Melbourne tram route 86

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Route 86
Bundoora RMIT - Waterfront City Docklands
B22026 New Yarra Trams Livery.JPG
System Melbourne
Operator Yarra Trams
Depot Preston
Vehicle B class
E class
Night-time Friday & Saturday
Locale Melbourne, Australia
Start Bundoora RMIT
Via Reservoir
Clifton Hill
East Melbourne
Bourke Street
End Waterfront City Docklands
Journey time 65-90 minutes
Operates Daily
Zone(s) Free Zone: Stops D11-D1, 1-11
Myki Zone 1: Stops 12-51
Myki Zone 2: Stops 52-71
Timetable Route 86 timetable
Map Route 86 map
Route map

Melbourne trams route 86 map.png

← Route 82  {{{system_nav}}}  Route 96 →

Melbourne tram route 86 is operated by Yarra Trams on the Melbourne tram network. It operates from Bundoora RMIT to Waterfront City Docklands. The route is operated by B and E class trams from Preston depot.[1][2]


A cable tram line operated by the Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company (MTOC) opened on 10 August 1887, operating along Bourke Street, Gertrude Street, Smith Street and Queens Parade to Merri Creek.[3] On 18 February 1890 a group of Northcote land speculators built a line between the MTOC terminus and Dundas Street, the line was not as successful as they had hoped, closed down and reopened twice before the municipal government bought it in 1901 and leased out its operation.

At the end of the lease council took over operation for a short time. The MTOC line was taken over by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board (MMTB) on 1 November 1919 with the Northcote Cable Tramway line coming under MMTB control on 20 February 1920.[4]

The Fitzroy, Northcote & Preston Tramways Trust had started constructing a system but it wasn't until after its takeover by the MMTB that services first ran, on 1 April 1920, part of this system included a line from Dundas Street to Tyler Street.[5] This network was orphaned from the rest of the electric network until 24 March 1925 when a line along Holden Street, Pilkington Street and Barkly Street was built by the MMTB to allow access to the CBD via Lygon Street.[6]

The two cable lines were through routed by the MMTB, and operated until 26 October 1940, when the Bourke Street cable lines were abandoned in favour of double decker buses.[7] 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 rebuild the lines as electric tram services when the buses became life expired. Trams first ran on route 88 (predecessor to the modern 86) on 26 June 1955, with Brunswick East starting operating on 6 May 1956.[8][9]

On 18 May 1983, the suburban terminus was extended 1.2 kilometres from Tyler Street to Boldrewood Parade,[10] then to 2.1 kilometres to La Trobe University on 10 January 1985, 2.9 kilometres to Settlement Road on 26 April 1987[11][12][13] and to the current terminus at McKimmies Road on 12 October 1995.[14] This final extension was funded as part of the Federal Government's Building Better Cities program.[15]

As part of the Docklands redevelopment project, La Trobe Street was extended west over the Spencer Street railyards on 26 March 2000, and with this extension route 86 was extended along Spencer Street and La Trobe Street to Docklands Stadium.[16][17][18]

On 27 July 2008 route 30 and route 86 swapped termini, with route 30 terminating in Harbour Esplanade at Central Pier, and route 86 being extended to Waterfront City.[19]

In August 2008 route 86 was the first route to see tram based testing of the Myki ticketing system, using special services not open to normal fare-paying passengers.[20]

A project to improve access through platform stops, perform track and overhead renewal and improve speed and reliability on a 6.8 km section of route 86, along High Street and Plenty Road, between Westgarth Street, Westgarth and Albert Street, Reservoir commenced in 2011.[21][22]

Since April 2012, there has been a campaign for route 86 to be extended to South Morang station. This campaign has been run by community group the Friends of South Morang. The proposed extension is for the tram to go north on Plenty Road, turn left on Bush Boulevard and go towards the South Morang station, from there it will go through the Mill Park Lakes Estate to the intersection of The Lakes Boulevard and Plenty Road. This proposal can be seen on The South Morang future transport network map.[23]

In January 2016, route 86 began operating through the night on Fridays and Saturdays as part of the Night Network.[24]

In late November 2016, E-class trams commenced operation on the route.[25] These trams are beneficial on the route which has the highest amount of superstop platforms of any route in Melbourne.[26]


Two route 86 trams pass each other on Plenty Road, Preston

Route 86 runs from Bundoora RMIT, travelling south on Plenty Road through the suburbs of, Reservoir and Preston, passing La Trobe University.

Plenty Road ends in Preston at Dundas Street and High Street, route 86 turns slightly into High Street and continues south through Thornbury and Northcote. It then crosses Merri Creek, continuing along Queens Parade Clifton Hill, heading south-west, turning south into Smith Street passing between Fitzroy and Collingwood.

Just before the end of Smith Street it turns west into Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, and south into Nicholson Street, Carlton, past the Royal Exhibition Building.

It enters the CBD on Spring Street turning west into Bourke Street at Parliament House, travels through the Bourke Street Mall and turns north into Spencer Street, passing Southern Cross station, it turns west at La Trobe Street, passing over the Spencer Street rail yards into Docklands, it travels north briefly on Harbour Esplanade before turning west into Docklands Drive, where it terminates at Waterfront City Docklands.


Route 86 is operated from Preston depot by B class trams and E class trams, although it is not uncommon for A class trams to be rostered.[27]


Route 86
Bundoora RMIT Stop 71
Clements Road 70
Grimshaw Street 65
La Trobe University 60
Reservoir High School 57
Tyler Street 52
Murray Road 49
Bell Street Bell station 45
Dundas Street 42
Separation Street Northcote station 33
Westgarth Street Westgarth station 27
Clifton Hill Clifton Hill station 25
Johnston Street 19
Gertrude Street 15
Brunswick Street Route 112 13
Melbourne Museum Route 96 12
Victoria Parade Routes 24, 30, City Circle 11
Spring Street Parliament station 9
Swanston Street Routes 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67, 72 6
Elizabeth Street Routes 19, 57, 59 5
Queen Street 4
William Street Route 58 3
Spencer Street Southern Cross station Routes 75, 96 1
Docklands Stadium D1
Waterfront City Docklands D11

Not all stops are shown, refer to timetable for full list of stops
Green denotes free tram zone, yellow Zone 1 & blue/yellow Zones 1/2

In popular culture[edit]

In 2010 Melbourne-based musical comedian The Bedroom Philosopher released an album Songs from the 86 Tram inspired by the tram route as well as an award-winning comedy show of the same name.[28]

Route 95[edit]

Until 27 July 2014 additional capacity through the Melbourne CBD was provided by route 95 short workings from Melbourne Museum to Spencer Street via Bourke Street between 12:00 and 14:00 on weekdays.[29][30]


  1. ^ Facts & figures Yarra Trams
  2. ^ Route 86 Yarra Trams
  3. ^ Melbourne Tramway & Omnibus Company Limited Running Journal volume 9 no 3 page 16
  4. ^ "Northcote: the on again, off again cable tramway", Friends of Hawthorn Tram Depot, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  5. ^ "Milestones, 1911 - 1920", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  6. ^ "Milestones, 1921 - 1930", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-09 
  7. ^ "Milestones, 1931 - 1940", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  8. ^ "Milestones, 1951 - 1960", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  9. ^ History of Melbourne Trams Routes from 1950 to 2009 Yarra Trams
  10. ^ "East Preston Line Extended" Trolley Wire issue 208 October 1983 page 18
  11. ^ Here and There Trolley Wire February 1987 page 25 (large file)
  12. ^ "Milestones, 1981 - 1990", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  13. ^ Jones, Colin (1993). Watch for Trams. Kenthurst: Kangaroo Press. p. 118. ISBN 0 86417 544 2. 
  14. ^ "Milestones, 1991 - 2000", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ "Melbourne - Yarra Trams" Trolley Wire issue 281 May 2000 page 30
  17. ^ "Metros" Railway Gazette International May 2000 page 276
  18. ^ Route 86 timetable Yarra Trams 24 March 2000
  19. ^ "Completed tram initiatives", Department of Transport, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  20. ^ Ashley Gardiner (18 August 2008). "Smart card tests to begin on trams this week". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  21. ^ "Tram Route 86 Corridor Project", Darebin City Council, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  22. ^ "Tram Route 86 – High Street and Plenty Road", VicRoads, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  23. ^ South Morang - Future Transport Network City of Whittlesea
  24. ^ Night Tram Public Transport Victoria
  25. ^ Route 86 will be next to run E-Class Yarra Trams 15 April 2016
  26. ^ Past meets future at new home of E-class trams Yarra Trams 17 April 2016
  27. ^ "East Preston Depot", Vicsig, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  28. ^ The bedroom philosopher songs from the 86 tram Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2010
  29. ^ Route Guide & Map 86/95 Yarra Trams
  30. ^ Capacity boost for tram passengers Yarra Trams 9 July 2014

External links[edit]