Melbourne tram route 3

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Route 3/3a
Melbourne University - Malvern East
Z1 78 on St Kilda Road.jpg
Z1 class tram on St Kilda Road
in February 2013
System Melbourne
Operator Yarra Trams
Depot Glenhuntly
Vehicle Z3 class
A class
B2 class
Locale Melbourne, Australia
Start Melbourne University
Via Carlton
Melbourne CBD (Swanston St)
St Kilda
St Kilda East
Caulfield North
End Malvern East
Length 3: 14.9 km (9.3 mi)
3a: 16.3 km (10.1 mi)
Journey time 45-65 minutes
Operates 3: Weekdays
3a: Weekends
Zone(s) Free Zone: Stops 8-13
Myki Zone 1: Stops 1-7, 14-64
Annual patronage 5.5 million
Timetable Route 3/3a timetable
Map Route 3/3a map
Route map

Melbourne trams route 3 map.png

← Route 1  {{{system_nav}}}  Route 5 →

Melbourne tram route 3 is operated by Yarra Trams on the Melbourne tram network. It operates from Melbourne University to Malvern East. The 14.9 kilometre route is operated by Z, A and B2 class trams from Glenhuntly depot.[1][2] On weekends route 3 operates as route 3a and diverts via St Kilda.


The origins of route 3 lie in separate tram lines, an electric line from Melbourne University to Queensberry Street, a cable tram from Queensberry Street to Milton Street and an electric line from Acland Street to Darling Road.

Cable trams first travelled from Queensberry Street, Carlton to Milton Street, Balaclava (just south of Carlisle Street), on 11 October 1888, with the line opened by the Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company.[3]

The Prahran & Malvern Tramways Trust (PMTT) opened a line from Acland Street, St Kilda to Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North along Carlisle Street/Balaclava Road on 12 April 1913.[4] This line was extended east by the PMTT from Hawthorn Road to Darling Road, Malvern East on 13 November 1913.[4]

The Melbourne, Brunswick & Coburg Tramways Trust opened its line from Park Street, Carlton North to Queensberry Street, Carlton along Lygon, Elgin and Madeline Streets (as the section of Swanston Street north of Victoria Street was originally known) on 31 October 1916.[4]

The Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board converted the Swanston Street/St Kilda Road cable line to electric traction between 1924 and 1926, with electric trams able to run the entire length from 29 August 1926.[5]

Large sections of these lines make up what is today's route 3. On 12 November 1961 trams on Sunday were replaced on route 3 by bus route 377. Sunday trams were reinstated on 8 August 1993.[6]

During the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the route was renumbered 53 and extended to West Coburg, from Domain Interchange, along route 55 to alleviate congestion along St Kilda Road.[7]

On 31 January 2009, route 3 was altered on the weekends to form route 3a, diverting from the regular route at St Kilda Junction and travelling via Fitzroy Street, The Esplanade and Carlisle Street to rejoin the regular route at the corner of St Kilda Road and Carlisle Street. This was to alleviate overcrowding on route 16.[8][9]



Z3 class tram on The Esplanade, St Kilda in May 2012

Route 3 operates from Melbourne University travelling south through the CBD on Swanston Street via Melbourne Central and Flinders Street stations. After crossing the Yarra River it continues south along St Kilda Road turning east into Carlisle Street, Balaclava then travelling through St Kilda East, where Carlisle Street becomes Balaclava Road, continuing east travelling through Caulfield North. After passing Caulfield station, it crosses Dandenong Road, and continues east along Waverley Road, Malvern East, terminating at Darling Road.

Route 3a weekend variation[edit]

On weekends, route 3 runs as route 3a, diverting from the regular route at St Kilda Junction and travelling via St Kilda on Fitzroy Street, The Esplanade and Carlisle Street, passing St Kilda Beach and Luna Park before rejoining the regular route at the corner of St Kilda Road and Carlisle Street.[8][9]


Routes 3 and 3a are operated out of Glenhuntly depot predominantly by Z class trams with A1 and B2 class trams also used.[2]


Route 3/3a
Melbourne University Routes 1, 8 Stop 1
La Trobe Street Melbourne Central station Routes 12, 30, City Circle 8
Lonsdale Street 9
Bourke Street Routes 86, 96 10
Collins Street Routes 11, 12, 48, 109 11
Federation Square Flinders St station Routes 70, 75, City Circle 13
Arts Precinct Route 1 14
St Kilda Road
Southbank Boulevarde 16
Coventry Street 18
Domain Interchange Routes 8, 55 20
Toorak Road 22
Commercial Road Route 72 25
High Street Route 6 27
St Kilda Junction Routes 5, 16, 64, 67 30
St Kilda
3a Weekend Variation
St Kilda station Route 96 132
Park Street Route 12 134
Acland Street Route 96 138
Carlisle Street Routes 16, 67 35
St Kilda Town Hall 36
Chapel Street Route 78 37
Balaclava station Balaclava station 38
Orrong Road 43
Kooyong Road 46
Balaclava Junction Routes 16, 64 51
Caulfield Racecourse 56
Caulfield station Caulfield station 56
Burke Road 60
Malvern East 64

Not all stops are shown, refer to timetable for full list of stops
Green denotes free tram zone


  1. ^ Facts & figures Yarra Trams
  2. ^ a b Routes 3/3a Yarra Trams
  3. ^ Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company Limited Running Journal volume 9 no 3 page 16
  4. ^ a b c The Early Days Yarra Trams
  5. ^ Between the Wars Yarra Trams
  6. ^ "Melbourne - Other Services" Trolley Wire issue 255 November 1993 page 11
  7. ^ Changes to your tram service during the Commonwealth Games - March 2006 Yarra Trams
  8. ^ a b Yarra Trams boosts weekend trams services to St Kilda Yarra Trams 30 January 2009
  9. ^ a b Your new weekend tram service to St Kilda - Route 3a Yarra Trams 31 January 2009

External links[edit]