City Circle Tram

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City Circle (Route 35)
W6 1000 turning from Nicholson St into Victoria Pde on the City Circle, 2013
System Melbourne tramway network
Operator Yarra Trams
Depot Southbank
Vehicle W class
Locale Melbourne, Australia
Zone(s) Free Tram Zone
Timetable City Circle timetable
Map City Circle map
Route map

Melbourne trams route city circle map.png

← Route 30 Route 48 →

The City Circle is a zero-fare tram running around the central business district of Melbourne, Australia. Aimed mainly at tourists, the route passes many Melbourne attractions while running along the CBD's outermost thoroughfares, as well as the developing Docklands waterfront precinct. It operates in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.


City Circle trams on La Trobe Street in August 2007

The tram route was introduced on 29 April 1994,[1] requiring a small track extension along Spring Street, between Collins and Flinders Streets, to enable a complete CBD loop to be formed.[2] The Federal Government's Building Better Cities program funded the $6.4 million capital cost of the track expansion, while the State Government funded the running costs.[3]

Until January 2003 the western leg of the original route of the tram was down Spencer Street, but the route was then extended west to run through Docklands. The travel time around the circle before this change was 40 minutes.[4]

During early 2006, new Passenger Information Displays were installed along with Digital Voice Announcements.

In April 2008, the service adopted the daylight saving timetable on a permanent basis, operating from 10:00 to 21:00 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The end of service at other times is 18:00.[5]

On 30 May 2009, the route was altered for a second time, being extended from Harbour Esplanade to the NewQuay and Waterfront City precincts via Docklands Drive. This made the route an elongated 'q'.[6]


Interior of a W class tram in City Circle service
W class tram on Flinders Street in August 2008

The route of the City Circle trams roughly follows the outer edges of the Hoddle Grid, with three diversions. It takes in all of La Trobe Street, Harbour Esplanade and Flinders Street. It follows Spring Street between Flinders and Bourke Streets, but travels along Nicholson Street and Victoria Street before turning into La Trobe Street. At the junction of Harbour Esplanade and Latrobe Street trams turn off the loop to run to and from a terminus towards the end of Docklands Drive, Waterfront City.


The City Circle route is operated by heritage W class trams liveried in burgundy with gold trim, however rolling stock shortages often see Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board liveried traditional green liveried W Class trams on the service. Trams display the route number 35.[7] The City Circle operates at a headway of 12 minutes in both directions, with the service taking approximately 60 minutes to complete a loop.[8] Ten trams are allocated to the service at any one time (five in each direction). An average of three million passengers uses the service every year, with each tram circling the city 9 times a day, or 12 times when the tram operates to 21:00.[5]

Route map[edit]

     Route 35
Free Tram Zone covers all stops.
Waterfront City Stop
Harbour Town Shopping Centre D11
NewQuay D10
( Docklands Drive – Harbour Esplanade )
Tram interchange Harbour Esp: 35, 70, 75; La Trobe St: 30, 35, 86
Central Pier La Trobe Street D2
( Harbour Esplanade )
( La Trobe Street )
D3 Bourke Street Docklands Stadium
Docklands Stadium D1
 Routes 11 & 48 via Collins Street 
D4 Collins Street Docklands Park
( Harbour Esplanade )
D5 The Goods Shed
( Flinders Street )
D6 Flinders Street West
 Towards North Melbourne 
 Routes 12, 96 & 109 via Clarendon Street 
1 Spencer Street
 86  Spencer Street Bus interchange 216, 219 1(AC)/119(C)
2 King Street Melbourne Aquarium
King Street 2
 Route 55 via Queens Bridge Street 
 Route 55 via William Street 
3 Bus interchange 216, 219, 220, 234, 236 Market Street
Flagstaff station William Street 3
Queen Street Bus interchange 220, 232, 234, 235, 236, 237 4
4 Bus interchange 605 Elizabeth Street Flinders Street station
Melbourne Central station Elizabeth Street 5
 Routes 19, 57 & 59 via Elizabeth Street 
5 Swanston Street Flinders Street station
Melbourne Central station Swanston Street 6
 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 & 72 via St Kilda Road 
 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67 & 72 via Swanston Street 
6 Russell Street
Russell Street Bus interchange 200, 207 7
 Route 70 via Batman Avenue 
Exhibition Street Bus interchange 250, 251 8
 Towards Richmond and Jolimont 
( La Trobe Street )
La Trobe/Victoria Streets Bus interchange 402 9
8 Spring Street
( Victoria Street )
( Flinders Street )
 Routes 48 & 75 via Wellington Parade 
( Spring Street )
 Routes 11, 12 & 109 via Gisborne Street 
9 Bourke Street  86, 96 
( Victoria Street )
( Spring Street – Nicholson Street )
 Routes 86 & 96 via Nicholson Street 
10 Albert Street Parliament station
Victoria Parade/Nicholson Street Bus interchange Victoria Parade buses 11(AC)/10(C)
 Route 30 via Victoria Parade 
#(C) – clockwise stop number; #(AC) – anticlockwise stop number. All stops shown. Route map is not to scale.


  1. ^ "Public transport - City Loop history". Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  2. ^ Lyndsay Neilson. "Getting implementation going". The Building Better Cities program 1991-96: a nation-building initiative of the Commonwealth Government. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  3. ^ Lyndsay Neilson. "Appendix 1: Funding Allocation, Victorian Area Strategies". The ‘Building Better Cities’ program 1991-96: a nation-building initiative of the Commonwealth Government. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  4. ^ "City Circle Tram Extended to Melbourne's Waterfront at Docklands". Minister for Major Projects, Minister for Public Transport. 23 January 2003. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  5. ^ a b "City Circle Tram to Run When the Sun goes Down". Premier of Victoria. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  6. ^ Yarra Trams (2009-05-01). "Media Release: Popular City Circle tram extended to Docklands Drive". Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  7. ^ "Tram 35 (City Circle)". Metlink. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  8. ^ "City Circle (Free Tourist Tram)". Metlink. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 

External links[edit]