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Proposed Melbourne tram extensions

An incomplete map of tram extension proposals.

Numerous proposals have been made for improvements to the Melbourne tram network, the largest such network in the world. Nearly all of these have been for track extensions of existing lines to connect with nearby railway station or to service new areas and suburbs.


Extensions currently in planningEdit

Caulfield to Chadstone, Monash and Rowville routeEdit

Map showing the 2018 State Government proposal for a new light rail line from Caulfield railway station to Chadstone, Monash University, Waverley Park and Rowville. The two stages are shown in green and blue, stations locations are not finalised.

In April 2018, the State Government of Victoria announced a new extension of the tram network from Caulfield.[1] The 18 km (11.1 mi) extension would run from Caulfield station to Chadstone, Monash University, Waverley Park and Rowville.[2] The state government allocated $3 million to plan the route, which would be constructed in two stages, with the first running from Caulfield to Monash.[2][3] This proposal is a light rail alternative to the long-proposed Rowville railway line project. In the 2018-2019 Federal Budget, the Australian Government committed $475 million to a heavy rail line from Caulfield to Monash University that would run on the same corridor as the light rail proposal.[4][5] In 2019, nearby local councils expressed concern that the project had been shelved.[6]

Trams routes to Fishermans BendEdit

Map showing the two proposed extensions of the tram network through Fishermans Bend, according to the State Government's 2018 framework plan.

State and local governments have also proposed the extension of Route 48 from its current terminus at Victoria Harbour in Docklands across the Yarra River and into the Fishermans Bend precinct, a future major urban renewal area.[7] It would require the construction of a new tram-only bridge and generally follow the path of Fennell and Plummer Streets. The tram extension is proposed as an interim solution to connect Fishermans Bend residents to the CBD via mass transit until the metropolitan railway network can be extended with new underground stations. The proposed bridge has faced some opposition from local groups and residents, whom fear it will destroy a local park and prevent tall boats from mooring at a nearby marina and travelling upstream.[8] The bridge has been costed by the State Government at over $200 million.[9]

The State Government released a Framework for Fishermans Bend in October 2018 that proposed two new tram routes through the area: one running through the new suburbs of Sandridge and Wirraway along Plummer Street, and the other running through Lorimer and the Employment Precinct along Turner Street.[10] The Framework gives a 'medium term' delivery timeframe of 2020-2025, while Infrastructure Australia also identified the project as a 'medium term' priority.[11] The 2019-2020 state budget allocated $4.5 million to plan the tram routes to Fishermans Bend and develop a preliminary business case for the project.[12]


Route 3 to ChadstoneEdit

Map of a proposed route 3 extension.

In 2005 the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) proposed for an extension of Route 3 from East Malvern.[13] It would run from its current terminus to East Malvern railway station, before continuing until it reaches Chadstone Shopping Centre. It would provide Chadstone with some form of rail link, also connecting it directly to a railway station.

Route 5 to Darling stationEdit

Map of a proposed route 5 extension.

The extension from Malvern of route 5 has been proposed by the PTUA and the Rail Futures Institute.[14][15] It would run from its current terminus to Darling railway station and Darling Village.

Route 6 to AshburtonEdit

Map of a proposed route 6 extension.

In response to the State Government's 2001 Melbourne 2030 planning policy, the PTUA lobbied to extend tram route 6 from its current terminus at Glen Iris railway station to Ashburton railway station.[16] It would require an extra 2.2 km of track extending over the Monash Freeway, continuing along High Street until reaching the level crossing.

Route 11 to ReservoirEdit

Map of a proposed route 11 extension, showing two alternative routes.

The City of Darebin has argued for the extension of Route 11 to the Reservoir activity centre.[17] The most likely route would be to continue north along Gilbert Road reaching Edwardes Lake, before turning right into Edwardes Street and continuing east to a new terminus near Reservoir railway station in the commercial area. The extension would cover a distance of just over 3 km.

An alternative, which appeared in Darebin's 2010 proposal, has the tram heading north on Gilbert Rd, east on Henty St, north on Spratling St, then east on Edwardes Rd to the terminus.[17] This route avoids the steep grade around Edwardes Lake.

The cost was estimated to be $30 million, with $50,000 required for a feasibility study.[17] In February 2018 the federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten pledged $40 million to extend Route 11 to the end of Gilbert Road if the Labor party won government.[18] This announcement was criticised by some for failing short of funding the full route to Reservoir station.[19] The State Government has made no commitment to investigate or build the extension.

Route 16 to Kew JunctionEdit

The PTUA proposed extending the route of Route 16 with the tram continuing left at the corner of Cotham and Glenferrie Roads, following the current Route 109 for 800m to the west before terminating at the Kew Junction.[16] This would allow interchange with Route 48 trams and the 200 and 207 buses via Johnston Street. Little infrastructure would be required, as the tracks are already in place.

Route 19 to Gowrie StationEdit

Map of a proposed route 19 extension.

In the lead up to the 2014 State election the Greens proposed extending route 19 from its current terminus at Bakers Road, North Coburg for a length of 3.7 km passing Merlynston Station, Fawkner Station and ending with a new terminus outside Gowrie Station.[20] In 2018 the Rail Futures Institute called for a similar extension to Merlynston Station.[15]

Route 48 to DoncasterEdit

Map of the proposed route 48 extension, including two potential termini.

The PTUA,[21] City of Boroondara,[22] City of Manningham[23] and City of Yarra[24] have advocated for an extension of Route 48 to Doncaster as a cheaper and more efficient alternative to the proposed Doncaster railway line.[25] The 4-kilometre extension would be a continuation of the route along Doncaster Road past Greythorn Village, Doncaster Park and Ride with a terminus at Westfield Doncaster or possibly the mc2 community facility in Doncaster Hill.

The extension was first proposed in the mid-1940s, soon after the tram route was extended to its present-day terminus at Balwyn Road. The then-City of Camberwell made the proposal formally to the Tramways Board in 1945, but the project was not pursued.[26]

In 2006, the Liberal opposition under Ted Baillieu promised the extension by 1 July 2010 if he was to win office in the next election, pricing it at $35 million.[27][28] It was stated that there would have been about two accessible stops every kilometre, similar to the recent Box Hill tram extension. The Labor Government held onto power, and the extension was not built, even when the Liberals later won office in 2010.

A study commissioned by Manningham Council argued that the steep gradient on Doncaster Road would preclude current rolling stock from operating safely on Doncaster Road. The report also suggested that extra trams would need to be purchased to address the issue. The report was never released, but the PTUA and other groups criticsed its public findings, contending that steeper gradients are present across the existing network, such as Burke Road in Camberwell and along the Burwood Highway.[29] Neither major parties have since committed to the extension.[30]

Route 57 to East KeilorEdit

Map of a proposed route 57 extension.

In the lead up to the 2014 State election the Greens proposed extending Route 57 for 5.5 km from its current terminus in Maribyrnong along Canning Street and Milleara Road before reaching a new terminus at the Keilor East shopping precinct.[31] In 2018 the Rail Futures Institute called for a similar extension of the route to Lower Avondale Heights.[15]

Route 58 to HartwellEdit

Map of a proposed route 58 extension.

The PTUA has proposed a continuation of Route 58 from its current terminus east down Toorak Road, terminating near to where it would join the current Route 75 and the Alamein train line at Hartwell station.[13] It would cover just over 4 km.

Route 59 to Melbourne AirportEdit

In 2018 the Rail Futures Institute proposed an extension of Route 59 to Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine alongside a rapid airport rail link, primarily as a commuting service for airport workers.[15]

Route 67 to Carnegie stationEdit

Map of a proposed route 67 extension.

The PTUA and the Rail Futures Institute have both proposed a continuation of Route 67 from its current terminus north up Koornang Road, terminating at Carnegie railway station and passing through Carnegie shopping strip.[16][15] It would cover just 900 metres and become a modal interchange.

Route 75 to KnoxEdit

Map of a proposed route 75 extension to Knox City Council Precinct.

In the lead up to the 2014 State election the Greens proposed extending route 75 from its current terminus outside Vermont South Shopping Centre for a length of 6.8 km down Burwood Highway passing Westfield Knox City Shopping Centre and ending near to Knox City Council precinct.[31]

Route 75 to FootscrayEdit

Map of a proposed route 75 to Footscray extension, including two potential termini.

Melbourne and Maribyrnong City Councils have advocated for a new tram link between the CBD and Footscray. The commonly cited route would be to extend Route 75 tram tracks from their current terminus near Harbour Town in Docklands along the median of Footscray Road, acting as a light rail with minimal stops, before crossing the Maribyrnong River into Napier Street. From here it is possible the tram could terminate at Footscray railway station by turning right at Hyde Street, or following Whitehall and Hopkins Streets to rejoin Route 82 as one long route.

Route 86 to South MorangEdit

Map of a proposed route 86 extension.

The City of Whittlesea's 2016 Future Transport Plan called for an extension to the Route 86 tram as a 'very high' priority.[32] The council proposed an extension of the route from its current terminus at University Hill near Bundoora's RMIT Campus to the Plenty Valley Town Centre in South Morang. This proposal included a stop at South Morang station.

New North Melbourne to Richmond routeEdit

Map of the proposed North Melbourne to Richmond route.

Leading up to the 2013 Australian federal election, the Australian Greens proposed the creation of a new east–west route between North Richmond and North Melbourne railway stations.[33] It would travel along Victoria Street/Parade for most of its route, before diverting south in the west to terminate in front of North Melbourne station. Most of the route is currently used for other lines, such as Route 109 between St Vincents Plaza and North Richmond Station and Route 57 between Errol Street and Elizabeth Street. Tram tracks currently exist on some sections of Victoria St, but are unused and in disrepair. The Rail Futures Institute proposed similar routes along Victoria Street/Parade in 2018.[15]

New Port Melbourne to St Kilda routeEdit

Proposed Beaconsfield Parade St Kilda-Port Melbourne route

A 5 km tram link between St Kilda and Port Melbourne along Beaconsfield Parade was first proposed in 2004,[34][35] subsequently promoted by the City of Port Phillip in 2005[36] and backed by Tourism Victoria.[37] A 2007 feasibility study[38] into the route found that the high density population could sustain around 200,000 annual commuter trips and that a "shuttle tram" between the two bayside suburbs would be financially viable if patrons were charged $6 per one-way trip.[39]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "New Tram To Connect City's South-East". Premier of Victoria. 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  2. ^ a b "Government plans new tram route for Melbourne's south-east". ABC News. 2018-04-10. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  3. ^ Carey, Adam (2018-04-09). "New tram line planned to run from Caulfield to Rowville via Chadstone". The Age. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  4. ^ Australia and New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline. "Caulfield to Rowville Rail Line". Infrastructure Pipeline. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  5. ^ Towell, Noel (2018-06-26). "State government urged to get on board $1 billion Monash express". The Age. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  6. ^ Jacks, Timna (2019-05-29). "Fears Caulfield to Rowville tram link on ice". The Age. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  7. ^ Cook, Henrietta (16 September 2013). "Train stations, tree-lined boulevards mooted for Fishermans Bend". The Age. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Yarra's Edge tram bridge outrage". Docklands News. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  9. ^ Masanauskas, John (29 April 2013). "Tram bridge over Yarra to link Docklands with Fishermans Bend to cost more than $200m". Herald Sun. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  10. ^ Victorian State Government (October 2018). "Fishermans Bend Framework" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Project: Fishermans Bend Tram Link". Infrastructure Pipeline. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  12. ^ Department of Economic Development, Jobs. "Fishermans Bend tram". Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  13. ^ a b Public Transport Users Association (November 2005). "Five Years Closer to 2020: A Plan to Get Transport Back on Track" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Policies: Extending Melbourne's network – Public Transport Users Association (Victoria, Australia)". Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Rail Futures Institute (September 2018). "The Melbourne Rail Plan 2019-2050" (PDF).
  16. ^ a b c "The Real Transport Challenges: A Call for a Vision" (PDF), Public Transport Users Association, p. 56, retrieved 2011-11-03
  17. ^ a b c City of Darebin (2010). "Proposal for extension of Tram Route 112". Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  18. ^ "LABOR TO EXTEND THE NUMBER 11 TRAM - FRIDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2018". Bill Shorten 2016. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  19. ^ "Route 11 tram extension: pork-barrelling, underdone". Urban. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  20. ^ "Fill Missing Tram Links". The Greens - Australia. 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Policies: Extending Melbourne's network". Public Transport Users Association. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Mayor pushes Balwyn tram extension". Weekly Review Boroondara. Archived from the original on 30 June 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Councils plead to fill gaps in transport network". The Age. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  24. ^ "Doncaster Rail Study Phase 1 Recommendations Report (Draft): Submission by Yarra Council". City of Yarra. Yarra City Council. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  25. ^ "Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Recommendations Report" (PDF). Doncaster Hill. Manningham City Council. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Tram Extensions Urged". Trove. The Argus. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  27. ^ "A Liberal government plan to improve Public Transport" (PDF). Victorian Liberal Party. Archived from the original on July 21, 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  28. ^ Warner, Michael (9 November 2006). "$35m line on trams". Herald Sun. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  29. ^ "PTUA News - July 2010" (PDF). Public Transport Users Association. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  30. ^ Chisholm, Anna (12 November 2014). "Labor fails to back extension of tram route 48 from North Balwyn to Doncaster Hill". Manningham Leader. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  31. ^ a b Victorian Greens (2014). "Connecting Melbourne's Trams: The Greens' Plan for Tram Route Extensions" (PDF).
  32. ^ City of Whittlesea (2016). "Road and Public Transport Plan" (PDF).
  33. ^ Adam Bandt (29 August 2013). "Fixing Melbourne's Transport" (PDF). Australian Greens. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Rattling good vistas guaranteed - National". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  35. ^ "Cable car option for beachside transport - National". Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  36. ^ "Hailing a tram by the bayside - Editorial". 2004-10-18. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  37. ^ "TOVI20853-Infrastructure2.indd" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  38. ^ City of Port Philip (December 2006). "Strategy and Policy Review Committee: St Kilda to Port Melbourne Foreshore Transport Link Scoping and Feasibility Study" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-02-24.
  39. ^ Moynihan, Stephen (13 December 2006). "Beach tram to sting tourists $6 a ride". The Age. Retrieved 5 March 2007.