trams
  19. ^ Route 96: Acland Street, St Kilda Public Transport Victoria
  20. ^ Help Council Have Their Say on Tram Changes City of Port Phillip 25 July 2013
  21. ^ Route 96 Improvements: Nicholson Street Public Transport Victoria
  22. ^ Route 96: Stop 125 Port Junction Public Transport Victoria
  23. ^ Port Junction: Platform stop construction Yarra Trams
  24. ^ Acland Street upgrade Yarra Trams
  25. ^ Acland Street upgrades City of Port Phillip
  26. ^ Southbank Depot Vicsig
  27. ^ Getting Here Australian Grand Prix

Further reading Edit

  • Richards, Tim (13 October 2022). "Number 96 tram in Melbourne: This one route gives you the best of the city". Traveller. Retrieved 14 October 2022.

External links Edit

  Media related to Melbourne tram route 96 at Wikimedia Commons