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 A class
B class
Night-time Friday & Saturday
Locale Melbourne, Australia
Start Bundoora RMIT
Via Reservoir
Clifton Hill
East Melbourne
Bourke Street
End Waterfront City Docklands
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 A and B class trams from Preston depot.[1][2]


A cable tram line operated by the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company 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 Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company 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.[4] The Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company line was taken over by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board on 1 November 1919 with the Northcote Cable Tramway line coming under Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board control on 20 February 1920.[4]

The Fitzroy, Northcote and Preston Tramways Trust had started constructing a system but it wasn't until after its takeover by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board 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 Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board to allow access to the CBD via Lygon Street.[6]

The two cable lines were through routed by the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board, 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. Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board, unhappy with the performance of the buses wished to rebuilt the lines as electric tram services, it was decided to reinstate trams when the buses were life expired, trams first ran on the 88 (predecessor to the modern 86) on 26 June 1955,[8] with East Brunswick starting operating on 6 May 1956.[8]

On 18 May 1983, the suburban terminus was extended from Tyler Street to Boldrewood Parade, then to La Trobe University on 10 January 1985, to Settlement Road on 26 April 1987[9][10] and to the current terminus at McKimmies Road on 12 October 1995.[11] This final extension was funded as part of the Federal Government's Building Better Cities program.[12]

As part of the Docklands redevelopment project, La Trobe Street was extended west over the Spencer Street railyards in 2000,[13] and with this extension route 86 was extended along Spencer Street and La Trobe Street to Docklands Stadium.

In 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16][17]

Until 27 July 2014 additional capacity through the Melbourne CBD during weekday peaks was provided by route 95 short workings, operated from Melbourne Museum to Docklands Stadium via Bourke Street. These were discontinued as part of a wider timetable change to the Yarra Trams network.[18] In January 2016, route 86 began operating through the night on Fridays and Saturdays as part of the Night Network.[19]

Since April 2012, there has been a campaign for the 86 Tram Route to Extend to South Morang station. This campaign has been run by the Friends of South Morang (Community Group). The proposed extension is for the tram to go up North on Plenty Rd, turn left on Bush Boulevard and go towards the South Morang station, from there it will go through the Mill Park Lakes Estate - completing at the intersection of The Lakes Boulevard and Plenty Rd. This proposal can be seen on The South Morang future transport network map.[20]

In November 2016, E-class trams will commence operating on the route.[21]



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

Route 86 runs from Bundoora, travelling south on Plenty Road through the suburbs of, Reservoir and Preston, passing RMIT Bundoora Campus and 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 in Carlton Gardens.

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 in Waterfront City Docklands.


Route 86 is operated from Preston depot by B class trams, although it is not uncommon for A class trams to be rostered.[22]


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, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 6
Elizabeth Street Routes 19, 57, 59 5
Queen Street 4
William Street Route 55 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.[23]


  1. ^ Facts & figures Yarra Trams
  2. ^ Route 86 Yarra Trams
  3. ^ "Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company Limited" (PDF), TMSV Running Journal Vol 9 No 3, page 16, retrieved 2011-10-16 
  4. ^ a b "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. ^ a b "Milestones, 1951 - 1960", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  9. ^ Here and There Trolley Wire (Sydney Tramway Museum) February 1987 page 25 (large file)
  10. ^ "Milestones, 1981 - 1990", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  11. ^ "Milestones, 1991 - 2000", Yarra Trams, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ "Thank You Melbourne", VicUrban, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  14. ^ "Completed tram initiatives", Department of Transport, retrieved 2011-10-03 
  15. ^ Ashley Gardiner (18 August 2008). "Smart card tests to begin on trams this week". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  16. ^ "Tram Route 86 Corridor Project", Darebin City Council, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  17. ^ "Tram Route 86 – High Street and Plenty Road", VicRoads, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  18. ^ "Capacity boost for tram passengers". Yarra Trams. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Night Tram Public Transport Victoria
  20. ^
  21. ^ Past meets future at new home of E-class trams Yarra Trams 17 April 2016
  22. ^ "East Preston Depot", Vicsig, retrieved 2011-10-04 
  23. ^ The bedroom philosopher songs from the 86 tram Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2010

External links[edit]