You might be surprised to learn that Melbourne’s tramway network is the largest of its kind in the world. That's more rail than the tram networks of some of the world's major cities such as St Petersburg (205 km), Upper Silesia (200 km), Berlin (190 km), Moscow (181 km) and Vienna (172 km). As of May 2017, the Melbourne tramway network consisted of 250 kilometres of track, 493 trams, 24 routes, and 1,763 tram stops. The ease of public transportation in Melbourne is just one of the reasons that the city has taken the title of "world's most liveable city" seven years running.
A brief history
Trams have been one of Melbourne's iconic charms since 1884, with the opening of a horse tram line in Fairfield. Melbourne's cable tram system opened in 1885, and expanded to one of the largest in the world with 75 kilometres of double track. The first electric tram line opened in 1889, but closed only a few years later in 1894. In 1906, electric tram systems were opened in St Kilda and Essendon, marking the start of continuous operation of Melbourne's electric trams. Since 1884, then, trams in Melbourne - whether horsepowered, cable-hauled or electric - have played a distinctive role in Melbourne's character, and have done wonders for the city's tourism and advertising industries.
Students and visitors to Melbourne can learn and take in the sights for free on the City Circle Tram. Information leaflets, including an 'easy to understand' map of the city are available on board each of these City Circle Trams. The tram can be used as a 'hop on - hop off' service, allowing tourists to enjoy each of Melbourne's sites with the added bonus of traditional Melbourne transportation. In the centre of the city, there is a free zone, where you can use them trams free of charge through streets where only they have access.
Audio commentary provides details of city landmarks and major attractions such as the City Museum, Parliament House, Docklands, Federation Square, Melbourne Aquarium and the Princess Theatre. The City Circle route is serviced by heritage W class trams decorated in special maroon and green with yellow and gold trimmings - old school Melbourne! To catch the free City Circle Tram service (route number 35), simply board the tram at any of the specially marked stops on the route. This makes it much easier to take a tour of Melbourne without having to worry in the slightest.
Article by Denison Dias